February 26-28, 2021: The bright moon appears with the stars of Leo at month’s end.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
The bright moon appears with the stars of Leo during the final three days of the month. The chart above shows the moon with the stars in the morning. Since the lunar orb is opposite the sun, it is in the sky for most of the night. They are in the eastern sky after sunset.
The moon reaches its Full phase (Snow Moon) at 2:17 a.m. CST on February 27.
Leo is a constellation that somewhat resembles its namesake. A backwards question mark represents theLlion’s head. We see a side-view of the westward facing big cat. The question mark shape is also known as the “Sickle of Leo,” a farmer’s harvesting tool.
A triangle marks the haunches and tail of the Lion. Denebola is the tail.
With the bright moon in near these stars, block the moon’s light (with your hand as you would to the sun) to see the starfield.
Here’s what to look for in the morning about an hour before sunrise:
February 26: The nearly full moon is low in the western sky. It is 5.1° to the right of Regulus, the constellation’s brightest star.
February 27: The moon reaches its Full phase at 2:17 a.m. CST. As the morning sky brightens, the moon is about 15° up in the west. The lunar orb is between Regulus and Denebola, but below a line that connects the two stars.
February 28: One hour before sunrise the very bright moon – over 20° in altitude in the west-southwest – is 8.6° to the lower left of Denebola.
Read more about the planets during February.
March 18, 2021: Jupiter and Saturn are visible in the southeastern sky as sunup approaches. Jupiter is the brighter planet, but it is low in the east-southeast. Saturn is to the Jovian Giant’s upper right. During the early evening, the waxing crescent moon is in the western sky near the Pleiades star cluster and below Mars. The Red Planet is moving eastward in Taurus.
March 17, 2021: Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. During the early evening the lunar crescent is about one-third of the way up in the sky to the upper left of Hamal, the brightest star in Aries. Mars is higher in the sky in Taurus. This evening it makes a pretty triangle with two dim stars.
March 16, 2021: Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. During the evening the lunar crescent displays earthshine, while Mars continues to march eastward through the starfields of Taurus.