• Mark Lovewell

In Vineyard Skies: Moon and Red Red Mars

The crescent moon will appear close to the red planet Mars in the wee hours of Monday morning. The two are in the zodiacal constellation, Virgo. The bright star Spica is nearby. Mars is easy to spot with its reddish tint.

Mars will be fun to watch in the months ahead as it brightens and becomes one of the brilliant planets of the new year. Mars will dominate the night sky during the Memorial Day weekend. The planet is closest to the Earth on the last day of May. In the nights ahead, the planet will continue to gradually brighten between now and opposition.

If you are out early on Monday morning, well before sunrise, look up in the eastern sky. Mars will be right next to the moon. While Mars doesn’t look so brilliant now, wait. Mars will brighten and be a favorite planet in the summer of 2016.

Length of Daylight

If you are waiting for evidence the days are getting longer, take note. It isn’t yet noticeable. Though the winter solstice, Dec. 23, is more than a week away, there has been little change and the sunrise and sunset table for Martha’s Vineyard isn’t showing much.

Sunrises at 7:08 a.m. haven’t changed since Dec. 29. We’ve got to wait until Monday, Jan. 11 when sunset is earlier, at 7:07 a.m.

Our sunsets started getting later on December 15, when sunset was at 4:12, not 4:11 as in the preceding 13 afternoons.

Why isn’t this a little more systematic? It is our position on the Earth, our latitude. But we are winning.

Longer days are ahead. That is a promise.


Sunrise and Sunset
Fri., Jan. 17:084:21
Sat., Jan. 27:084:22
Sun., Jan. 37:084:23
Mon., Jan. 47:084:24
Tues., Jan. 57:084:25
Wed., Jan. 67:084:26
Thurs., Jan. 77:084:27
Fri., Jan. 87:084:28

Temperatures and Precipitation
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
Dec. 2462511.18
Dec. 2563510.02
Dec. 2664480.02
Dec. 2754460.15
Dec. 2857350.16
Dec. 2939310.25
Dec. 3047350.37



You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.


Subscribe or become a Friend of the Vineyard Gazette and receive our free newsletters and free and discounted tickets to Gazette events along with our award-winning news and photography.