Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 18th, and Thursday, April 19th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 18th, and Thursday, April 19th, written by Louis Suarato. The 12% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon sets at 10:38 Wednesday night. After sunset, the Moon forms a triangle with the Pleiades star cluster and Venus. Look about 12 degrees north of the Moon for the Pleiades, and 8 degrees below the Pleiades for Venus. All planets, with exception of Venus, rotate clockwise. Venus rotates counter-clockwise, and unlike other planets, the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Venus rotates at a relatively slow speed of 4 miles per… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 16th and 17th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 16th and 17th. The Sun sets at 7:39 PM; night falls at 9:22. Dawn begins at 4:27 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:10. Venus, in Aries, is the brightest object in the darkening western sky. It blazes with minus 4th magnitude, appears about 91% lit and lies about 16º above the horizon. It sets at 9:41 PM. The one-day-old Monday’s Moon lies 13º below Venus and about 2º above the horizon. It shines with 2nd magnitude and appears as a thin 1º crescent. It sets at 8:23… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:17am and sets at 7:36pm; the waning crescent Moon rises at 5:24am and sets at 5:03pm. New Moon occurs on Sunday at 9:57pm. The winter constellations are crowded into the west during early evening. Venus gleams at magnitude –3.9 and sits roughly 10 degrees above the horizon one hour after sunset. Jupiter, at magnitude –2.4, clears the east-southeast horizon after 10:00pm. Wait a few hours for the planet to gain some elevation before you turn your… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 11th, and Thursday, April 12th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 11th, and Thursday, April 12th, written by Louis Suarato. The 18% illuminated, waning crescent Moon sets at 2:57 p.m. Wednesday. The Moon rises again, 13% illuminated at 4:57 Thursday morning. Mercury follows the Moon, rising 43 minutes later, 20 degrees from the Sun. With a diameter of 3,032 miles, Mercury is smaller than the two largest moons in the solar system. Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, has a diameter of 3,274 miles, and Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is 3,201 miles wide. Jupiter’s moon, Callisto has a diameter that is only 37… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 9th and 10th, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 9th and 10th. The Sun sets at 7:30 PM; night falls at 9:11. Dawn begins at 4:42 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:22. The twilight sky has only one bright planet – Venus. Located in Aries, the planet shines with minus 4th magnitude, appears a medium size of 11 arc-seconds and is about 93 percent illuminated. Moderately low in the western sky, it sets at 9:23 PM. Jupiter rises in Libra and is the brightest object in the constellation. Jupiter rises at 10:03 PM, and by midnight,… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, April 6 through Sunday, April 8, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, April 6 through Sunday, April 8, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:29am and sets at 7:28pm; Moon rises at 12:47am and sets at 10:30am. Last quarter Moon occurs on Sunday at 3:17am. The last quarter Moon aligns with the closest apogee of the year, at 404,144 km distance. Apogee is the Moon’s most distant point from Earth in its monthly orbit. This Sunday, the half-lit last quarter Moon almost exactly aligns with lunar apogee. This is the year’s closest coincidence of quarter Moon and lunar apogee, with… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 4th, and Thursday, April 5th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 4th, and Thursday, April 5th, written by Louis Suarato. The 84% illuminated, waning gibbous Moon sets at 9:14 a.m., and rises again at 11:53 p.m., 80% illuminated, between the constellations Ophiuchus and Scorpius. Scorpius’ brightest star, Antares, can be found to the Moon’s lower right, while Jupiter shines to the Moon’s upper right. Look for Venus before it sets in the west at 9:07 p.m. below the Pleiades star cluster. Saturn and Mars rise in Sagittarius at 2:09 and 2:21 overnight, 2 degrees apart. Two of the brightest stars in… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 2nd and 3rd, 2018

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 2nd and 3rd. The Sun sets at 7:22 PM; night falls at 9:00. Dawn begins at 4:56 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:34. Venus, in Aries, is the sole bright planet in the evening sky. It appears about 94 percent illuminated, glows with minus 4th magnitude, is about 13 degrees high in the southwest and sets at 9:05 PM. Uranus, in Pisces, is becoming difficult to see naked eye. Binoculars or telescopes may pick out the 6th magnitude planet amid the darkening sky, about 7 degrees below… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1, 2018

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:41am and sets at 7:20pm; Moon sets at 6:32am and rises at 6:30pm. Full Moon occurs on Saturday at 8:37am. This is the second full Moon in the month of March, which makes it a “blue” Moon. This is the second blue Moon of 2018. The previous one occurred at the end of January. On Friday and Saturday, watch for the Moon to shine in the vicinity of the 1st-magnitude star Spica from dusk till dawn.… Continue reading

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

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, March 28th, and Thursday, March 29th, written by Louis Suarato. The 91% illuminated, waxing gibbous Moon rises at 4:22 p.m. Wednesday. As the sky darkens, look for Leo’s brightest star, Regulus about 5 degrees to the upper right of the Moon. Venus sets at 8:50 p.m., 77% illuminated. Thursday, Venus and Uranus will be less than a degree apart. Use binoculars in your search for Uranus to the lower right of Venus. Jupiter rises at 10:58 p.m. in Libra. Mars and Saturn rise in Sagittarius at 2:33 and 2:36 a.m., 2… Continue reading

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