Although February doesn't have many flashy astronomical events, there are still plenty of reasons to go out and look to the sky this month.
The new moon will happen Thursday, Feb. 11, during which little sunlight will reflect off the moon's surface. A few days before the new moon and a few days after are ripe for stargazing, as the stars will be less drowned out by the moon's brightness.
The only bright planet that will be visible in February's night sky is Mars, which will appear as a dull red color. The planet will get dimmer and harder to see in the night sky as the year goes on, according to EarthSky.com. Binoculars are recommended.
The best night to see Mars will be on Thursday, Feb. 18 in the southwestern sky. With a pair of binoculars, both the moon and Mars will be visible in the same field of vision, according to Space.com.
Nearly closing out the month will be February's full moon, also known as the full snow moon. Some Native American groups and colonial Americans called it this because February was known as the month of the most snowfall, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.
The moon is known by many other names. Here are what some other native groups called it, as reported by the Old Farmer's Almanac.
- Cree: Bald Eagle Moon, Eagle Moon
- Ojibwe: Bear Moon
- Tlingit: Back Bear Moon
- Dakota: Raccoon Moon
- Some Algonquin groups: Groundhog Moon
- Haida: Goose Moon
- Cherokee: Month of the Bony Moon and Hungry Moon
The full moon will be at its brightest at 3:19 a.m. EST, Saturday, Feb. 27.