• Tim Johnson

Mars and Beehive Cluster

The red planet Mars moves through the Beehive Cluster in the nights ahead. If you can find Mars, with a pair of binoculars you can also find the Beehive Cluster.

Mars is in the southwestern sky soon after sunset. The planet has a dull saphire color unlike any star in the west. It is easy to find Venus, the brightest object in the western sky, and Mars is not far away to the south and east. Mars is in the constellation Cancer, one of the smallest constellations in the zodiac. The most impressive feature to the constellation is the large star cluster known as the Beehive. Calling it a beehive makes sense, for it is comprised of hundreds of stars hovering around a central dense pack of stars, just like bees around a beehive.

You'll need binoculars to see it. The time to look is when the sky has darkened enough. All the stars are fairly faint. Under binoculars you get the picture. If the moon was superimposed over the Beehive Cluster, the cluster is much bigger. The cluster is made up of a thousand stars and you'll be lucky if you see a fraction of them.

Look at Mars through the weekend and into the coming week. The best night is next Friday, but don't wait.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., May 26 5:13 8:04
Sat., May 27 5:12 8:05
Sun., May 28 5:11 8:06
Mon., May 29 5:11 8:06
Tues., May 30 5:10 8:07
Wed., May 31 5:10 8:08
Thurs., June 1 5:09 8:09
Fri., June 2 5:09 8:10
Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
May 19 58 45 0.00
May 20 63 53 0.00
May 21 63 58 1.15
May 22 70 52 T
May 23 64 44 0.00
May 24 62 42 0.00
May 25 62 51 0.00


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 60º F


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