Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, December 10th and 11th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, December 10th and 11th. The Sun sets at 4:21 PM; night falls at 6:03. Dawn begins at 5:33 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 7:16. The waxing Moon, in Sagittarius, dominates the evening sky. At 3-days-old, it shines with minus 5th magnitude, appears about 12% illuminated and is 19º high. It sets at 7:24 PM. Tuesday’s Moon is located in Capricornus, brighter, larger, 24º high and sets at 8:23 PM. Monday’s Moon shares Sagittarius with Saturn. The Ringed Planet is low at 7º and shines with zero magnitude. Now… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, December 7 through Sunday, December 9, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, December 7 through Sunday, December 9, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 7:13am and sets at 4:22pm. Every year, toward the end of the first week of December, mid-temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere have their earliest sunsets. For our area, the earliest sunset takes place from December 2nd till December 15th when the Sun sets at 4:22pm. This comes a few days before December solstice. This offset from the solstice date is balanced out by the opposite happening at sunrise as the Sun doesn’t come up its… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, December 5th, and Thursday, December 6th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, December 5th, and Thursday, December 6th, written by Louis Suarato. The 2% illuminated, waning crescent Moon sets at 3:47 p.m. Wednesday. Arise early to see the crescent Moon 5 degrees above Mercury. Look low above the south-southeastern horizon after 6:15 a.m. for the Moon and Mercury. The Moon will reach its New phase at 2:21 a.m., Friday. Look higher above the Moon for Venus, now 30% illuminated, and shining at magnitude -4.85. Later this month, Jupiter will be joining the two innermost planets in the pre-dawn sky. Mars and Saturn are… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, December 3rd and 4th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, December 3rd and 4th. The Sun sets at 4:22 PM; night falls at 6:03. Dawn begins at 5:28 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 7:09. Bright planets are becoming difficult to find. Saturn, in Sagittarius, shines with zero magnitude about 10º above the southwestern horizon, low enough to ruin views of its ring system. Saturn sets at 6:12 PM. Aquarius harbors two planets. Mars shines also with zero magnitude and appears about 89% lit. It lies about 36º high in the southern sky. It is best observed at 5:57… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 7:06am and sets at 4:24pm; The waning crescent Moon sets at 1:10pm. On Saturday, Venus is at greatest brightness, shining at magnitude –4.9 in the morning sky. Venus appears brilliant from the time it rises a little before 4am until close to sunrise some three hours later. It stands about 25° above the southeastern horizon an hour before the Sun comes up. The “morning star” reaches an altitude of nearly 30 degrees by sunrise. When viewed… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 28th, and Thursday, November 29th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 28th, and Thursday, November 29th, written by Louis Suarato. The 72% illuminated, waning gibbous Moon rises Wednesday night at 9:01.. The Moon will reach its Last Quarter phase at 7:19 p.m. on Thursday. Look for Taurus’ brightest star, Regulus, 3 degrees below the Moon on Wednesday. Saturn will be only be a few degrees above the southwestern horizon at astronomical twilight, when the Sun is between 12 and 18 degrees below the horizon. Mars is the most easily visible planet in the night sky. Look about 40 degrees, or four… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 26th and 27th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 26th and 27th. The Sun sets at 4:34 PM; night falls at 6:04. Dawn begins at 5:21 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 7:01. While four planets grace the evening sky, only two are easily spotted. Saturn, still in Sagittarius, hovers about 13º above the southwestern horizon, shines with zero magnitude and appears a moderate 15 arc-seconds in size. The observer should aim at Saturn before it gets too low and sets at 6:36 PM. The dim constellation Aquarius contains two planets. Mars shines with zero magnitude, appears… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, November 23 through Sunday, November 25, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, November 23 through Sunday, November 25, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:57am and sets at 4:26pm; Full Moon sets at 7:05am and rises at 5:12pm. The full Moon occurs at 12:39am on Friday. As the Moon rises, it is positioned near Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. Watch the Moon draw farther away from Aldebaran through the hours of the night. On Saturday, the Moon rises around the end of twilight and climbs high through the evening. It’s now below the horns of Taurus, Beta… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 21st, and Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 21st, and Thursday, November 22nd, written by Louis Suarato. The 98% illuminated, waxing gibbous Moon rises at 3:55 p.m. Wednesday. The Moon reaches its Full phase at 12:39 a.m. Friday. Look for the nearly Full Moon to rise on Thanksgiving evening at 4:26, 5 minutes after sunset. Thursday night, use binoculars to combat the glow of the Moon and find the Pleiades star cluster 15 degrees to its upper left. The star to the Moon’s lower left is Aldebaran, Taurus’ brightest. Aldebaran is an orange giant star located 65 light-years… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 19th and 20th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 19th and 20th. The Sun sets at 4:29 PM; night falls at 6:07. Dawn begins at 5:14 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:53. First magnitude planet Mercury hugs the western horizon at Civil Dusk. It glows with first magnitude, appears about 19% illuminated and a medium size of 9 arc-seconds. However, it lies very low and sets at 5:12 PM. Binoculars and an unobstructed view is required. Saturn, to Mercury’s upper left, inhabits Sagittarius with a zero-magnitude glow and 15 arc-seconds in size. Now is the time… Continue reading

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