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Night Sky Observing Guide: February 2013 (Sky Maps)

Spica North of the Moon, February 2013

Fri., Feb. 1, 9 p.m. EST. he moon will be close to the bright star Spica. Observers in southern Africa and eastern Australia will see the moon occult Spica.

Last Quarter Moon, February 2013

On Sun., Feb. 3, 10:56 a.m. EST, The last or third quarter moon rises around 1 a.m. and sets around 11 a.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Moon and Saturn on Super Bowl Sunday (2013)

NASA/JPL

This NASA graphic shows the position of the moon and planet Saturn on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, during a dawn celestial meetup in the southern sky.

Mercury North of Mars, February 2013

Fri., Feb. 8, 4 p.m. EST. The two planets Mercury and Mars will be in a close conjunction. Since both are close to the sun, this will be difficult to observe, as there is only a narrow window between when the sky gets dark enough after sunset and when the two planets are high enough above the horizon to still be visible. Binoculars or a telescope recommended.

Mars and Mercury: Feb. 10, 2013

NASA/JPL

The location of planets Mars and Mercury in the western sky just after sunset on Feb. 10, 2013, are shown in this NASA graphic.

Moon, Mars and Mercury: Feb. 11, 2013

NASA/JPL

This NASA graphic shows the location of the crescent moon, Mars and the planet Mercury in the western sky just after sunset on Feb. 11, 2013.

New Moon, February 2013

Sun., Feb. 10, 2:20 a.m. EST. The moon is not visible on the date of new moon because it is too close to the sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after new moon.

Asteroid 2012 DA14's Close Approach

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Diagram depicting the passage of asteroid 2012 DA14 through the Earth-moon system on Feb. 15, 2013.

Threading the Satellite Needle: Asteroid 2012 DA14

SPACE.com

This graphic is an illustration of how the asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly between Earth and the constellation of geosynchronous satellites on Feb. 15, 2013, when the asteroid flies within 17,200 miles of the planet.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Viewing: Europe and Asia

NASA/JPL

This NASA map shows the locations in Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia, where the asteroid 2012 DA14 may be visible in telescopes during its close Earth flyby on Feb. 15, 2013.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Viewing Maps: U.S.

NASA/JPL

This still from a NASA video depicts the area of North America where asteroid 2012 DA14 may be visible in amateur astronomers' telescopes at 7 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. EST on Feb. 15, 2013. The asteroid will be faint and fast, making it hard to spot for even veteran stargazers.

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