This weekend offers an early morning show. Three planets and a star line up in the eastern sky before sunrise. Venus is the brightest of the three and works as an easy guide to find the other two. Above and to the right of Venus is the ringed planet Saturn. To the left and below Venus there is the always-hard-to-find planet Mercury.
The bright star Spica, the main star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo, can be seen above all three and to the right.
December offers another interesting planetary lineup. On Christmas night, Tuesday, Dec. 25, the gibbous moon will appear right next to the planet Jupiter. The two are very close and will appear in the eastern sky as the sun sets in the west. The coincidence with the important holiday is a reminder of that wonderful Christmas story that has been retold over and over again, about a special star in the sky.
The planetary lineup offers visual candy at night. While it is fairly easy to pick out a planet or the moon amid the stellar canopy overhead, when celestial objects appear together for fleeting moments, it is time to take note. They involve millions of miles of open space and serve as a reminder that Earth and its moon moves in a community of other planets.
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 47º F.