• Timothy Johnson

Morning Planets Dance Together

The bright planet Venus appears alongside the planet Jupiter this weekend and through the coming week. And not far away, the red planet Mars is watching. To see all three in close conjunction you’ve got to get up early in the morning at least an hour before sunrise.

Venus and Jupiter appear as a close pair, almost as close as they were last summer. They are just over one degree apart. Venus is easy to spot, as it is the brightest celestial object in the morning sky, followed by Jupiter, closeby. The two dominate the eastern sky and are closest on Sunday and Monday mornings.

Mars is about three degrees apart, making all three a small celestial triangle rising in the east. The planets are in the zodiacal constellation Leo.

Venus appears at its highest in the east, appearing farthest from the rising sun on Monday morning, an event astronomers call “greatest elongation.” It also means that Venus and Jupiter rise early in the morning. You’ll see them above the horizon at 3 a.m., many hours before sunrise.

Orionid Meteor Shower

The annual Orionid Meteor Shower takes place next Wednesday night, or more precisely early Thursday morning. Meteors, also called shooting stars, will speed across the sky late at night. The Peterson Field Guide to the Stars and Planets reports that an observer might see as many as 25 meteors in an hour of viewing during the peak. We think the number is closer to half of that. The best viewing is after midnight, however you might see some earlier. One or two meteors might be seen a night or two before or after the radiant date.
 

Sunrise and Sunset
DaySunriseSunset
Fri., Oct. 166:545:59
Sat., Oct. 176:555:57
Sun., Oct. 186:565:56
Mon., Oct. 196:575:54
Tues., Oct. 206:595:53
Wed., Oct. 217:005:51
Thurs., Oct. 227:015:50
Fri., Oct. 237:025:48

Temperatures and Precipitation
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
Oct. 966480.00
Oct. 1069500.31
Oct. 1160410.00
Oct. 1266520.00
Oct. 1370541.03
Oct. 1471540.02
Oct. 1568490.00

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 63º F

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