• Tim Johnson

Mercury, Venus and Pleiades

The early evening show continues to get better in the coming week. The planet Mercury appears near the star cluster Pleiades. You know the star cluster when it is high in the evening sky in winter. The large star cluster, also called Seven Sisters, looks like a tiny little dipper.

The Pleiades are now low in the southwestern sky after sunset. For this month, Mercury is high enough in the west to be readily visible. With binoculars you can pick out the Pleiades more easily, because the western sky is so bright after sunset.

You need a clear unobstructed view of the western sky after sunset. Trees or even clouds along the horizon can impair your view.
Mercury is right there above where the sun set earlier. Mercury will be farthest from the sun, highest in the west, on May 17, easier to see now than we can recall. Take another look at Mercury and below it is the brighter planet Venus.

The show continues well into the month, when Venus and Mercury appear side by side late in the month, on May 28.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., May 7 5:31 7:45
Sat., May 8 5:30 7:46
Sun., May 9 5:28 7:47
Mon., May 10 5:27 7:48
Tues., May 11 5:26 7:49
Wed., May 12 5:25 7:50
Thurs., May 13 5:24 7:51
Fri., May 14 5:23 7:53

Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
April 30 57 50 0.48
May 1 66 41 0.03
May 2 63 43 0.00
May 3 63 49 0.00
May 4 65 50 0.46
May 5 53 47 0.09
May 6 56 48 0.09

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 55º F

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