Tonight’s gibbous moon appears high in the eastern sky after sunset. The moon is moving through the zodiacal constellation Taurus, the bull. The moon is near the star cluster Pleiades, also called seven sisters. The Pleiades is one of the most familiar star clusters you can observe in the winter, readily visible without binoculars.
On Saturday night, the moon advances closer to the head of the bull in Taurus. The head has the shape of a large “V” and like the Pleiades, it too is a star cluster and called the Hyades.
There is a bright orange star in the Hyades that gets a lot of attention. It is called Aldebaran but it has absolutely nothing to do with the large star cluster. Aldebaran just happens to be in our line of sight. Aldebaran is really about half way between us and the star cluster. Astronomers estimate that Aldebaran is 65 light years away and the Hyades star cluster 150 light years away. The Pleiades star cluster is 440 light years away.
The moon moves into the zodiacal constellation Gemini at the end of the weekend.
The bright planet Jupiter becomes a friend to the much brighter moon on Tuesday night. The two appear close together high in the eastern sky and it should be a memorable sight.
The moon is full on Wednesday night and we call this the Ice Moon. The moon is in the zodiacal constellation Cancer.
|Fri., Jan. 10||7:08||4:30|
|Sat., Jan. 11||7:07||4:31|
|Sun., Jan. 12||7:07||4:32|
|Mon., Jan. 13||7:07||4:33|
|Tues., Jan. 14||7:06||4:34|
|Wed., Jan. 15||7:06||4:35|
|Thurs., Jan. 16||7:06||4:37|
|Fri., Jan. 17||7:05||4:38|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 35º F.