Keep an eye on the moon, Venus and Jupiter this month.
ILLUSTRATION BY STUART FUNK
If you want to get a feel for how objects move through the solar system with respect to one another, turn your eyes toward the southwest horizon on Feb. 21 and 22.
As twilight falls, you’ll glimpse the thin waxing crescent moon passing near Venus and Jupiter. (Both evenings, Venus will appear below the Gas Giant.) On the 21st, the moon will be underneath the pair of planets. On the 22nd, it will have risen just above Jupiter. Continue to watch the two planets every evening into March. You will see them progressively get closer together until March 1.
Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. Head here for information about the observatory.