Podcaster: Rob Webb

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Title: Observing With Webb February 2023

Organization: Physics teacher at Pequea Valley High School

Link: ; ;
follow me : @MrWebbPV on Twitter and Instagram

Don’t forget this podcast is found on my Podbean page, Stitcher, and iTunes.  There’s also a video version on my YouTube Channel and I can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @mrwebbpv. The Pequea Valley Planetarium and its events and updates are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @pvplanetarium.

Use a sky map from to help you out.


Venus bright all month, Saturn disappears, Jupiter closes in on Venus, and Mars shines high and bright all month.

Today’s sponsor:  Big thanks to our Patreon supporters this month: Rob Leeson, David Bowes, Brett Duane, Benett Bolek, Mary Ann, Frank Frankovic, Michael Freedman, Kim Hay, Steven Emert, Frank Tippin, Rani Bush, Jako Danar, Joseph J. Biernat, Nik Whitehead, Michael W, Cherry Wood, Steve Nerlich, Steven Kluth, James K Wood, Katrina Ince, Phyllis Foster, Don Swartwout, Barbara Geier, Steven Jansen, Donald Immerwahr

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Venus bright all month, Saturn disappears, Jupiter closes in on Venus, and Mars shines high and bright all month.

Welcome to Observing With Webb, where a high school astronomy teacher tells you what you’re looking at, why it’s so cool, and what you should check out later this month…at night.

Naked-eye PLANETS


· Venus – Look WSW after sunset. It’ll be low on the horizon throughout the month, but will be the brightest object and probably the first “star” you’ll see, and will get a little bit higher each night. Very close to Jupiter on the 28th.

· Jupiter – SUPER bright in the WSW after sunset. Just find the brightest point of light in that direction (but not Venus), about 1/3 up the sky, and you’ve got it. Sets between 9:30pm and 8:30pm.

· Mars – Look South and almost straight up, for a dull reddish dot in the sky, above Orion and around the extended right horn of Taurus.

Throughout the night

· Mars – Look SW early in the evening, West around midnight. Sets at 3:30am at the beginning of the month, and 2:00am at the end of the month.


· Mercury – Keep an eye out for Mercury in the early mornings just before sunrise. During the first week, Mercury will be easiest to spot right in the SE, but still very low and pretty dim, but brighter than any stars nearby. Find a good clear horizon and be patient.


Evening Gibbous (Mostly lit, after Sunset)

Full Moon – 5th (Visible all night)

Waning Gibbous (Mostly lit, rises later at night)

Last Quarter Moon – 13th (Visible midnight into the morning)

Morning Crescents (look East in the AM)

New Moon – 20th (darkest skies)

Evening Crescents (look West after Sunset)

First Quarter Moon – 27th (Visible until midnight)

21st – 23rd – CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Venus, Jupiter – On the evening of Tuesday the 21st, look West right after sunset. You’ll likely see Venus first, being very, very bright. About 7˚ below Venus will be a VERY thin crescent Moon, while 7˚ above and to

the left of Venus will be Jupiter. On Wednesday, the Moon will move to be only about 1˚ (1 pinky’s width) away from Jupiter, leaving Venus behind 7˚. Then on Thursday evening, the bigger and higher Moon will be about 13˚ above Jupiter.

27th – CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Mars – This is a great one to see how slowly the Moon moves across the sky, as we don’t really recognize it. The Moon starts off a little more than 2˚ away from Mars as the sun sets, almost directly above you. As the night goes on, the Moon slowly gets closer and closer to Mars, until around 1am, when both have moved toward the West, the Moon is almost ½˚ above Mars.

28th – CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Venus, Jupiter – They’ve been getting closer and closer all month, and will be closest on March 1st. But Feb 28th they will be a little more than 1˚ apart, with Venus being brightest, and Jupiter up and to the left in the Western sky, about 15˚ above the horizon.

CONSTELLATIONS… Use a sky map from to help you out.

After Dinner:

Orion & his winter companions – By 7pm, Orion is about as high as it will get for the night about halfway up the southern sky, tempting us to tour the winter constellations. Begin by finding Orion by looking for three stars in almost a straight line and close to each other, Orion’s Belt, which is surrounded by a bigger, vertical, almost rectangle of stars. Orion will be our guidepost for the other winter constellations. Start at the left belt star and draw a straight line connecting them, then continue that line far past the last belt star about 20˚ or two fist-widths held at arm’s length. There you’ll find the V constellation Taurus, with bright red Aldebaran at the top left of the V. Taurus is part of a big cluster of stars known as the Hyades. Remember that line you just made? Follow it just 10˚ further (one fist-width) and you’ll find a mini-mini-dipper of stars call the Pleiades, which is another open cluster of stars within our Milky Way Galaxy. Let’s go back to the belt, but draw the connecting line from right to left, and continue about 20˚ past the belt, where you’ll find the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. Perhaps you can also see the constellation Canis Major, known as the big dog. We’ll stop there for this month, and pick up next month with Gemini, Auriga, and Canis Minor.

Before Bed:

Auriga, Gemini – Look almost straight up, and you’ll find a pentagon shaped constellation which is the Charioteer Auriga, with its brightest star Capella. Gemini, the twins, will be to the left of Auriga, with bright Castor and Pollux heading them up. For reference, Orion will be below both of them.

Before Work:

Leo, Big Dipper – Leo will be more to the West than before, but the Big Dipper will be super big and bright above Leo’s backward question mark

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy

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