You Can See Mercury, a Meteor Shower, and Planets Aligning This February

The shortest month promises serious stargazing potential.

Image of Mercury in front of the sun.

VW Pics / Getty Contributor

Last month’s lime-green comet and eye-popping planet sightings were mere appetizers to the many night-sky attractions on the docket for 2023 †itle— including several key events coming up quickly. February provides a chance to see the ever-elusive Mercury, not to mention multiple planet and moon conjunctions, a meteor shower, and, if you’re far north enough, those increasingly vivid northern lights dancing.

Grab your binoculars and blankets; here’s everything to watch for in the night sky this February.

All month: Winter hexagon

Throughout February, astro enthusiasts can admire six of the night sky’s brightest stars as they form the winter hexagon. This asterism includes the stars Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Capella, Aldebaran, and Rigel, according to Royal Museums Greenwich. Several deep sky objects will also be visible within the hexagon, including the Orion and Rosette Nebulae. Night-sky navigation apps like SkySafari will help you pinpoint this winter asterism; a telescope is required to spot the hexagon’s deep-sky objects.

Feb. 8: Spot elusive Mercury

Mercury is a tricky planet to spot, as it’s often obscured by the sun’s bright glare. According to, you can snag a view of the distant planet on the morning of Feb. 8, and the dates surrounding it, just before sunrise. Mercury will hover at 13 degrees above the southeast horizon, so you’ll need unobstructed views southeast to spot it.   

Feb. 8: Alpha Centaurids shower peaks

Stargazers won’t see any major meteor showers until the spring, but February does have one event that could generate a solid showing, especially in the southern hemisphere: Alpha Centaurids. The Centaurids are visible from Jan. 31 to Feb. 20, according to High Point Scientific. The peak hits Feb. 8 at 4:40 a.m. ET. A bright moon will wash out much of the meteor-sighting potential, but under ideal conditions, the shower generates bright, fast meteors with up to five to six per hour.

Feb. 15: Conjunction of Venus and Neptune

Feb. 15 marks one of the year’s closest planet conjunctions. Venus and Neptune will come within 45 inches of one another, according to the app Starwalk. You can spot the conjunction in the Aquarius constellation. You’ll need a telescope or binoculars for this one, as Neptune isn’t visible to the naked eye. From the northeast U.S., you can watch the duo starting at 6:17 p.m. EST. Look above the southwest horizon; the pair will fall beneath the horizon around 8 p.m., according to

Feb. 26: SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

Come Feb. 26, a new crew will head to the International Space Station. This SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will send the Crew 6 mission astronauts on a six-month ISS expedition, according to If you’re on the Florida Space Coast — and the weather cooperates — you can catch the launch at 2:07 a.m. EST from the Kennedy Space Center. You can also watch the event live.

Feb. 27: Conjunction of the moon, Venus, and Mars

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, a waning crescent moon will pass by Venus and Mars in the southeast sky roughly one hour before sunrise. You can find Venus above the moon, with Mars between them. The moon will pass under Mercury the following morning, with Venus and Mars on its right, and Saturn to the left.

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