On Monday night the gibbous moon appears near the bright planet Jupiter. They are in the zodiacal constellation Gemini. You'll see the two high in the eastern sky after sunset.
Above Gemini is the constellation Auriga, with the bright star Capella which comes pretty close to the zenith. Below the constellation Gemini there is the winter favorite, the constellation Orion.
Orion is one of the easiest constellations to find. The stars depict a great mythological hunter with broad shoulders. Three stars in the center of the constellation portray the hunter’s belt. Just below the belt is a small faint assembly of both stars and nebula and it portrays the hunter’s sword.
If you have binoculars handy, look at the sword. The nebula is a star factory where young stars form and join many others.
To the east of Orion and closer to the horizon there is Sirius, the brightest star in our southeastern sky. Sirius has a blueish tint. In the days of sextants and celestial navigation, Sirius was a favorite for mariners navigating across the oceans of the world.
The three stars that make up the belt in Orion point to Sirius.
Mars has brightened considerably in just a few months. The red planet rises in east before midnight. Mars is near the bright white star Spica in the zodiacal constellation Virgo.
Mars is red but not as red as a stop light, or the rear lights of a car. But appearing near Spica, Mars does show off its ruby red color.
Mars is getting bigger and brighter this month because it is rapidly getting closer. The planet will be closest to the earth in April. Right now Mars is 98 million miles away. By the end of this month, Mars will be 75 million miles away.
|Fri., Feb. 7||6:47||5:04|
|Sat., Feb. 8||6:46||5:05|
|Sun., Feb. 9||6:45||5:07|
|Mon., Feb. 10||6:44||5:08|
|Tues., Feb. 11||6:41||5:10|
|Wed., Feb. 12||6:40||5:12|
|Thurs., Feb. 13||6:38||5:13|
|Fri., Feb. 14||6:37||5:14|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 37º F.
Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 37º F