• Maria Thibodeau

Jupiter, Venus and Crescent Moon

Saturday night an assembly of beautiful celestial objects shine low in the western sky after sunset. A thin crescent moon appears next to the planet Venus, the brightest planet in our sky. The two are a short distance away from a fainter Jupiter. The star Regulus, the principal star in the zodiacal constellation Leo, is above all three.

This is a pretty scene that changes in one night. On Sunday night, the crescent moon appears higher and farther away, to the east.

For those of us who have watched the Jupiter and Venus conjunction since June, this is one more visual piece of candy. Venus and Jupiter, were closest together on June 30. They were less than one degree apart. Now they’ve separated. These two bright objects appear above the glare of twilight.

For those who have a small powered telescope, Venus is an impressive sight, especially this month. Venus is in the crescent phase. It looks similar to the crescent moon. Both have a lit side and a dark side. Only Venus and Mercury appear from time to time in the crescent phase from the Earth. The rest of the planets in the solar system always look full.

Where is Pluto Tonight?

This is a big week for the distant dwarf planet Pluto. The New Horizon exploratory spacecraft is passing it by and taking lots of pictures, helping to put the planet back on the front page. Pluto is in the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius. If your eyes could see deep into the night sky, you’d find the planet just above the Teapot in Sagittarius, due south soon after sunset. The planet shines at 14 magnitude, so faint that you’ll need a pretty big amateur telescope to see it. The eye can barely see a sixth magnitude star or planet.


Sunrise and Sunset
Fri., July 175:218:13
Sat., July 185:228:12
Sun., July 195:238:11
Mon., July 205:248:11
Tues., July 215:248:10
Wed., July 225:258:09
Thurs., July 235:268:08
Fri., July 245:278:07

Temperatures and Precipitation
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
July 1075600.14
July 1177610.00
July 1284630.00
July 1386670.00
July 148365T
July 1577670.14
July 168565T


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 73º F


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