The “Winter Alberio”

The double star HR2764 is sometimes referred to as the Winter Alberio after is similarity to the famous double in Cygnus. The double has a strong colour contrast of blue and orange. At 26.8 arcsecs separation the two components are easy to separate and should be visible in any small scope.

The pair can be found in the constellation of Canis Major, about 1.5 degrees North of NGC 2362 and approximately 3.5 degrees to the North east of the bright star Wezen. See the chart below.

HR 2764 from Abingdon on March 4th, 20:25UT.

Clear skies.

Mars on the shores of the Lagoon

On the morning of the 18th February, Mars will be about 3/4 degree above the Lagoon Nebula, M8, and approximately 3/4 degree below the Trifid nebula, M20. See the picture below:

True astronomical dark ends at 5:24UT that morning so you will have to be up early and have a clear horizon. You may have to juggle the ever brightening sky with altitude as Sunrise is at 7:15UT.

Clear skies.

Venus and Mercury in the evening sky

Over the first half of February both Venus and Mercury are well place in the evening sky. Venus is the brighter and higher of the two as you can see in the graphic below:

This shows the view from Abingdon at around sunset or just after.

Mercury will be at its furthest distance from the Sun (from our perspective here on Earth) on February 10th when it will get 15 degrees above the horizon.

Clear skies.