• Mark Lovewell

Snow Moon and Quasars

The full moon, the Snow Moon, rises in the east right after sunset on Monday. The moon is near the bright star Regulus, the brightest star in the zodiacal constellation Leo. There is no brighter star in the vicinity. Regulus is more than one star and it is 79 light years away. Light coming from this nearby star took 79 years to get here.

We wouldn’t want to have Regulus as our sun. It along with its three other companions would make life on Earth impossible. The star is hot and substantially bigger than our own sun. Astronomers know it is a child when compared to the age of our sun.

The constellation Leo is a favorite for those who enjoy pointing their telescopes towards the sky. There are areas within Leo loaded with visible galaxies. Parts of the constellation are so strewn with galaxies that almost every star in view is a galaxy. Its residents include quasars, some of the most distant and mysterious visible objects in the sky. Quasars are large, as big as a galaxy with a giant black hole in the middle, but in a telescope they appear as a star. Unlike normal galaxies, the black hole within is making a lot of radio noise. Though distant they are releasing enormous amounts of energy. One quasar is thought to produce 100 times more energy than all that is within our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Sunrise and Sunset
Fri., Feb. 196:325:19
Sat., Feb. 206:305:20
Sun., Feb. 216:295:22
Mon., Feb. 226:275:23
Tues., Feb. 236:265:24
Wed., Feb. 246:245:25
Thurs., Feb. 256:235:26
Fri., Feb. 266:215:28

Temperatures and Precipitation
DayMax (Fº)Min (Fº)Inches
Feb. 1232110.00
Feb. 132518*0.09
Feb. 1428-60.00
Feb. 1522-10.00
Feb. 1650220.22
Feb. 1752320.97
Feb. 1847310.00

*melted precipitation


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 37º F


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