Fri., Dec. 23 7:06 4:15
Sat., Dec. 24 7:06 4:15
Sun., Dec. 25 7:06 4:16
Mon., Dec. 26 7:07 4:17
Tues., Dec. 27 7:07 4:17
Wed., Dec. 28 7:07 4:18
Thurs., Dec. 29 7:08 4:19
Fri., Dec. 30 7:08 4:19
If the weather cooperates, there is a rare opportunity to get some help seeing the distant and hard-to-spot planet Mercury close to the horizon tomorrow morning.
The thin crescent moon appears beneath Mercury. If you can find the moon, Mercury is right above. The two hover just above the eastern horizon at dawn. The best viewing will be for those with a clear sight line to the horizon, which on the Island usually means a water view. Look well before sunrise.
There are only a few times in the year when Mercury appears high enough and distinct enough to spot. Mercury circles the sun in 88 days. So in theory, we might be able to see the planet more often. First it appears in our sunset sky, then it shifts to our morning sky, about every 44 days. But this in theory only.
High in the western sky there appears a bright-looking star. This is the planet Venus and it will grace our evening skies for the months ahead. Venus will continue to appear higher and brighter as we go through winter. Venus is 130 million miles away and getting closer.
Jupiter is high in the east after sunset.
Both planets are unmistakably bright. Venus is the brighter of the two. Jupiter is far bigger than Venus but considerably farther away. Jupiter is 418 million miles away.