Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 20th, and Thursday, January 21st, 2021

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 20th, and Thursday, January 21st, written by Louis Suarato. The First Quarter Moon occurs at 4:02 p.m., Wednesday. Highlights of this phase include Montes Appeninus, a 370 mile mountain range with peaks as high as 3.1 miles. The Moon will set at 46 minutes past midnight on Thursday. The Moon reaches apogee, its farthest distance from Earth during this lunar cycle, at 8:11 a.m., Thursday. At that time, the Moon will be 251,258 miles away. The planets Mars and Mercury will be visible after sunset. Mercury sets at 6:23 p.m.,… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday, January 18th and Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

This is the Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday January 18th, and 19th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun sets at 4:51 PM; night falls at 6:30. Dawn breaks at 5:42 AM and ends with sunrise at 7:21. Monday’s Moon rises at 10:37 AM, is 33% illuminated, and sets at 10:45 PM. Tuesday’s Moon rises at 10:59 AM and sets at 11:46 PM, and 42% lit. The Moon turns “First Quarter” (50%) at Midnight, Wednesday. The number of easily seen planets is dwindling. Neptune is the first to rise in Aquarius at 9:39 AM, glowing with 8th magnitude… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, January 15, through Sunday, January 17, 2021

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, January 15, through Sunday, January 17, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 7:23am and sets at 4:47pm; Moon rises at 9:21am and sets at 7:32pm. On Friday and Saturday, the lit side of the waxing crescent Moon points you to Mercury’s whereabouts near the horizon. Find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset and look for the Crescent Moon and Mercury to pop out into the evening twilight as dusk ebbs into darkness. The crescent Moon in the southwest after sunset aims its curve down toward Mercury. Farther… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 13th, and Thursday, January 14th, 2021

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 13th, and Thursday, January 14th, written by Louis Suarato. The 0.6% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon sets at 5:23 p.m., Wednesday. Thursday night, a binocular challenge will be to see the 3% illuminated crescent Moon with Mercury over the west-southwestern horizon before they set around 5:35. Mercury will be about 7 degrees to the lower right of the Moon. At 6:43 p.m., Mars can be found about 60 degrees above the Southern horizon. You’ll require binoculars to see the planet Uranus about 8 degrees to Mars’ lower left. When you are… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday January 11th and Tuesday January 12th, 2021

This is the Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday January 11th, and 12th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun sets at 4:33 PM; night falls at 6:23. Dawn breaks at 5:44 AM and ends with sunrise at 7:24. Sagittarius houses the Moon and Venus on both nights. Monday, the Moon sets at 3:05 PM and rises at 7:08 AM on Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon, the Moon sets at 4:06 PM. The Moon is officially “New” at Wednesday’s Midnight. Planets are becoming scarce in our night sky. Capricornus houses Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury, and all become difficult to see. All… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, January 8, through Sunday, January 10, 2021

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, January 8, through Sunday, January 10, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 7:25am and sets at 4:39pm; Moon rises at 2:20am and sets at 12:54pm. Sun rises earlier starting this weekend. By Saturday, planet Mercury joins Jupiter and Saturn very low in the southwest in bright twilight. Mercury reappears in the skies, now an evening star, quickly approaching Jupiter and Saturn in the southwest after sunset. It’s still tricky to catch. Twenty minutes after sunset, Mercury is just 4.5 degrees high. You’ll find it a little more than 4… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 6th, and Thursday, January 7th, 2021

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 6th, and Thursday, January 7th, written by Louis Suarato. The Last Quarter phase of the Moon occurs at 4:37 a.m., Wednesday. The Moon will set as a 47% illuminated, waning crescent at 11:59 Wednesday morning. With Saturn and Jupiter setting at 5:52 p.m., and 6:01p.m., respectively, about an hour after sunset, Mars will be the only easily visible planet in the sky. Look for Mars high over the southeastern horizon, in the constellation Pisces, at twilight. Thursday, sunrise occurs at 7:25 a.m., making it the latest sunrise of the year.… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday January 4th and Tuesday January 5th, 2021

This is the Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday January 4th, and 5th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun sets at 4:35 PM; night falls at 6:17. Dawn breaks at 5:45 AM and ends with sunrise at 7:26. Monday is the latest sunrise of the year; from now on, the Sun rises earlier until the Summer Solstice. The Moon resides in Virgo on both nights. Monday, the 66% lit Moon sets at 11:06 AM and rises at 10:41 PM. Tuesday, the 55% lit Moon sets at 11:31 AM, rises at 11:53 PM and sets at 11:57 AM, Wednesday.… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, January 1 through Sunday, January 3, 2021

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, January 1, through Sunday, January 3, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 7:26am and sets at 4:32pm; Moon sets at 9:31am and rises at 7:08pm. Earth will reach its closest point to the Sun for 2021 on Saturday at 8:51am. The Earth is closest to the Sun, at its perihelion, about two weeks after the December solstice and farthest from the Sun, or at its aphelion, about two weeks after the June solstice. It’s the not the distance from the Sun that causes our seasons. Seasons happen because Earth’s… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday December 30th, and Thursday December 31st, 2020

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, December 30th, and Thursday, December 31st, written by Louis Suarato. The nearly Full Moon will be in its waning gibbous phase for most of Wednesday and Thursday nights. You will still be able to see a close conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, but only for a short period of time between twilight and when they sett at 6:20 p.m. in the south-southwest. As Saturn and Jupiter are setting, the Moon will be rising in Gemini Wednesday night, about 6 degrees to the south of Pollux. Thursday night, the Moon will rise… Continue reading

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