• Tim Johnson

Fourth of July Night

The night of the fireworks, July 4, offers a show far and beyond. For those looking up, take a close look at Venus setting in the west. You may have to look carefully to see the bright red planet Mars near Venus. The two are only a few degrees apart. With Venus being so brilliant it is easy to miss the second closest planet to us. Mars is about as far from the Earth as it gets and still be visible. Mars is over 200 million miles away. It is no wonder the planet is so dim. Compare it to the much closer Venus. Venus is 37 million miles away.

Enjoy the moment, as Mars will appear to set earlier in the weeks ahead. Venus will be short-lived in our evening sky too. Venus is about to drop from the sky and appear in our morning skies for the rest of the year.

On the night of the fireworks, the one-day old full moon will rise in the southeast at about 10 p.m., probably well after the fireworks. Take note of the size of the moon, it is bigger than usual. On this night the moon will be in perigee or 223,788 miles away, closer to the earth than at any time this month. If it doesn't look that big, don't be disappointed. The difference between a moon in perigee and a moon far away, in apogee 252,455 miles, isn't all that much noticeable. The difference is only 28,667 miles. See if you can tell the difference.

Look overhead and you'll see summer's brightest star Vega in the small constellation Lyra. Vega is near our zenith in the early hours of the night.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., June 30 5:10 8:19
Sat., July 1 5:10 8:19
Sun., July 2 5:11 8:19
Mon., July 3 5:11 8:19
Tues., July 4 5:12 8:19
Wed., July 5 5:12 8:19
Thurs., July 6 5:13 8:18
Fri., July 7 5:14 8:18
Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
June 23 68 60 0.09
June 24 73 63 0.33
June 25 79 65 0.05
June 26 78 66 T
June 27 80 66 2.43
June 28 72 65 0.29
June 29 77 64 0.19


Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 72º F


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