2021, February 26-28: Bright Moon, Leo

2021, February 26-28: Look to the western sky before sunrise for the bright moon with Leo.

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.

Here’s more about Mars during 2021 and about Mars during February.

Read more about the planets during February.

2021, July 27: Four Evening Planets

July 27, 2021:  Evening Star Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter are in the evening sky.  Mars is nearing its conjunction with Regulus in two evenings.

2021, July 26: Evening Sky, Mars Closes In

July 26, 2021:  Four bright planets are in the evening sky.  Mars closes in on Regulus for their conjunction in three evenings.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus appears to the upper left of the impending Mars – Regulus conjunction.  Saturn and Jupiter are low in the southeastern sky after sunset.

2021, July 25: Evening Sky, Mars on Final Approach

July 25, 2021:  Four evenings before its conjunction with Regulus, find Mars in the western sky to the lower right of Venus.  As the calendar day ends, look for the moon below bright Jupiter.

2021, July 24: Four Evening Planets, Moon

July 24, 2021: After sunset, Venus and Mars are in the western sky.  A little later during evening hours, the moon is near Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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