• Mark Lovewell

Valentine Moon

The first quarter moon appears on Sunday night, the night of Valentine’s Day, in the zodiacal constellation Taurus. The moon appears high in the southwestern sky after sunset. It will take three nights for the moon to move through this winter constellation.

On Monday night, the moon appears in the head of Taurus, the bull. The moon covers over the Hyades, a star cluster that looks like the letter “V.” The Hyades is one of the most visible star clusters you can see at night. Star clusters are most often small, faint and hard to find. The Hyades is many times bigger than the apparent size of the moon. Within the star cluster there is the bright orange star Aldebaran. Not far away there is a smaller star cluster called Pleiades, also called Seven Sisters.

Two nights later, on Wednesday night, the gibbous moon appears above the large constellation Orion. On Thursday night, the moon is in the zodiacal constellation Gemini.

Jupiter

The brightest and only visible planet in the evening sky is Jupiter. Jupiter rises in the east a short time after sunset. Jupiter is one month away from opposition. It began this month 431 million miles from the Earth. It ends the month 413 million miles away. If you are thinking Jupiter is unusually brilliant, you are right. Jupiter doesn’t get much brighter than it is right now.

Morning Planets

Venus is the brightest planet in the morning sky, but its mornings are numbered. Venus is appearing each morning closer and closer to the eastern horizon. Venus will remain a morning planet up until May, but increasingly more difficult to spot so close to the horizon.

Mars and Saturn appear high in the eastern sky. The red planet Mars is a good deal higher and in the zodiacal constellation Libra. Saturn is located between Venus and Mars and resides in the southern zodiacal constellation Scorpius.
 

Sunrise and Sunset
DaySunriseSunset
Fri., Feb. 126:415:10
Sat., Feb. 136:405:12
Sun., Feb. 146:385:13
Mon., Feb. 156:375:14
Tues., Feb. 166:365:15
Wed., Feb. 176:345:17
Thurs., Feb. 186:335:18
Fri., Feb. 196:325:19

Temperatures and Precipitations
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
Feb. 554371.83
Feb. 63719*1.11
Feb. 741250.00
Feb. 84831*0.16
Feb. 93226*0.49
Feb. 103226*T
Feb. 114125*T

*melted precipitation

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 39º F

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