Big Full Moon

Extreme tides are taking place this week, the most tonight and this weekend. The reason is astronomical. The moon is both full and close, closer than at any time since 1993.

Saturn and Moon

For those up really late tonight there is an astronomical event worth noting. Tonight’s last quarter moon appears close to the ringed-planet Saturn. Both are in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. Saturn is the brightest “star” in the area and has a yellowish tint. Find the moon and the solar system’s second largest planet is nearby.

Last Nights of 2008

The nights ahead this weekend are moonless. New Moon is tomorrow. The moon appears only briefly on Sunday night, when it is right under the bright planet Jupiter and Mercury. All three are close to the horizon and tough to see.

Moon and Venus

A thin crescent moon appears low in the southeastern sky tomorrow morning, just before sunrise. The moon appears underneath the brilliant planet Venus. Both are in the zodiacal constellation Scorpius. Venus and the moon are 10 degrees apart, and are the two brightest celestial objects in the sky, easy to find, and a pleasant and memorable sight.

The Crescent Moon

Tonight’s crescent moon appears low in the western sky after sunset in the zodiacal constellation Aquarius. The moon reaches first quarter phase on Tuesday and is in the zodiacal constellation Pisces.

Venus and Jupiter

Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets in our night sky, are getting closer together. Venus for many weeks has been alone low in the eastern sky before sunrise. It is an impressive “morning star” and easy to find. Already, another planet has arrived on the scene.

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.

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.

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.

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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