February 2024 – What’s Up!

Week of 19th February

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19:20 UT at the start of the week and at 19:30 UT by the end of the week.
  • Jupiter (-2.3) sets at around 23:45 UT this week, sinking ever further to the west as this apparition draws to a close.
  • As the Moon waxes to Full, spend some time exploring the areas of Mare Imbrium with the Jura Mountains and Oceanus Procellarum with craters Copernicus, Kepler and Aristarchus.
  • The Moon is Full on Saturday – the Snow Moon.
  • The Sun currently has 7 active regions and the sunspot number is 100.
  • There are no visible evening ISS passes this week.
    (For full details about ISS passes click this link: heavens-above-iss-passes to visit the heavens-above website. If you are not in Marlborough, please ensure that you set your location for the most accurate ISS timings).

Week of 12th February

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19:09 UT at the start of the week and at 19:18 UT by the end of the week.
  • Jupiter (-2.3) sets at around 00:00 UT this week. Look 10° further east along the ecliptic to find Gas Giant Uranus (+5.8).
  • The Winter Wreath remains high in our evening sky this week. It contains two beautiful nebulae: the site of star birth in M42, the Great Orion Nebula (+4.0) below Orion’s Belt, and the remains of star death in M1, the Crab Nebula (+8.4) in the horns of Taurus.
  • The Moon is First Quarter on Friday.
  • The Sun currently has 9 active regions and the sunspot number is 146.
  • There are no visible evening ISS passes this week.
    (For full details about ISS passes click this link: heavens-above-iss-passes to visit the heavens-above website. If you are not in Marlborough, please ensure that you set your location for the most accurate ISS timings).

Week of 5th February

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:57 UT at the start of the week and at 19:07 UT by the end of the week.
  • Jupiter (-2.3) sets at around 00:30 UT this week. Europa transits on Wednesday, starting at 21:40 UT.
  • The challenge this week is the splitting of double stars. Start with favourites Almach (+2.2) in Andromeda with a 9″ (arcsecond) separation between the blue and golden pair, and Castor (+1.6) in Gemini, a brilliant white pair with a 5″ separation. Two closer doubles are 1 Arietis (+5.8) at 3″ separation and Gamma Ceti, Kaffaljidhma (+3.5) at just 2″ separation. Good luck!
  • The Moon is New on Friday.
  • The Sun currently has 8 active regions and the sunspot number is 123.
  • There are no visible evening ISS passes this week.
    (For full details about ISS passes click this link: heavens-above-iss-passes to visit the heavens-above website. If you are not in Marlborough, please ensure that you set your location for the most accurate ISS timings).