• Mark Alan Lovewell

Venus, Mercury and Crescent Moon

For those looking in the western sky tonight, two planets are side by side. The brilliant planet Venus is low. Take a more careful look and right next to Venus is the fainter planet Mercury. The two are less than two degrees apart.

Mercury is usually one of the hardest visible planets to spot in the sky because it is always so close to the glare of the sun after sunset or prior to sunrise. Tonight, and for that matter this weekend, Mercury is far easier to find with some help. Use the brighter Venus to find it.
The two are in the zodiacal constellation Taurus.

On Sunday night, the show is improved. A thin low crescent moon, one day from the New Moon phase, appears near the two and they form a triangle. Note that Venus and Mercury have separated, they are parting.

There is still a show on Monday night, when the moon is higher in the western sky. The best views are for those who have an unobstructed view of the southwestern sky after sunset. Visit places like Gay Head overlook, Menemsha Beach, the North Shore, and of course any place you know that gives you an open view. The three celestial objects are low in the sky after sunset.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., May 22 5:16 8:00
Sat., May 23 5:15 8:01
Sun., May 24 5:14 8:02
Mon., May 25 5:13 8:03
Tues., May 26 5:13 8:04
Wed., May 27 5:12 8:05
Thurs., May 28 5:11 8:06
Fri., May 29 5:11 8:06

Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
May 15 64 50 0.14
May 16 72 52 0.22
May 17 70 44 0.00
May 18 59 48 0.00
May 19 63 50 0.00
May 20 59 47 0.00
May 21 59 35 0.00

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 64º F

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