February 2023 !!BETTER!!
U.S. Border Patrol encounters of individuals who entered the country between Ports of Entry (POEs) at the southwest border in February 2023 totaled 128,877, approximately equal to the 128,913 encounters in January 2023. This marks the second month in a row as the lowest month of Border Patrol encounters since February 2021.
CBP total encounters in February 2023 were 212,266, up approximately 2% from 208,511 in January 2023. This total includes Border Patrol encounters and includes noncitizens processed at Ports of Entry including individuals who sought an exception to the Title 42 public health order based on certain vulnerabilities and scheduled an appointment to present in advance via the CBP One mobile application.
The continued drop in Border Patrol encounters demonstrates the effectiveness of the measures announced by the Administration on January 5, 2023, expanding safe and orderly lawful processes for migration while applying consequences to those who do not avail themselves of those processes.
In February 2023, CBP processed more than 2.6 million entry summaries valued at more than $241 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $6.3 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. In February, trade via the ocean environment accounted for more than 41.08 percent of the total import value, followed by air, truck, and rail.
The next full Moon will be on Sunday afternoon, February 5, 2023, appearing opposite the Sun in Earth-based longitude at 1:29 PM EST. This will be on Monday morning in the time zones from Nepal Standard Time eastward to the International Date Line. The Moon will appear full for about 3 days around this time, from early Saturday morning through early Tuesday morning.
In the Hebrew calendar this full Moon is in the middle of the month Shevat. The 15th day of Shevat is the holiday Tu BiShvat, which will be observed from sunset on Sunday, February 5, to nightfall on Monday, February 6, 2023. Tu BiShvat is also called "Rosh HaShanah La'Ilanot" (literally "New Year of the Trees"). In contemporary Israel this is celebrated as an ecological awareness day and trees are planted in celebration.
In late January and early February 2023, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) should be visible with binoculars and bright enough to see with the naked eye from dark areas with clear skies after moonset. Recent press reports are calling this the green comet because of its coloring. This comet is reported as already visible from very dark areas (although you need binoculars or a telescope to see its green coloring). See -eye-comet-ztf for an image from January 19. How bright a comet appears depends both on what we can predict, how close it is to the Earth and how close it is to the Sun, and on what we cannot predict, how much gas and dust it is giving off. A January 20 post on indicates recent brightening, increasing the likelihood of future visibility. As Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) races away from the Sun, it will reach its closest to the Earth on February 1 at 12:55 PM EST, passing 0.28 AU (42,500,000 km or 26,400,000 miles) from us.
On the evening of Sunday, February 5, 2023 (the day of the full Moon), as evening twilight ends (at 6:33 PM), the rising full Moon will be 11 degrees above the east-northeastern horizon. Three of the five visible planets will be in the sky. Going from east to west, Mars (third brightest) will appear 70 degrees above the southeastern horizon, Jupiter (second brightest) will be 34 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon, and Venus (the brightest) will be 12 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon. The bright object appearing closest to overhead will be Mars, with the bright star Capella a close second.
By the evening of Tuesday, March 7, 2023 (the day of the full Moon after next), as evening twilight ends (at 7:04 PM), the rising full Moon will be 7 degrees above the eastern horizon. Three of the five visible planets will be in the sky, with the brightest being Venus (as the evening star) at 19 degrees above the western horizon, Jupiter (second brightest) 6 degrees below Venus, and Mars (third brightest) close to overhead at 75 degrees above the south-southwestern horizon. The bright star appearing closest to overhead will be Capella at 80 degrees above the northwestern horizon. Although we see Capella as a single star (the 6th brightest in our night sky), it is actually four stars (two pairs of stars orbiting each other). Capella is 43 lightyears from us. Also high in the sky will be the constellation Orion and the band of bright stars from the local arm of our home galaxy, including the brightest star in our night sky, Sirius, at 33 degrees above the south-southeastern horizon.
On the morning of Sunday, February 5, 2023 (the day of the full Moon), as morning twilight begins (at 6:11 AM EST), the setting full Moon will appear 13 degrees above the west-northwestern horizon. The planet Mercury will be 3 degrees above the east-southeastern horizon. The bright star closest to overhead will be Arcturus at 68 degrees above the south-southwestern horizon. Arcturus is the 4th brightest star in our night sky and is 36.7 light years from us. While it has about the same mass as our Sun, it is 2.6 billion years older and has used up its core hydrogen, becoming a red giant 25 times the size and 170 times the brightness of our Sun.
