Sunrise Sunset

Fri., March 13 6:57 6:45

Sat., March 14 6:55 6:46

Sun., March 15 6:54 6:47

Mon., March 16 6:52 6:48

Tues., March 17 6:50 6:50

Wed., March 18 6:49 6:51

Thurs., March 19 6:47 6:52

Fri., March 20 6:45 6:53

Venus, the brightest planet in our evening sky, is getting a bit more difficult to spot, appearing lower in the western sky than a week ago. The planet is sinking. By April, Venus shifts from an evening planet to a morning planet.

Its changing position is not only interesting to observe casually from any hill on the Vineyard, it is even more interesting visually through a telescope. Venus is in the crescent phase and the crescent phase is viewable with as little as a pair of binoculars. A telescope offers a far better experience.

Venus is so large, appearing bigger than any other planet in our sky and that is because it is close. No other planet gets as close as Venus. Astronomers estimate Venus this week is only 29.6 million miles away. When the planet shifts to the morning sky, Venus will be 26.3 million miles away.

Saturn which isn’t as bright and is high in the eastern sky, after sunset, is considerably farther away. The ringed planet is 781 million miles away.

Last Week of Winter

Next week is the last week of winter and the stars are already speaking spring. The constellations of winter are now in the western sky, amid the glow of twilight. Orion, the hunter, together with Taurus, the bull, are constellations hovering over the southwestern sky after sunset.

Rising high in the east is the zodiacal constellation Leo and behind there is the constellation Bootes, the shepherd.