• Mark Alan Lovewell


The brightest planet in our sky, Venus, now hugs close to the western horizon at sunset. It is higher in the west after sunset. Have you seen Venus yet?

Venus is not the closest planet to us, but it certainly is the brightest. Venus is about the same size as our planet and it is covered with clouds and reflects sunlight well.

Astronomers estimate that Venus is 139 million miles away.

Smaller planets Mercury and Mars are closer. Mercury is the closest, at 65 million miles away, but it is hovering close to the rising sun and a challenge to see.

Mars is 83 million miles away and easy to find if you get up early in the morning, or stay up late at night. Mars is in the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius, the southernmost zodiacal constellation, and it rises in the east at about 2 o’clock.

Venus is easy to spot above the tree line an hour after sunset but not much later. It is in the zodiacal constellation Taurus, a constellation we associate with winter.

Both Mars and Venus are getting closer to the Earth. In the race around the sun, Venus is catching up with us. While that is happening, the Earth is catching up to Mars.

In the weeks ahead watch as these two planets brighten as they get closer.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., April 20 5:54 7:27
Sat., April 21 5:53 7:28
Sun., April 22 5:51 7:29
Mon., April 23 5:50 7:30
Tues., April 24 5:48 7:31
Wed., April 25 5:47 7:32
Thurs., April 26 5:45 7:33
Fri., April 27 5:44 7:34

Temperatures and Precipitation
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
April 13 54 45 T
April 14 60 44 0.00
April 15 56 39 0.00
April 16 46 37 0.23
April 17 56 41 0.57
April 18 52 36 0.03
April 19 50 40 0.05


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 47º F


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