By the morning of Tuesday, March 7, 2023 (the day of the full Moon after next), as morning twilight begins (at 5:35 AM EST), the setting full Moon will be 14 degrees above the western horizon. The bright star closest to overhead will still be Arcturus at 56 degrees above the west-southwestern horizon.
Monday evening into early Tuesday morning, January 30 to 31, 2023, the bright planet Mars will appear near the waxing gibbous Moon. Mars will be 3 degrees to the lower left of the Moon as evening twilight ends (at 6:27 PM EST), the Moon will reach its highest in the sky 1.5 hours later (at 7:53 PM) with Mars 2 degrees to the upper left. Mars will swing around the Moon, passing quite close to the Moon early Tuesday morning (around 12:50 AM). By the time Mars sets below the west-northwestern horizon (at 3:30 AM) it will be 3 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.
As mentioned above, in late January and early February 2023, comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) should be visible with binoculars and be bright enough to see with the naked eye from dark areas with clear skies after moonset. If your skies are clear the time to see this comet at its brightest will likely be either the early morning of Wednesday, February 1, during the less than 2 hours between moonset (at 4:35 AM) and when morning twilight begins (at 6:14 AM) or the early morning of Thursday, February 2, during the 45 minutes between moonset (at 5:29 AM EST) and when morning twilight begins (at 6:14 AM).
Wednesday, February 1, 2023, will be Imolc, and Thursday, February 2, will be Candlemas and Groundhog's Day. The tradition in some European countries was to leave Christmas decorations up until February 1 (and it was considered bad luck to leave decorations up past Candlemas). For example, Robert Herrick (1591-1674) starts his poem "Ceremonies for Candlemas Eve" with "Down with the rosemary and bays, down with the mistletoe; Instead of holly, now up-raise the greener box (for show)." Here's a link to the full poem:
Friday morning, February 3, 2023, the bright star Pollux will appear above the waxing gibbous Moon, shifting closer as morning progresses. The Moon and Pollux will be at their closest in the afternoon when we can't see them.
Monday evening into Tuesday morning, February 6 to 7, 2023, the bright star Regulus will appear near the waning gibbous Moon. Regulus will be 4 degrees to the right of the Moon low on the east-northeastern horizon as evening twilight ends (at 6:34 PM EST). The Moon will reach its highest in the sky 7 hours later (at 1:32 AM) with Regulus 6 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. Regulus will be 8 degrees to the lower right of the Moon as morning twilight begins (at 6:09 AM).
Friday night into Saturday morning, February 10 to 11, 2023, the bright star Spica will appear near the waning gibbous Moon. As Spica rises above the east-southeastern horizon (at 10:44 PM EST) it will be 4 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. The Moon will reach its highest 5.5 hours later (at 4:18 AM) with Spica 3 degrees to the lower right, and morning twilight will begin about 2 hours after that (at 6:05 AM).
Tuesday morning, February 14, 2023, the bright star Antares will appear near the waning crescent Moon. As Antares rises above the southeastern horizon (at 2:33 AM EST) it will be 7 degrees below the Moon. Antares will be 5 degrees to the lower left by the time morning twilight begins (at 6:02 AM). Antares is part of the constellation Scorpio, and the Moon will appear on the line of this constellation near the head and pincers of the scorpion.
On Thursday, February 16, 2023, the planet Saturn will be passing on the far side of the Sun as seen from the Earth, called conjunction. Because Saturn orbits outside of the orbit of Earth, it will be shifting from the evening sky to the morning sky and will begin emerging from the glow of dawn on the eastern horizon in March (depending upon viewing conditions).
The day of or the day after the New Moon marks the start of the new month for many lunar and lunisolar calendars. The second month of the Chinese year of the Rabbit starts on Monday, February 20, 2023. In the Islamic calendar the months traditionally start with the first sighting of the waxing crescent Moon. Many Muslim communities now follow the Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia, which uses astronomical calculations to start months in a more predictable way. Using this calendar, sundown on Monday evening, February 20, will probably mark the beginning of Sha'ban, the month before Ramadan. The Tibetan New Year, the start of Losar, the first month of the Tibetan calendar, is on Tuesday, February 21, and is a festival celebrated in Tibetan Buddhism. See for more information. Sundown on Tuesday, February 21, marks the start of Adar in the Hebrew calendar. 041b061a72