Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, February 18th and 19th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, February 18th and 19th. The Sun sets at 5:30 PM; night falls at 7:05. Dawn begins at 5:12 AM and ends with Sunrise at 6:47. The early evening western horizon contains two planet pairs, each with a bright and a dim planet. The first pair occupies Aquarius. Mercury shines with minus 1st magnitude, appears about 80% illuminated, about 6 arc-seconds in size and about 8º above the western horizon. About a half-degree away, much dimmer Neptune shines with 8th magnitude and is a tiny 2 arc-seconds in size. Both set by… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:53am and sets at 5:27pm; the waxing gibbous Moon rises at 1:00pm and sets at 3:23am. On Friday and Saturday night, watch the Moon pass to the south of the Gemini stars and to the north of star Procyon, brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor. On Friday, Castor and Pollux will reside to the left of the Moon. Procyon is to its lower left, and Orion is to its lower right. On Saturday, right after… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 13th, and Thursday, February 14th, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 13th, and Thursday, February 14th, written by Louis Suarato. The 66% illuminated, waxing gibbous Moon sets at 2:29 a.m. Thursday in the constellation Taurus. Before setting, the Moon crosses the sky 4 degrees from Taurus’ brightest star, Aldebaran in the midst of the Hyades star cluster. Aldebaran is the 14th brightest star in the sky. The “eye of the bull” has a diameter slightly larger than our Sun, and is 65 light-years away from our solar system. Look for the Pleiades star cluster about 18 degrees to the west of… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, February 11th and 12th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, February 11th and 12th. The Sun sets at 5:21 PM; night falls at 6:57. Dawn begins at 5:21 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:57. The 6-day-old Moon dominates the night sky. Monday’s Moon occupies Cetus, appearing about 40% illuminated, about 31 arc-minutes in size and blazes with 9th magnitude. It sets shortly after Midnight. Tuesday’s First Quarter Moon occupies Taurus, is about 50% lit and slightly brighter; it sets shortly after 1 AM. Mercury makes a brief reappearance in our sky. In Aquarius, it appears about 94% lit,… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 7:03am and sets at 5:18pm; the waxing crescent Moon rises at 9:05am and sets at 9:00pm. On Sunday evening the crescent Moon is situated roughly six degrees to the left of Mars, high in the west-southwest as twilight fades. Use the Moon to find Mars, which shines as brilliantly as a 1st-magnitude star. Let bright Mars guide you to the faint planet Uranus. Chances are that you won’t spot Uranus with the eye alone. If you… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 6th, and Thursday, January 7th, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, January 6th, and Thursday, January 7th, written by Louis Suarato. The 4% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon sets at 7:03 Wednesday night. Mars will be found in the constellation Pisces to the Moon’s upper left. Look over the southeastern horizon after 5:30 a.m. to see the sweeping curve formed by three planets and a bright star. The three planets, from top down the horizon, are Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. To the right of Jupiter is Scorpius’ brightest star, Antares. The word Antares is derived from the ancient Greek, meaning “rival to Mars”.… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, February 4th and 5th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, February 4th and 5th. The Sun sets at 5:12 PM, night falls at 6:49. Dawn begins at 5:29 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 7:05. Mars is the only easily visible planet in the evening sky and will remain so for the month. In Pisces, it shines with 1st magnitude, appears about 90% illuminated and is about 55º high at Civil Dusk. It sets at 11:01 PM. Mars shares Pisces with Uranus, about 5º to Mars’ upper left; both should fit within the same binocular and finder scope view.… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, February 1 through Sunday, February 3, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, February 1 through Sunday, February 3, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 7:11am and sets at 5:09pm; the waning crescent Moon rises at 4:56am and sets at 2:23pm. Before dawn on Saturday, Moon, Saturn, Venus, and Jupiter form a line in the East.  See if you can catch the slender waning crescent Moon near Saturn. Saturn and the lunar crescent will be low in the east-southeast in bright twilight. The ringed planet is fainter than Jupiter and Venus.  Try using Venus and Jupiter as guides. A line between… Continue reading

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Skywatch line for Wednesday, January 30th, and Thursday, January 31st, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch line for Wednesday, January 30th, and Thursday, January 31st, written by Louis Suarato. Begin your Wednesday by looking above the Southeast horizon about two hours before sunrise. The 25% illuminated, waning crescent Moon sets the stage by rising around 3 am. The Moon is joined by Jupiter 45 minutes later. One half hour later, Venus joins the Moon and Jupiter. By 5:30 am, the three are high above the southeastern horizon, forming a swooping downward curve. You may require binoculars to see Saturn by the time the ringed planet rises at 5:46, about an… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, January 28th and 29th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, January 28th and 29th. The Sun sets at 5:03 PM; night falls at 6:40. Dawn begins at 5:35 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 7:31. Mars remains as the sole bright planet in the evening sky. In Pisces, it rose during daytime and, by civil dusk, appears about 89% lit, shines with zero magnitude and is about 54º high in the southwestern sky. The Red Planet sets at 11:04 PM. Uranus shares Pisces with Mars, but sits about 10º to Mars’ upper left, shines with 5th magnitude, appears smaller… Continue reading

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