The moon returns to our evening skies in the coming week. Only a few Vineyarders will see it hovering close to the western horizon right after sunset on Monday night.
Planets Mercury and Mars are nearby and they look like “stars.” Mercury is the brighter of the two and right under the moon. Mars is even closer to the horizon and a significant challenge to spot. All three are in between the two zodiacal constellation Pisces and Aquarius.
More Vineyarders will see the crescent moon on Tuesday night when it is considerably higher above the horizon and above Mars and Mercury.
Even more will see the moon on Wednesday and Thursday nights, when it is considerably higher.
Jupiter and Saturn
Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is high in the east, after sunset. Jupiter is our evening planet, easy to see and now a familiar winter sight. Jupiter is in the zodiacal constellation Taurus.
Jupiter is getting farther from the Earth, but you wouldn’t think so looking at it. Astronomers estimate that Jupiter is now 427 million miles away. By the end of this month, Jupiter will be 465 million miles away. Even though it will be 38 million miles farther away by the end of this month, there won’t be a noticeable drop in brightness.
The ringed-planet Saturn rises in the east around midnight. Saturn is in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system. Saturn is near the bright star Spica. Saturn has a yellowish tint. Spica has more of a blueish tint.
|Fri., Feb. 8||6:46||5:05|
|Sat., Feb. 9||6:45||5:07|
|Sun., Feb. 10||6:44||5:08|
|Mon., Feb. 11||6:42||5:09|
|Tues., Feb. 12||6:41||5:10|
|Wed., Feb. 13||6:40||5:12|
|Thurs., Feb. 14||6:38||5:13|
|Fri., Feb. 15||6:37||5:14|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 38º F.