Jupiter and Saturn

The planets Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction. They are so close it is hard to notice that there are two planets side by side. The best alignment in centuries will take place Monday night, coincidentally the first day of winter, when the two planets appear less than a degree apart. You’ll need binoculars to convince yourself that there are really two planets.

Look for Jupiter low in the southwestern sky within an hour after sunset. Jupiter is the brightest object in the sky. Saturn is considerably fainter.
The most remarkable part of this alignment is the distance of all these objects. Jupiter is 548 million miles away and Saturn is a billion miles from us. Yet, these two giants, the largest planets in the solar system, appear as though they are in a conversation.

Don’t despair if the weather doesn’t cooperate. We’ll be watching these planets for many nights into the New Year.

It will get harder, as the two appear closer and closer to the west, thus setting soon after twilight. 

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., Dec. 18 7:03 4:12
Sat., Dec. 19 7:04 4:13
Sun., Dec. 20 7:04 4:13
Mon., Dec. 21 7:05 4:14
Tues., Dec. 22 7:05 4:14
Wed., Dec. 23 7:06 4:15
Thurs., Dec. 24 7:06 4:15
Fri., Dec. 25 7:06 4:16

Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
Dec. 11 47 26 0.00
Dec. 12 55 35 T
Dec. 13 55 48 0.22
Dec. 14 59 38 0.00
Dec. 15 40 32 0.30
Dec. 16 38 23 0.00
Dec. 17 41 27 *1.01

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 41º F

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