Sky Watching February 2013 15 & 16

Sky Watching

   February 15

                       A near-Earth asteroid – called 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth
                                        A near-Earth asteroid – called 2012 DA14 by astronomers – will pass very close to Earth on February 15, 2013. Astronomers estimate that, when it’s closest to us, it’ll be within the orbit of the moon (which averages about a quarter million miles away), and closer than some high-orbiting communications satellites. 2012 DA14 will be about 17,200 miles (27,680 kilometers) away. It will not strike Earth in 2013. Astronomers’ calculations of asteroid orbits can be trusted. After all, even decades ago, they knew enough about calculating orbits to send people to the moon and bring them safely back, and today we are able place our space vehicles in orbit around objects as small as asteroids.

 February 16, evening twilight : 
                          Mercury at greatest elongation east
                                                         This is the best opportunity this year for observers in the Northern Hemisphere to observe Mercury in the evening sky. Sweep the western horizon with binoculars to pick up Mercury’s tiny speck of light

Mercury will be well placed in the western  sky for most of the month, the best opportunity to see it as an “evening star” in 2013.
Venus is now very low in the southeast at sunrise
Mars has faded into the west moving behind the sun. It rapidly crosses the entire constellation of Aquarius this month
Jupiter remains in Taurus, close to Aldebaran and the Hyades. It is high in the southern sky in the early evening and sets in the northwest around 2 a.m.
Saturn is spends the month in western Libra. It rises in the east at around midnight, and is visible the rest of the night.
Uranus is visible in Pisces in the early evening and sets around 9 p.m.
Neptune is in Aquarius all month, becoming lost in the twilight close to the sun

Posted by antony herald | at 20:32


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