The crescent moon hugs close to the southwestern sky tonight. The moon is in the zodiacal constellation Leo and will be entering into the zodiacal constellation Virgo tomorrow night.
On Monday, the moon is first quarter and appears near Spica, the brightest star in Virgo. On Tuesday night, the moon approaches the bright planet Saturn.
The ringed planet Saturn is in an ideal place for viewing. In July, the planet is high in the southwestern sky. Saturn is one of the brightest objects in our evening sky and not far from the brilliant star Spica. The planet remains visible in the west until around midnight when it sets. Saturn is a pretty view in just about any telescope. Even a scope used for birding will render a fairly distinct view of the elongated rings.
A pair of binoculars won’t show much but you’ll know it isn’t like any star. Stars are pinpoints of light. Planets are different. There is something bigger than a pinpoint of light.
Saturn is tipped. So looking through a small telescope Saturn looks like an elongated oval. With closer inspection, Saturn is nicely placed for a view of the rings and the planet’s disk.
The brightest planet in the sky is still hard to spot. Venus is visible low in the western sky right after sunset. It isn’t there long, before it sets. Venus is best visible to those with a clear unobstructed view of the western sky.
|Fri., July 12||5:17||8:16|
|Sat., July 13||5:18||8:15|
|Sun., July 14||5:19||8:15|
|Mon., July 15||5:19||8:14|
|Tues., July 16||5:20||8:14|
|Wed., July 17||5:21||8:13|
|Thurs., July 18||5:22||8:12|
|Fri., July 19||5:23||8:11|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 77º F.