Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Friday, October 19 through Sunday, October 21, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, October 19 through Sunday, October 21, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 7:14am and sets at 6:07pm; the waxing gibbous Moon sets at 1:47am and rises at 4:07pm. Neptune sits 3 degrees north of the Moon on Saturday. Look for Jupiter, at magnitude –1.8, as early as possible in evening twilight. It hovers just 5 degrees above the southwest horizon. Saturn and Mars are also visible at the same time and much easier to appreciate. Saturn shines at magnitude 0.5 and sits some 20 degrees above the southwest… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on Skywatch Line for Friday, October 19 through Sunday, October 21, 2018

Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 17th, and Thursday, October 18th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 17th, and Thursday, October 18th, written by Louis Suarato. The 60% illuminated, waxing gibbous Moon rises at 2:58 p.m. Wednesday. The Moon reaches apogee, its furthest distance from Earth during this lunar cycle, Wednesday at 3:16 p.m., at a distance of 251,175 miles. At twilight, look 6 degrees to the left of the Moon for Mars. Both Moon and Mars will be 27 degrees above the southern horizon at 8 p.m. in the constellation Capricornus. Capricornus is a dim constellation, with only one star brighter than 4th magnitude. The brightest… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 17th, and Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 15th and 16th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 15th and 16th. The Sun sets at 6:13 PM; night falls at 7:47. Dawn begins at 5:35 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 7:10. Bright planets are becoming scarce in the evening sky. Jupiter, in Libra, blazes with minus 1st magnitude only 13º above the southwestern horizon. It is too low now for sharp images of its cloud systems and sets at 7:41 PM. Saturn, in Sagittarius, lies due South. It shines with zero magnitude and appears about half Jupiter’s size. At about 24º high, it is high… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 15th and 16th, 2018

Skywatch Line for Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 7:05am and sets at 6:18pm; the waxing crescent Moon rises at 10:41am and sets at 8:48pm. On Sunday evening, the crescent Moon approaches Saturn. Jupiter, at magnitude –1.8, is viewable for only a short while this weekend. It shines low in the southwest and sets roughly 1½ hours after the Sun. Saturn, at magnitude 0.5, is a little past the meridian 45 minutes after sundown. Saturn is easy to spot in northern Sagittarius. East of Saturn… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on Skywatch Line for Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14, 2018

Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 10th, and Thursday, October 11th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 10th, and Thursday, October 11th, written by Louis Suarato. The 4% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon sets at 7:42 p.m. Wednesday. Look 13 degrees to the Moon’s southwest for Jupiter. Thursday night, Jupiter will be just 4 degrees below the Moon, within the constellation Libra. Mars and Saturn are separated by 40 degrees, about 20 degrees above both sides the southern azimuth after sunset. While Saturn is surrounded by nebulae and star clusters in Sagittarius, Capricornus is devoid of deep sky objects around Mars. Look toward the constellation Leo, which rises… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 10th, and Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Skywatch Line for Monday, October 8th and Tuesday, the 9th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday, October 8th – Columbus Day, and Tuesday, the 9th. The Sun sets at 6:24 PM; night falls at 7:58. Dawn begins at 5:27 AM and ends with sunrise at 7:01. The procession of bright planets is ending. Jupiter, in Libra, is the brightest, at minus 1st magnitude. It is moderately low in the southwestern sky at 10º high. Jupiter sets at 8:04 PM. Moving East, Saturn still resides in Sagittarius, shines with zero magnitude and is a moderate 16 arc-seconds in size. During Civil Dusk, it is moderately high at 23º, affording viewers… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on Skywatch Line for Monday, October 8th and Tuesday, the 9th, 2018

Skywatch Line for Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:57am and sets at 6:30pm; the waning crescent Moon rises at 2:30am and sets at 4:56pm. The new Moon occurs on Monday at 11:47pm. Jupiter’s current apparition is nearly over. It hovers at magnitude –1.8, less than ten degrees above the southwest horizon 45 minutes after sunset. Saturn, shining at magnitude 0.5, is positioned a little west of the meridian. Mars glows at magnitude –1.2 from western constellation Capricornus. The Martian disk is considerably smaller than… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on Skywatch Line for Friday, October 5 through Sunday, October 7, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 3rd, and Thursday, October 4th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 3rd, and Thursday, October 4th, written by Louis Suarato.   The 34% illuminated, waning crescent Moon sets at 3:34 p.m. Wednesday. Look for M44, the Beehive Cluster, 1 degree to the upper left of the crescent Moon before Thursday’s sunrise.. At approximately 600 light-years away, the Beehive Cluster is one of the closest open star clusters. M44 contains about 1,000 gravitational bound stars, estimated to be about 600 million years old. After sunset, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter can be seen spanning 77 degrees from above the south-southeastern to the west-southwestern horizons.… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 3rd, and Thursday, October 4th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 1st and 2nd, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 1st and 2nd.  The Sun sets at 6:36 PM; night falls at 8:10. Dawn breaks at 5:19 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:53. The planetary parade is ending. While we see four bright planets during civil dusk, two are gone shortly after sunset. Venus, in Libra, the brightest at minus 4th magnitude, lies very low on the western horizon. As it approaches Earth, it grows in size to 47 arc-seconds, but its disk shrinks to 16% illuminated. At civil dusk, it is only one degree high, which means… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 1st and 2nd, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, written by Sam Salem.  On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:50am and sets at 6:42pm; the waning gibbous Moon sets at 10:16am and rises at 9:00pm. Late on Friday evening, spot the Pleiades upper left of the Moon. Try to locate Pleiades’ tiny dipper pattern standing on its handle. On Saturday night, the waning gibbous Moon slowly drifts through the Hyades cluster in constellation Taurus. As it exits the cluster, the lunar disk passes within ½ degree, one Moon diameter, of the constellation’s brightest star Aldebaran. The… Continue reading

Posted in | Comments Off on This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, 2018