Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19, 2017

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 6:50am and sets at 4:31pm; Moon rises at 5:42am and sets at 4:31pm, at the time of sunset. New Moon occurs on Saturday at 6:42am. Saturn, at magnitude 0.5, is about 10 degrees above the southwest horizon, as dusk begins. Mars, shining at magnitude 1.7, is gaining altitude as it grows in size and brightness in the morning sky. The red planet climbs to about 20 degrees above the southeast horizon an hour before sunrise. Jupiter, at… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 15th, and Thursday, November 16th, 2017

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 15th, and Thursday, November 16th, written by Louis Suarato. The 10% illuminated, waning crescent Moon shares the pre-dawn sky with Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. Wednesday morning, Mars will be 3 degrees south of the Moon. Also, on Wednesday morning, an extremely bright -3.5 magnitude, International Space Station will appear at 5:06 a.m. above Ursa Minor. The ISS will then sail on through the Big Dipper and continue toward the eastern horizon where it will pass very close to the crescent Moon, and Virgo’s brightest star, Spica. Jupiter rises at 5:29… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 13th and 14th, 2017

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 13th and 14th. The Sun sets at 4:34 PM; night falls at 6:11. Dawn begins at 5:07 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:46. Saturn is the easiest planet to see in the twilight sky. It lies moderately low in the southwestern constellation of Ophiuchus; it shines with zero magnitude about 13 degrees above the horizon and sets at 6:38 PM. Saturn is slowly descending into the Sun’s glare; now is the time for last looks. Mercury is beginning an appearance 15 degrees below Saturn. Also in Ophiuchus,… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12, 2017

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, November 10 through Sunday, November 12, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 6:42am and sets at 4:37pm; Moon sets at 12:52pm and rises at 11:23pm; Last Quarter Moon occurs at 3:36pm. On Friday night, view the Moon coupling up with Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. Watch for the Moon and Regulus before dawn, when the two objects will be highest up for the night. The Moon will pass Regulus after a few more days, and then will be traveling toward planets Mars, Venus and… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 8th, and Thursday, November 9th, 2017

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 8th, and Thursday, November 9th, written by Louis Suarato. The 75% illuminated, waning gibbous Moon sets at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday, and will return 71% illuminated at 10 p.m., providing you with at least 4 hours of a moonless sky. The Moon orbits Earth once every 27.322 days, traveling at the speed of 2,287 miles per hour. There are four types of lunar months. An anomalistic month is the time it takes for the Moon to orbit Earth from one perigee to the next. An anomalistic month is 27 days, 13… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 6th and 7th, 2017

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, November 6th and 7th. Now that Daylight Savings Time has ended, the Sun sets at 4:41 PM; night falls at 6:18. Dawn breaks at 5 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:37. Saturn, in Ophiuchus, is still the easiest planet to observe, though it is slowly sinking. Binoculars and telescopes show its rings, which appear deformed by our ever-convective atmosphere. The zero-magnitude planet stands about 15 degrees above the western horizon at Civil Dusk and sets at 7:03 PM. Mercury, in Scorpius, peeks above the western horizon about 23… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5, 2017

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 7:33am and sets at 5:45pm; Moon sets at 6:30am and rises at 5:55pm, shortly after sunset. On Sunday at 2:00am, daylight time officially comes to an end and standard time begins. Full Moon occurs on Saturday at 1:23am. The full Hunter’s Moon, the 2nd-largest full Moon this year, will parade across the sky from dusk till dawn. The Hunter’s Moon is the name for the full Moon that immediately follows the full Harvest Moon. The full Harvest… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 1st, and Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 1st, and Thursday, November 2nd, written by Louis Suarato. November begins with the 94% illuminated, waxing gibbous Moon rising in the constellation Pisces at 4:51 p.m. Wednesday. Saturn will be less than 15 degrees above the southwestern horizon after sunset. Your best view of planets occurs in the morning, with Mars and Venus at opposite sides of Virgo before sunrise. If you are up and out early Wednesday morning, look for the International Space Station to emerge out of the dark at 5:23 a.m., to the upper right of Mars… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 30th and 31st, 2017

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, October 30th and 31st. The Sun sets at 5:50 PM; night falls at 7:25. Dawn begins at 5:53 AM, and ends with sunrise at 7:08. Civil Twilight presents only the Moon and Saturn. The 10-day-old Moon, in Aquarius both nights, blazes at minus 11th magnitude, appears 78 percent illuminated, 24 degrees high on Monday and best observed at 9:20 PM. Tuesday finds the Moon 86 percent lit and best observed at 10 PM. The Moon sets at 3:03 AM on Tuesday, and at 4:09 AM on Wednesday. Saturn, in Ophiuchus, appears… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, October 27 through Sunday, October 29, 2017

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, October 27 through Sunday, October 29, written by Sam Salem. The evening sky’s sole naked-eye planet is Saturn. However, the 0.5-magnitude planet is losing ground to twilight. As the sky begins to darken, Saturn sits some 15 degrees above the south-southwest horizon where views of its famous ring system will likely be blurred by Earth’s churning atmosphere. Early risers have two planets to enjoy, though neither is much to look at in a scope, at least for now. Mars is first up, rising around 5 a.m., local daylight time. At magnitude 1.8,… Continue reading

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