Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Friday, February 28, through Sunday, March 1, 2020

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, February 28, through Sunday, March 1, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 6:33am and sets at 5:43pm, the waxing crescent Moon rises at 9:03am and sets at 10:38pm. The early Friday evening features a close pairing of the waxing crescent Moon with the brightest planet, Venus. Look for them in the western twilight, shortly after sunset. The Moon shines in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull, and the Moon’s lit side points directly at Venus, which sits much lower in the sky and closer to the horizon As… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 26th, and Thursday, February 27th, 2020

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 26th, and Thursday, February 27th, written by Louis Suarato. Lunar apogee, when the Moon is farthest from Earth during this lunar cycle, occurs at 6:35 a.m., Wednesday, at the distance of 252,449 miles. After sunset, the 10% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon can be seen over the west-southwestern horizon. Brilliant Venus, shining at magnitude -4.27, will be 10 degrees above the Moon. Thursday night, Venus will be 6 degrees to the right of the Moon. Moonset occurs at 8:42 p.m., and Venus sets at 9:28 p.m. in the constellation Pisces. Mars… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday, and Tuesday, February 24th and 25th, 2020

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday, and Tuesday, February 24th and 25th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun sets at 5:38 PM; night falls at 7:12. Dawn begins at 5:06 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:38. Sunday, the Moon turned “New.” The one-day-old Monday’s Moon can be found, with difficulty, in the western constellation Aquarius. The 2% illuminated Moon hovers close to the horizon and sets at 6:40 PM. Tuesday’s Moon, now in Pisces, is a bit higher and slightly fatter at 5%; it sets at 7:39 PM. Venus, in Pisces, blazes with minus 4th magnitude… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23, 2020

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 6:43am and sets at 5:35pm, waning crescent Moon rises at 5:59am and sets at 3:37pm. New Moon occurs at 10:32am on Sunday. The new Moon crosses the sky with the Sun and so remains hidden in our star’s glare. The Moon stays out of the early evening sky until February 25. Therefore, this week is an excellent chance to see the zodiacal light. From the Northern Hemisphere, late winter and early spring are great times to observe… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 19th, and Thursday, February 20th, 2020

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 19th, and Thursday, February 20th, written by Louis Suarato. Look over the southeastern horizon Wednesday morning after 5 o’clock to see the Moon and three planets. The 16% illuminated, waning crescent Moon will be below Mars, and 4 degrees to the upper right of Jupiter. Look closer to the horizon, to Jupiter’s lower left, for Saturn. Thursday morning, a thinner crescent Moon will be 2 degrees to Saturn’s lower right. All three planets and the Moon will reside in the constellation Sagittarius. The evening planets are Venus and Mercury. Look… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday, and Tuesday, February 17th and 18th, 2020

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday, and Tuesday, February 17th and 18th, written by Joe Slomka. The Sun sets at 5:29 PM; night falls at 7:04. Dawn breaks at 5:10 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:49. The waning Moon has already risen in Ophiuchus. Past Last Quarter, it appears about 31 arc-minutes in size and 29% illuminated; it sets at 11:59 AM, Tuesday. Tuesday evening, the Moon resides in Sagittarius, appearing slightly smaller and sets at 1:38 PM, Wednesday. The evening sky is becoming interesting. Mercury appears, in Aquarius; by Civil Twilight it hovers 8° above… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, February 14, through Sunday, February 16, 2020

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, February 14, through Sunday, February 16, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 6:55am and sets at 5:25pm, waning gibbous Moon sets at 10:11am. Last-quarter Moon occurs on Saturday at 5:17pm. The Moon rises around 1:20am on Saturday night with the head of constellation Scorpius following up just below it. By the beginning of dawn Sunday they move higher in the south-southeast. Antares is the brightest star under the Moon and the last to fade out in the oncoming daylight. Before sunrise on Sunday look for the lit side of… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 12th, and Thursday, February 13th, 2020

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, February 12th, and Thursday, February 13th, written by Louis Suarato. The 86% illuminated, waning gibbous Moon rises in Virgo at 9:32 p.m. Wednesday. The bright star to the lower right of the Moon is Virgo’s brightest star, Spica. The two innermost planets can be seen over the west-southwestern horizon after sunset. Mercury sets at 6:55 p.m. in Aquarius, followed by Venus at 8:59 p.m. in Pisces. Mercury reaches perihelion, it’s closest distance from the Sun, at 18 degrees, Wednesday. Three outer planets rise overnight beginning with Mars at 3:45 a.m., Jupiter… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday, and Tuesday, February 10th and 11th, 2020

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday, and Tuesday, February 10th and 11th. The Sun sets at 5:20 PM; night falls at 6:55. Dawn begins at 5:24 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 7 AM. The Moon is just past yesterday’s “Full” stage. It rises, in Leo, at 7:10 PM, appears about 33 arc-minutes, is 95% illuminated and sets at 8:41 AM, Tuesday. Tuesday evening finds it in Virgo, rising at 8:27 PM and setting at 9:11 on Wednesday. Monday the Moon is at perigee, closest to Earth, which causes high tides on coastal areas. Venus, in Pisces,… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, February 7, through Sunday, February 9, 2020

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, February 7, through Sunday, February 9, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, Sun rises at 7:04am and sets at 5:16pm, waxing gibbous Moon rises at 3:22pm and sets at 5:59am. Full Moon occurs at 2:33am on Sunday morning. This Full Moon occurs 1.5 days before perigee, the point in the Moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth, making this almost a Supermoon. Full moons always rise around sunset and set around sunrise. The position of the ecliptic on winter nights causes February moons to culminate very high in the night sky… Continue reading

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