Moon and Planets
The moon visits with a bright red star and two of the brightest planets in our southeastern sky in the week ahead.
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Spring Full Moon
Tonight’s full moon is the first full moon of spring. The moon is right on the celestial equator.
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Early Spring
Spring arrives on Thursday at 1:48 a.m. For those who like to keep track of such events, this is an unusually early start for the season and it is due to this being a leap year. Usually spring arrives a day later on the 21st.
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Daylight Saving Time
Gardeners, farmers and fishermen receive a present on Sunday. It isn’t for their pockets, but it just as well might be. An additional hour of daylight arrives at the end of the day with Daylight Saving Time coming on Sunday.
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Morning Planets
The best show in town is in the early morning, in the week ahead. The moon, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. There is a change from day to day.
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Saturn and Mars
The ringed planet Saturn is closest to the Earth this weekend. The distant planet is in opposition and about 778 million miles away. Its position in the sky is the best part. Saturn rises in the east with the setting of the sun and remains viewable through the night. Saturn is high, almost overhead, at midnight and sets in the west at sunrise.
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Planets
While Wednesday night’s lunar eclipse will dominate the news in the coming week, observers also will have the rare opportunity throughout the week to view five planets in the evening and early morning sky.
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Moon
A thin crescent moon appears low in our southwestern sky tonight. The moon is one day old from New Moon phase and will appear thin and difficult to spot since it is so close to the horizon. More Vineyarders will see the moon on Saturday evening when it is both higher in the western sky and also lasts a little bit longer before setting.
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Venus, Jupiter and Moon
The sky tomorrow morning will be an impressive, memorable sight for anyone up early. The two brightest planets in our sky, Jupiter and Venus, appear within a degree of each other in the southeastern sky before sunrise. To the right, a crescent waning moon appears nearby. The three are in the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius.
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Jupiter and Venus
The best planetary show of the month takes place early in the morning. The two brightest planets in our night sky appear together as a close pair. Venus and Jupiter are doing a planetary dance and they can be seen close to the horizon an hour before sunrise.
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