• Jeanna Shepard

Venus and Spica

The brightest planet in the western sky, Venus has a companion this weekend. Venus is near the star Spica, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. Spica is the principal star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. The two are fairly low in the southwestern sky after sunset.

On Sunday night, the two celestial objects will be closest; so close they will appear to be able to talk to each other. Astronomers predict the two will be less than two degrees apart. If you had a telescope, the two would appear in the same field of view. Venus is now in the gibbous phase.

As close as they look, their distance from each other and from us is staggering. Venus is about the same distance from us as the sun, at 93 million miles. Spica is 261 light years away. It is four times the diameter of our sun and it hosts a companion star.

Enjoy these two celestial objects in the week ahead, as Venus moves away from the bright star in the following nights.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., Sept. 3 6:09 7:12
Sat., Sept. 4 6:10 7:10
Sun., Sept. 5 6:11 7:08
Mon., Sept. 6 6:12 7:07
Tues., Sept. 7 6:13 7:05
Wed., Sept. 8 6:14 7:03
Thurs., Sept. 9 6:15 7:02
Fri., Sept. 10 6:16 7:00

Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
August 27 87 71 T
August 28 91 69 0.21
August 29 76 62 0.19
August 30 75 62 0.02
August 31 83 71 0.29
Sept. 1 85 65 0.00
Sept. 2 75 61 1.91

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 74º F

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