Sunrise Sunset

Fri., Nov. 28 6:45 4:13

Sat ., Nov. 29 6:46 4:13

Sun., Nov. 30 6:47 4:12

Mon., Dec. 1 6:48 4:12

Tues., Dec. 2 6:49 4:11

Wed., Dec. 3 6:50 4:11

Thurs., Dec. 4 6:51 4:11

Fri. , Dec. 5 6:52 4:11

The performance by Venus and Jupiter has probably gotten your attention. The two planets are close together and setting in the west, soon after the sun. The show gets even better in the nights ahead.

For those with a clear view of the western sky, Sunday night will be better, when a thin crescent moon appears close and under the two planets.

More Vineyarders will enjoy the show on Monday night, the first day of December, when the crescent moon forms a close triangle with the two planets. Venus is the brighter of the two planets.

Monday night is a night also for photographers. The threesome is rare, almost as significant as a lunar eclipse and there is no need for a telescope or binoculars.

For those who pay attention, the movement of these three objects over the next week is worthwhile. Planets move. Though often thought of as almost stationary among the stars, change is under way in the west this coming month.

The distances between us and these planets is phenomenal. Venus is about the same distance from Earth as our Sun and getting closer, or 93 million miles away. Jupiter is a good deal farther away and getting farther away, at 539 million miles. The two planets are moving through the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius, which is known as the distant center of our Milky Way.