Monday, February 22, 2021

Up in the Sky: Moon Drifts Through the Winter Circle

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 12:51 PM

The Winter Circle. - NASA
  • NASA
  • The Winter Circle.
Look up in the sky tonight to watch the moon finish sashaying its way across the so-called Winter Circle — a ringed array of six stars — as it heads toward becoming full by Feb. 27.

According to NASA, the circle of stars — also called an asterism — includes Aldebaran, Capella, Pollux (and Castor), Procyon, Rigel and Sirius and can be seen rising in the east early in the evening.

“The Winter Circle contains two other special groupings of stars: the constellation Orion, and another wintertime asterism, the Winter Triangle, made of the bright stars Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Procyon,” according to NASA. “Like their counterpart, the Summer Triangle, the Winter Circle and Winter Triangle are signposts of the season.

“In the Northern Hemisphere, you'll see them rising in the east early in the evening during the time of long, cold nights, and setting in the west earlier and earlier as the season turns to spring.”

click to enlarge The moon visits the bright stars of Gemini on Feb. 23. - NASA/JPL-CALTECH
  • NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • The moon visits the bright stars of Gemini on Feb. 23.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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