A brilliant full moon lights the winter skies this weekend. With snow on the ground, you can step outside and look across the landscape and see that a winter full moon does shine so bright that trees do cast shadows.
Called the Ice Moon this month, the moon is in the zodiacal constellation Cancer. The constellation is one of the most nondescript and smallest constellations in the zodiac. Cancer depicts a crab and is made up of a couple of faint stars. But what is most striking about this part of the sky is a very large faint star cluster in residence. The star cluster, called Praesepe, covers more space than the full moon occupies. It also has the more contemporary nickname of Beehive star cluster.
Praesepe is far easier to see without the moon. But the moon provides a convenient book mark, a mark in the sky for future viewing. Look again, when the moon is somewhere else, and Praesepe, though faint and quite large, will capture your imagination.
The brilliant planet Jupiter is high in the evening sky. The planet resides in the constellation Taurus. Find it between two star clusters. The head of Taurus is a group of stars that resemble a large “V.” With closer inspection the head is a star cluster made up of many more stars. The Hyades are 151 light years away. The second star cluster is the Pleiades. The Pleiades is one of the brightest of star clusters visible in the night sky. The Pleiades is 440 light years away.
|Fri., Jan. 25||7:00||4:48|
|Sat., Jan. 26||6:59||4:49|
|Sun., Jan. 27||6:58||4:50|
|Mon., Jan. 28||6:57||4:51|
|Tues., Jan. 29||6:57||4:53|
|Wed., Jan. 30||6:56||4:54|
|Thurs., Jan. 31||6:55||4:55|
|Fri., Feb. 1||6:54||4:56|
|Day||Max (Fº)||Min (Fº)||Inches|
Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 35º F.