• Timothy Johnson

Planetary Alignment

A planetary lineup takes place right after sunset later this month. Three readily visible planets, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will hug the western horizon early in the evening each night over the Memorial Day weekend. But the elements of the lineup can be seen now, and in the nights ahead Vineyarders can watch two planets come together.

Tomorrow night, about an hour after sunset, look toward the west. A thin crescent moon appears beneath the brilliant planet Jupiter and above Venus. The three are in the zodiacal constellation Taurus.

Both Jupiter and the moon are easy to spot, high enough above the horizon to be seen relatively easily with a  clear, unobstructed view of the western sky.

Venus is harder to spot, although not for lack of brightness. Close to the horizon and only visible for a short time, it sets amid the light of dusk.

Joining the two planets later in the month is the elusive planet Mercury, one of the hardest planets to see any night, because it is always so close to the sun.

The ringed-planet Saturn is this spring’s most watched planet. Low in the southeastern sky after sunset, it remains in the sky all night. As evening progresses Saturn appears higher and higher. By midnight, Saturn is high in the southern sky. Before sunrise, it is setting in the west.

While the planet’s rings get most of all the attention, you might try looking for Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, using binoculars. Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system.


Sunrise and Sunset
Fri., May 105:277:48
Sat., May 115:267:49
Sun., May 125:257:50
Mon., May 135:247:51
Tues., May 145:237:53
Wed., May 155:227:54
Thurs., May 165:217:55
Fri., May 175:207:56

Temperatures and Precipitations
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
May 368440.00
May 455390.00
May 557390.00
May 65944


May 76046T
May 870550.00
May 972540.04

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 63º F.



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