Jeff Benuzzi's Observing Recommendations

Jeff Benuzzi is an amateur astronomer and ham radio operator.
For many years, Jeff has participated in the public observing sessions
supported by the Chicago Astronomical Society, where he helps folks
locate and observe celestial objects.  He is a regular speaker at Astrofest.
Jeff publishes a monthly list of his favorite objects observable with
binoculars which is available at
Visit Jeff's website at:

Upcoming Observing Highlights for February 2018 (from
1 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 19h UT.
5 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 17h UT.
7 Last Quarter Moon at 15:55 UT.
7 Moon near Jupiter (87 from Sun, morning sky) at 22h UT. Mag. −2.0. Jupiter is spectacular even in a small telescope. Its four brightest moons are visible in binoculars.
9 Moon near Mars (72 from Sun, morning sky) at 7h UT. Mag. 1.1. The supergiant red star Antares is nearby.
11 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 14h UT (distance 405,700 km; angular size 29.5').
11 Moon near Saturn (47 from Sun, morning sky) at 15h UT. Mag. 0.6.
12 Mars 5.1 N of Antares (73 from Sun, morning sky) at 2h UT. Mags. 1.0 and 1.1.
15 Partial Eclipse of the Sun at 20:51 UT (greatest). Visible from southern South America and Antarctica. Begins at 18:56, ends at 22:47 UT.
Solar Eclipses: 2011 - 2030 (Mr Eclipse)
Partial Solar Eclipse of 2018 February 15 (GIF)
15 New Moon at 21:06 UT. Start of lunation 1177.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
17 Mercury at superior conjunction with Sun at 12h UT. The elusive planet passes into the evening sky.
23 Moon near the Pleiades at 1h UT (evening sky).
23 First Quarter Moon at 8:08 UT.
23 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 17h UT.
27 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 15h UT (363,933 km; angular size 32.8').
27 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 (evening sky) at 17h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
  The Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)
All times Universal Time (UT).   USA Central Standard Time = UT - 6 hours.   

Clear skies till next month

Jeff's Binocular Picks
Click Here to see an Adobe Acrobat file of Jeff's monthly choices of best objects to observe with binoculars.