Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, August 19th and 20th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, August 19th and 20th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun now sets at 7:51 PM; night falls at 9:37. Dawn breaks at 4:20 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:07. The giant planets Jupiter and Saturn continue their solitary presence in our evening sky. At Civil Dusk, Jupiter still inhabits the constellation Ophiuchus, blazing at minus 2nd magnitude and about 25º high in the South; it sets a half-hour after midnight. The planet is nearing the end of its appearance, so events on the planet become rare, due to… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:03am and sets at 7:57pm; the waning gibbous Moon rises at 8:53pm and sets at 6:52am. Jupiter gleams, at magnitude –2.3, less than 7 degrees northeast of Antares, brightest star in the constellation Scorpius, the Scorpion. The giant planet is a little past its telescopic prime, but still capable of rewarding observers with impressive detail. To the east of Jupiter is 0.2-magnitude Saturn. The ringed planet culminates shortly before 10:30pm, when it sits due south. Saturn… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, August 14th, and Thursday, August 15th, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, August 14th, and Thursday, August 15th, written by Louis Suarato. Mercury rises in the northeast about 45 minutes before sunrise. Venus travels behind the Sun as it reaches superior conjunction at 2 a.m. Thursday. August’s Full Moon occurs at 8:29 Thursday morning. Mars is also too close to the Sun to be observable. Look to the southeastern and southwestern sky to see Saturn and Jupiter after evening twilight. The Full Moon, which rises at 8:27 Thursday night, impairs the viewing of deep sky objects, even with larger telescopes. The Moon orbits… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, August 12th and 13th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, August 12th and 13th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun sets at 8:02 PM; night falls at 9:51. Dawn begins at 4:09 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 5:59. The waxing Moon illuminates the evening sky. Monday’s 13-day-old Moon occupies Sagittarius, appears about 95% illuminated and blazing with minus 11th magnitude. Tuesday, it shifts to Capricornus and appears slightly larger and brighter. The Moon sets at 3:55 AM on Tuesday and at 4:53 AM on Wednesday. Jupiter and Saturn remain the sole evening planets visible. Jupiter continues to occupy… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, August 9 through Sunday, August 11, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, August 9 through Sunday, August 11, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 5:55am and sets at 8:07pm; the waxing gibbous Moon rises at 3:46pm and sets at 12:50am. The waxing gibbous Moon has a close encounter with Jupiter on Friday night. The pairing will be tightest early in the evening. Since both objects are bright, you can begin looking shortly after sunset. On Sunday evening, the waxing gibbous Moon slowly drifts towards Saturn. At midnight, the lunar disk is positioned roughly 3 degrees to the lower right of the… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, August 7th, and Thursday, August 8th, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, August 7th, and Thursday, August 8th, written by Louis Suarato. Wednesday, at 7:52 a.m., marks the midpoint of astronomical summer, halfway between the June solstice and the September equinox. Moonrise occurs at 1:25 p.m. Wednesday. Six minutes later, the First Quarter phase takes place. The Moon sets at 13 minutes past midnight, Thursday. One of the more popular theories as to how the Moon came to be is known as the Giant Impact Hypothesis. Earth, and other planets in the solar system were formed approximately 4..5 billion years ago. One hundred… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, August 5th and 6th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, August 5th and 6th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun sets at 8:11 PM, night falls at 10:05. Dawn begins at 3:57 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 5:52. The Moon occupies the constellation Virgo on both nights. Monday’s 6-day-old Moon is well up by Civil Dusk, about 42% illuminated, is about 25º high in the Southwest and sets at 11:14 PM. Tuesday’s Moon is more illuminated and higher; it sets at 11:44 PM. Jupiter and Saturn remain the only visible evening planets. By Civil Dusk, Jupiter shines in… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 4, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 5:48am and sets at 8:15pm; the waxing crescent Moon rises at 7:24am and sets at 9:40pm. Watch for the waxing crescent Moon to move past Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, the Maiden. The Moon will be below Spica on Sunday, closest to it on Monday, and above it on Tuesday. The Moon and Spica are fairly high up at nightfall, then follow the Sun beneath the horizon by around mid-evening. Look for it shortly… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, July 31st, and Thursday, August 1st, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, July 31st, and Thursday, August 1st, written by Louis Suarato. The 1% illuminated, waning crescent Moon sets at 8:16 p.m. Wednesday. The New Moon occurs at 11:12 p.m. later that night. Thursday night, use binoculars to find the 1% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon before it sets in the west-northwest at 9 o’clock. Saturn and Jupiter appear in the darkening sky at Civil Twilight, which begins at 8:49 p.m. when the Sun is 6 to 12 degrees below the horizon. Jupiter begins the night about 25 degrees over the southern horizon. At… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 5:41am and sets at 8:23pm; the waning crescent Moon rises at 12:56am and sets at 3:04pm. If you do get up early on Saturday or Sunday, you can see the waning crescent moon moving through Taurus. And you might catch some Delta Aquariid meteor shower as well. On Sunday, South Delta Aquariid meteor peaks during the predawn hours. The Delta Aquariid is a long, rambling meteor shower, stretching out for weeks beyond their nominal peak. Because the… Continue reading

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