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The night sky highlights in February are amazing, including the Venus-Mars Conjunction.

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Post date:2024-02-15

Updates:2024-03-29

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February is a great month for stargazers. The night sky is full of shining stars in February. In addition to the winter starry sky with bright Jupiter, the moon becomes rounder and smaller after the Lunar New Year, until the smallest full moon of the year occur during the Lantern Festival. This is a rare coincidence in a century.  There are also interesting celestial phenomena such as the conjunction of Mars, which are all worth watching.
the smallest full moon of the year
The "Venus -Mars Conjunction " occurs at 23:00 on February 22nd.  At this time, while the two stars are 0.63° apart, they have not yet risen below the horizon. They can’t be seen until 5:40 to predawn the next day; Venus with magnitude 3.7 and Mars with magnitude 1.3 appear together in the low sky in the east.

It is quite rare that the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month also happens to be the smallest "Micro full moon" this year. According to the statistics, it has only happened 4 times in the 200 years between the 20th and 21st centuries. We will have to wait 62 years later until 2086 for the next occasion! The "Full Moon" diameter at 20:30 on the night of the Lantern Festival on February 24th is 29'25.7". Compared with the largest full moon on October 17th this year, there is a difference of nearly 12%, which is approximately the difference in size of 1NT$ and 5 NT$ coins. Although the phenomenon may not be obvious when observing two full moons, the changes can be discovered by the recording of the same photographic equipment.

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