Skywatch Line Archive

Skywatch Line for Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:08am and sets at 7:42pm; the full Moon occurs at 7:12am; Moon rises at 8:04pm and sets at 6:36am. Look to the west as evening twilight begins to fade to see Mars, at magnitude 1.6, in constellation Taurus. Mars is noticeably fainter than Aldebaran, Taurus’ brightest star. Both Mars and Aldebaran glow with the same pale orange hue. Mars sets around 11:30pm. Jupiter, at magnitude –2.4, rises around midnight. Jupiter shines fairly high in the south… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 17th, and Thursday, April 18th 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 17th, and Thursday, April 18th, written by Louis Suarato. The 97% illuminated, waxing gibbous Moon rises at 5:48 p.m. on Wednesday. At astronomical twilight, when the Sun is 12 to 18 degrees below the horizon, the Moon can be seen surrounded by the stars of the constellation Virgo. Virgo is the second largest constellation, covering 1,294 square degrees. This constellation is most prominent in the evening skies from March through July. Virgo’s brightest star is Spica, the 16th brightest in the sky. Spica is not only bright because of its… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 15th and 16th, 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 15th and 16th. The Sun sets at 7:37 PM; night falls at 9:20. Dawn begins at 4:30 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:12. The 11-day-old Moon dominates the evening sky. Monday, it lies in Leo, near the lion’s rear leg, appearing about 85% illuminated, blazes with minus 11th magnitude and 43º high in the South. Tuesday, the Moon moves into Virgo and appears fuller and a bit brighter. Monday, the Moon is highest at 10:10 PM and sets at 5:02 AM on Tuesday. Tuesday night, the Moon… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:20 and sets at 7:34pm; the first Quarter Moon occurs at 3:06pm; Moon sets at 2:07am and rises at 11:67am. On Saturday, the waxing gibbous Moon can guide you to the location of constellation Cancer, the Crab. Constellation Cancer is very faint. You won’t see it well in the moonlight. Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, the Lion, shines on one side of Cancer, while the Gemini stars, Castor and Pollux, shine on the… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 10th, and Thursday, April 11th, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 10th, and Thursday, April 11th, written by Louis Suarato. The 27% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon rises at 9:48 Wednesday morning. Nightfall finds the Moon below the feet of the Gemini twins, and above the horns of Taurus the bull. Look for Mars to the lower right of the Moon leading the way to the northwestern horizon. In March, the Mars rover, Curiosity, captured two amazing solar eclipses of the moons Phobos and Deimos, as seen from the martian surface. Neither Phobos, which is 16 miles in diameter, nor Deimos, 10… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 8th and 9th 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 8th and 9th. The Sun sets at 7:29 PM; night falls at 9:09. Dawn begins at 4:44 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:24. The 3-day-old Monday’s Moon dominates the southwestern sky. In Taurus, it appears about 13% illuminated, blazes with minus 6th magnitude and is about 30º high at Civil Dusk. Tuesday’s Moon also resides in Taurus, is brighter, fatter and higher. The Moon sets at 11 PM on Monday, and at 12:05 AM on Wednesday. Mars shares Taurus with the Moon. It appears about 94% lit,… Continue reading

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Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:31am and sets at 7:26pm; the new Moon occurs at 4:50am. On Saturday, the Moon will be over one day old after sunset. If you have a clear and unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, you have a good chance of catching the whisker-thin young Moon after sunset. Young moons in early spring are usually much easier to catch than young moons in early autumn. That’s because the ecliptic, the approximate monthly pathway of the… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 3rd, and Thursday, April 4th, 2019

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 3rd, and Thursday, April 4th, written by Louis Suarato. The 2% illuminated, waning crescent Moon sets at 5:42 p.m. Wednesday. The Moon will rise again less than 1% illuminated at 6:39 Thursday morning. Look over the western horizon at astronomical twilight, at 9:01 p.m., when the Sun is12 to 18 degrees below the horizon, for Mars between the constellation Taurus’ brightest star, Aldebaran, and the Pleiades star cluster. Aldebaran is a red giant star that is the fourteenth brightest in our sky, and about 65 light-years from our Sun. Jupiter… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 1st and 2nd 2019

This is the Skywatch Line for Monday and Tuesday, April 1st and 2nd. The Sun sets at 7:21 PM; night falls at 8:59. Dawn begins at 4:58 AM and ends with the Sun rising at 6:36. Mars continues as the only easily visible planet in our evening sky. In Taurus, the Red Planet is about 94% illuminated, shines with first magnitude and appears as a 4 arc-second red dot. At Civil Dusk, it is 39º high and sets at 11:38 PM. Uranus, in Aries, lies 30º to Mars’ lower right, about 12º above the western horizon. It shines with 6th… Continue reading

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Skywatch Line for Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31, 2019

This is Dudley Observatory’s Skywatch Line for Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31, written by Sam Salem. On Friday, the Sun rises at 6:44am and sets at 7:18pm; the waning crescent Moon rises at 3:27am and sets at 12:54pm. On Friday morning, the Moon lies roughly three degrees to the lower left of Saturn, as the pair rise together shortly before 3:30am. In late March and early April, the waning crescent Moon will be sweeping past Venus. The pair will be gracing the eastern sky, an hour or so before sunrise. Even after all the stars have disappeared in… Continue reading

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