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

February is a great month for the stargazers. The night sky is full of shining stars in February. In addition to the winter starry sky with the bright Jupiter, the moon becomes rounder and smaller after the Lunar New Year, until the smallest full moon of the year in 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 "Venus -Mars Conjunction " occurs at 23:00 on February 22nd.  At this time, the two stars are 0.63° apart, but 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 statistics, it has only happened 4 times in the 200 years between the 20th and 21st centuries. The next time will have to wait until 62 years later in 2086! 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 through recording of the same photographic equipment.