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No new moon phase in February

Sunday was Groundhog Day. Since the infamous groundhog saw his shadow, winter will continue for six weeks. Here in the High Desert, we’ve had an extraordinarily mild winter, with almost no rain. But do not be deceived — the drought crisis will be relieved!

Jupiter remains our only evening “star” (in Gemini), near the twin stars Castor and Pollux. Venus is back as a morning “star,” and Mars and Saturn as well.

Overhead early evening is a swath of the Milky Way, the edge of our own galaxy. In its midst, south, are Canis Major and Minor (the big and little dogs). The brightest star in the sky, Sirius (“dog star”) marks Canis Major. The brighter star in Canis Minor is Procyon.

The zodiacal constellations of Gemini (the twins) is overhead, with bright Jupiter in its midst. Also visible are Cancer (the crab) and Leo (the lion), with bright Regulus (the heart of the lion).

Because February is the shortest month of the year and that the first quarter moon doesn’t occur until the Thursday, there is no new moon phase this February. And there are no meteor showers, either.

You’ll hear from me again in March.


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