Fri., August 29 5:32 8:02
Sat., August 30 5:33 8:01
Sun., August 31 5:34 8:00
Mon., Sept. 1 5:35 7:59
Tues., Sept. 2 5:36 7:58
Wed., Sept. 3 5:37 7:57
Thurs., Sept. 4 5:38 7:56
Fri., Sept. 5 5:39 7:55
Monday night, Labor Day, offers an opportune time to see three planets and the moon huddled close together in the west southwestern sky right after sunset. Binoculars will help.
A thin crescent moon appears under the planets Mars, Venus and Mercury. The easiest planet to spot is Venus, the brightest of the three. Mercury appears in the middle between the thin crescent moon and Venus.
The red planet Mars appears above the moon and to the left of Venus.
The lineup of planets lasts for the next couple of weeks, but the addition of the transient moon makes the show best.
The best viewing stand for this rare moment is anywhere on the Island with an unobstructed view of the west southwestern sky. The scene can be watched from East Chop, West Chop, Gay Head Lighthouse, Menemsha Beach, anywhere along the North Shore. Cape Pogue could be a nice spot too.
The bright planet Jupiter, hanging low in the southern sky, remains the easiest planet to spot. Jupiter hangs in the evening sky for quite a while. Jupiter is in the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius and doesn’t set until around midnight.