• Tim Johnson

Starry Spring Nights

The nights ahead are moonless, making deep sky stargazing easy and full of wonder. So much has changed in the last month. The zodiacal constellation Leo is now up overhead a short time after sunset. The star Regulus is the constellation's brightest star. Looking to the east of Leo there is the spring zodiacal constellation Virgo with its main star Spica close to the horizon.

Up until a few years ago, these two constellations were known for the viewable presence of billions of galaxies. Even with an amateur telescope one could look almost anywhere in the constellation and find fuzzy faint stars that were in reality distant galaxies. Today with the James Webb telescope scooping up headlines with all its discoveries. Astronomers are pointing that telescope and discovering galaxies everywhere.

For us, the visual amateur astronomers Leo and Virgo remain a galaxy hunter's favorite.

The Big Dipper, a favorite constellation, is now so easy to spot high in the northeastern sky. You wait long enough and the constellation is north of almost overhead. That constellation possesses quite a number of distant galaxies.


The brightest planet in our night sky is Venus and it appears high in the western sky after sunset. We've watched it in the last few weeks and are amazed at its brilliance. Venus is 102 million miles away, slightly farther from us than the Sun.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., April 14 6:03 7:20
Sat., April 15 6:02 7:21
Sun., April 16 6:00 7:22
Mon., April 17 5:59 7:24
Tues., April 18 5:57 7:25
Wed., April 19 5:56 7:26
Thurs., April 20 5:54 7:27
Fri., April 21 5:53 7:28
Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
April 7 52 47 0.08
April 8 57 35 0.00
April 9 47 30 0.00
April 10 50 32 0.00
April 11 65 41 0.00
April 12 64 50 0.00
April 13 75 45 0.00


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 53º F

Comments (2)

Venessa, Edgartown and NYC
I am very grateful that this column is written. I love reading it and searching the skies with the information provided. Also, the water temperature in EDG Harbor is very helpful for swimmers! THANK YOU!
April 18, 2023 - 10:41am
Rita, Edgartown
Is there an astronomy club here? I enjoy these posts
May 16, 2023 - 6:09pm


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