The Moon this Month
(All times are in Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
- Last quarter Moon: 04:38am February 5th
- New Moon: 06:06am February 12th
- First Quarter: 05:48am February 20th
- Full Moon: 07:18pm February 27th
On the 4th at 5am AEDT the Moon will be at perigee – the closest it comes to Earth – being a mere 370,116 km away from us. While on the 18th it will be at its furthest point or apogee when it will be 404,467km away.
On February 8, 9 and 10, 2021, look for the slender crescent moon in your eastern sky. Then – if you are up for a big challenge – use the moon to try finding the three morning planets: Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. Venus rises about 55 minutes before the Sun so you don’t have to get up too early – say around 5:15-5:30
On the 11th Venus will be close to Jupiter and the very thin Crescent Moon low in the morning twilight. Nice photo opportunity if you are up to the challenge.
On February 8 and 9, the illuminated side of the waning crescent moon points toward line-up of planets. Seek for Venus, the brightest planet, and then for Saturn above Venus and Jupiter below Venus. The trick is to know when Venus will be climbing above your horizon.
Venus is the most brilliant planet of these three planets being the 3rd-brightest celestial body in all the heavens, after the Sun and Moon, respectively. Venus shines some 6 times brighter than the largest planet Jupiter, and 65 times brighter than Saturn. That makes Jupiter nearly 11 times brighter than Saturn. Although the ringed planet is the faintest of the three, Saturn is still very bright being the same brightness as a 1st-magnitude star.