Planet Watch
A thin crescent moon appears low in the southeastern sky tomorrow morning, in the zodiacal constellation Leo. For early risers, the moon appears just east of the red planet Mars. It is also near the bright star Regulus to the east. The new moon phase begins in five days.
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Pumpkin Moon
Last month was the harvest moon, and now another full moon comes on Tuesday. If the weather cooperates, the moon will rise in the east at sunset looking like this season’s favorite jack-o’-lantern. The moon appears in the zodiacal constellation Pisces, not far from the brilliant planet Jupiter, also rising in the east.
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Moonlight Fishing
Striped bass fishermen who fish at night know what lure and what bait to use and the exact time of slack tide in their favorite spot. But there is a clear disagreement over the moon’s influence on fishing. Striped bass have acute night vision and can see all the small fish as they swim through the moonlit sea.
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Storm Season
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday. For those who enjoy stargazing, that means an extra hour for favorite evening activities. Standard time arrives at 2 a.m. Sunday.
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Venus Rising
The brightest planet in the night sky hovers low in the west just after sunset. Venus is not an easy planet to see unless you have a clear view of the western sky. Standing along the north shore, from West Chop to the Gay Head Cliffs offers the clearest view. There it hovers for a short time in the twilight, outshining all others.
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Saturn Returns
After spending some time amid the glow of twilight in the evening during late summer and early fall and then shifting to dawn, Saturn is our morning planet. The ringed-planet rises in the southeastern sky well before the sun. On Tuesday morning, you’ll have no trouble finding Saturn. A thin crescent moon appears nearby.
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Celestial Pairings
For those with a clear view of the western sky, there is a pretty picture tomorrow night after sunset. A thin crescent moon appears next to the bright planet Venus. The two are together just above the horizon for one night only. Look a half hour after sunset, and as the sky darkens, the two celestial objects will begin to shine.
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Planets
The ringed planet, Saturn, is easy to spot rising in the eastern sky after sunset tonight, near the gibbous moon. The planet resides in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. Saturn has resided in the constellation for almost two years. Saturn is not far from the bright blueish star Spica, the brightest star in Virgo.
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Bright Morning Planets
The morning sky is loaded with planets. For those who rise well before the sun, say 4 a.m., there is a show of planets hovering in the southeastern sky. Venus, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter are in a tight nest with the thin crescent moon. The time to look is about a half-hour before sunrise, although you will need a cloudless eastern horizon to see them all.
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Star Showers
There is a good chance to see a shooting star if you are up and outside tonight, and even more likely if you are outside in the early hours of tomorrow morning. The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaked yesterday morning but still offers a show. At its peak the Eta Aquarid meteor shower produces as many as 20 meteors in an hour.
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