Ephemeris for Friday, February 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 6:19, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:32. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 7:27 tomorrow morning.
Among all the constellations in the sky of animals real and mythical, there is also a unicorn. It’s called Monoceros, and inhabits the southern sky at 9 p.m. bounded by Orion on the right, Canis Major, the great dog below and Canis Minor, the little dog to the left. Unfortunately for observers without optical aid Monoceros, though large, is devoid of any but the faintest stars. Maybe that’s why no one sees unicorns anymore. It has many faint stars because the Milky Way runs through it. To the telescope it is a feast of faint nebulae or clouds of gas and dust, the birth place of stars, including the red rose of the Rosette Nebula, and the strange and tiny Hubble’s Variable Nebula. It contains no bright stars, but a wealth of wonders below naked eye visibility.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Monoceros the unicorn seen mostly ...