A thin crescent moon hugs close to the western sky beginning in the new week. Today the moon is in the New Moon phase, and out of sight tonight. You may be able to see the thin crescent moon low in the southwestern sky tomorrow night.
More Vineyarders will see the moon Sunday night when it is higher in the west. Even more will see the moon on Monday night, when it is in close proximity to the red planet Mars. Both are in Aquarius.
The largest planet in our solar system is easy to see in our night sky, high in the east after sunset. There is no mistaking what you are seeing. With a sky full of bright winter stars, Jupiter sticks out.
Jupiter is in the zodiacal constellation Taurus and is always changing. Through a telescope, over a span of several hours, one can watch the movement of the belts. Jupiter spins quickly so there is plenty of opportunity to see change. The planet makes one revolution in about ten hours. In the span of five hours, one can see both sides of the spinning planet.
Astronomers report the planet’s distance from us this month is a relatively close 390 million miles. It takes 35 minutes for light from Jupiter to reach us.
The planet’s four brightest moons change position relatively quickly. One can look at Jupiter through a telescope and see the moons change position in just two nights of watching.
|Fri., Jan. 11||7:07||4:31|
|Sat., Jan. 12||7:07||4:32|
|Sun., Jan. 13||7:07||4:33|
|Mon., Jan. 14||7:06||4:34|
|Tues., Jan. 15||7:06||4:35|
|Wed., Jan. 16||7:06||4:37|
|Thurs., Jan. 17||7:05||4:38|
|Fri., Jan. 18||7:05||4:39|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 45º F.