Comets

Look! Up in the Sky; It's Comet NEOWISE

Comet NEOWISE was visible over Vineyard skies on Wednesday night after weeks of waiting.

Comet Lovejoy

There is a comet in our evening sky you may be able to see this month. Comet Lovejoy has resided in the Southern skies, and has been watched with interest in the lower latitudes since it was discovered last August by Terry Lovejoy, for which it is named.

Vineyard stargazers haven’t had an easy comet to spot in the sky for quite a few years. There have been some forecasted comets but they were a visual disappointment.

Comet Ison

There is a slight chance some viewers may see Comet Ison in the early morning sky the next couple of mornings. Astronomers have been watching this comet for close to a year but for the most part it has been a visual disappointment.

Moon and Saturn

The brilliant gibbous moon will not be alone tonight when it rises more than an hour after sunset. It appears near the bright planet Saturn. The two celestial objects are in the zodiacal constellation Libra. The moon is two days past full moon and will look brilliant rising in the eastern sky.

Comet Pan-STARRS

A faint comet will appear low in the western sky tonight after sunset but it will be tough to see. Forecasters predict that Comet Pan-STARRS will be harder to find than originally anticipated.

Comet Watching

A barely-visible comet is now appearing low in the western sky shortly after sunset. Comet watchers hope it will grow brighter and easier to see in the nights ahead.

The Comet Pan-STARRS has caught the attention of professional and amateur astronomers around the world since it was first recorded by an automated telescope (the Pan-STARRS  telescope) in June of 2011. Astronomers have been watching it through their telescopes for months as it moves into our solar system. Now it is time for sky watchers in the northern hemisphere to see it, hopefully without scopes.

Cold, Clear Nights Perfect for Stargazing

When the weather is fair and the sky clear, the Vineyard can feel like the top of the world. This is especially true in January. Typical winter conditions, such as steady air, bright stars and a transparent atmosphere, make for optimal stargazing conditions, on par with the best stargazing locations on Earth, including mountaintops. The most familiar constellations are also within view, high in the sky, at this time.
lulin

Clear Skies Reveal a Hazy Visitor from Outer Space

A new visitor to our solar system is high in Vineyard skies this week. Comet Lulin, despite being barely visible to those with even the keenest vision, has gained attention around the world.

Twelve years ago, Comet Hale-Bopp was the last newly discovered comet that anyone could see overhead. That comet was considerably brighter and easier to spot than our new visitor. In photographs, Comet Lulin has a distinct greenish color, while Hale-Bopp shone both white and blue.