Weekly Stargazing Tips

Provided by StarDate.org. Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii).

February 1: Orion Spotlights

Two of the biggest and brightest stars in the galaxy flank Orion’s Belt, which is in the southeast at nightfall. Orange Betelgeuse is to the upper left of the belt, with blue-white Rigel to the lower right.

February 1: Orion Spotlights

Two of the biggest and brightest stars in the galaxy flank Orion’s Belt, which is in the southeast at nightfall. Orange Betelgeuse is to the upper left of the belt, with blue-white Rigel to the lower right.

February 2: Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day, a modern celebration of a cross-quarter day. Such days fall roughly half way between a solstice and an equinox. In bygone eras, these dates often marked the beginning of the seasons, not their mid-points as they do today.

February 2: Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day, a modern celebration of a cross-quarter day. Such days fall roughly half way between a solstice and an equinox. In bygone eras, these dates often marked the beginning of the seasons, not their mid-points as they do today.

February 3: Lepus

Lepus, the rabbit, scampers below Orion, who chases it across the sky. Its brightest star is Arneb, from an Arabic name that means “the hare.” It’s perhaps 2,200 light-years away. The fact that it’s visible at all means it must be quite impressive.

February 3: Lepus

Lepus, the rabbit, scampers below Orion, who chases it across the sky. Its brightest star is Arneb, from an Arabic name that means “the hare.” It’s perhaps 2,200 light-years away. The fact that it’s visible at all means it must be quite impressive.

February 4: Close Planets

The nearest star system visible to the unaided eye that has a known planet is in view on winter evenings. Epsilon Eridani is in the south at nightfall, although you need dark skies to see it. The star is orbited by at least one giant planet.