Sunrise Sunset

Fri., Nov. 21 6:37 4:17

Sat., Nov. 22 6:38 4:16

Sun., Nov. 23 6:39 4:15

Mon., Nov. 24 6:41 4:15

Tues., Nov. 25 6:42 4:14

Wed., Nov. 26 6:43 4:14

Thurs., Nov. 27 6:44 4:13

Fri., Nov. 28 6:45 4:13

The week ahead offers perfect moonless nights. There is a New Moon on Thanksgiving, so for the coming week the moon resides only in the early morning sky.

Tonight there is plenty of time to look without the interference. The moon rises shortly before 2 a.m.

Our starry night skies tell the season. The zodiacal constellation Taurus rises in the east, in winter it is overhead.

The Pleiades, one of the largest and easiest to spot star clusters, resides in Taurus. The star cluster looks like a tiny Big Dipper. There is an even larger star cluster nearby, the Hyades, but few people ever think of those stars, the head of the bull, as a huge star cluster. The Hyades star cluster is 130 light years away, while the Pleiades are 435 light years away. There is nothing close about seeing star clusters in the night winter sky.

For those who stay up late, the constellation Orion, the hunter, is the most popular of winter constellations. It is loaded with star clusters and nebulae. One of them, the Orion Nebula which is made up of both nebulae and a star cluster is over 1,300 light years away.

Jupiter and Venus

Two planets are setting in our west at night and are easy to spot. Venus is closing in on the distant Jupiter. By the end of the week they’ll be real close, two degrees apart.