The best autumn starry nights are ahead; especially in the coming week when the moon is mostly out of the picture.
This is the time of year to get outside and gaze skyward, when we have the clarity of a winter sky and the comfort of autumn. It is not too cold yet. The Island has yet to experience tiger frost, the bitter cold night when nearly all the deciduous trees and many seasonal plants take a frosty hit.
The Milky Way, that stretch of clouds made up of billions of distant stars, is almost overhead. Pegasus, the Great Square, is at our zenith before 10 p.m.
The bright planet Jupiter joins the program, appearing above the eastern horizon at 10 p.m. or later.
The moon will not interfere this weekend. It will show up in our western sky mid-week.
A thin crescent moon appears low in the eastern sky tomorrow morning, well before sunrise. The moon appears under the brilliant planet Venus. The two are a handsome pair. Below the two, there is the bright star Spica, the main star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo.
It is hard to imagine that Spica is one of the brightest stars in our sky, when close and compared to the brilliance of these two celestial objects. The three form a pleasant triangle.
On Sunday morning, the moon will be harder to spot, closer to the horizon. If you have enough visibility on Sunday morning to see the moon, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
The planet Saturn, just coming out of the glare of the sun, is visible briefly, nearby and to the left of the moon. Saturn will only be visible for a short time, at dawn before sunrise.
|Fri., Nov. 9||6:23||4:27|
|Sat., Nov. 10||6:24||4:26|
|Sun., Nov. 11||6:25||4:25|
|Mon., Nov. 12||6:26||4:24|
|Tues., Nov. 13||6:27||4:23|
|Wed., Nov. 14||6:29||4:22|
|Thurs., Nov. 15||6:30||4:21|
|Fri., Nov. 16||6:31||4:20|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 52º F.