2014 Visible Planets: February Offers Best Evening View of Mercury, Viewing Also Includes Other Planets
By Jenalyn Villamarin | February 7, 2014 3:05 PM EST
Viewers can head outside and experience the planet activity happening this February 2014. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics claims in the Epoch Times report that Mercury will be visible low in the west-southwest through Saturday, February 15, before vanishing by the end of the month.
According to the Universe Today report, Mercury's westward movement against the starry background began Thursday, February 6, and it will resume the direct eastward movement on February 27. From February 12 to 18, viewers can watch Mercury entering the Solar Heliospheric Observatory's (SOHO) LASCO C3 camera's field of view as the planet passes by the solar disk at just 3.7 degrees north on February 15.
Where to view?
The Courier-Tribune reports Town Creek Indian Mound will be hosting the "Town Creek Under Stars" on Saturday, February 8, starting at 6 p.m. "With Valentine's Day so close, it will be a perfect time to bring your special someone to spend an evening under the stars," Site Manager Rich Thompson stated.
Patio heaters will be providing comfort to the interested viewers but they are still recommended to dress for the weather. Details on the site's "Town Creek Under Stars" event reads: "Participants may also bring binoculars and telescopes. The staff will have a scope available if you do not have one. Advanced registration is requested by calling or emailing the site. This event is free and open to the public but donations are welcome. Call (910) 439-6802 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Tour groups are welcome and encouraged. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It is closed to the public Sundays and Mondays and most major holidays. The historic site is within the Division of State Historic Sites and located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mt. Gilead. For more information, visit www.towncreekindianmound.com."
What are the other planets visible this February 2014?
Sky gazers can notice Venus in the predawn and dawn sky all though February. The planet will be rising in the east approximately two hours before sunrise and it will reach maximum brilliance in mid-February.
The month of February is the "one of the best months" to observe Jupiter with the planet's four largest moons and details on the disk can be seen through telescopes. Jupiter will be visible at two-thirds of the way up in the eastern sky and the planet will reach its highest point in the sky at approximately 9 pm local time.
According to the EarthSky report, Mars shines in front of the constellation Virgo the Maiden. The planet will be rising in the east at about 11 pm local time in early February and then comes up at approximately 10 pm local time at the end of February.
Saturn will be rising in the east-southeast about 1 to 2 am local time while Uranus' visibility stars half an hour after sunset at approximately 33 degrees over the horizon. As for the Moon, it will be at first quarter on February 6, full on Valentine's Day, February 14 and at third quarter on Saturday, February 22.
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