The moon dominates our night skies this weekend and well into the coming week. The moon will be most noticeable on Sunday night when it appears close to the bright planet Jupiter. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Taurus.
There is a bright orange star nearby called Aldebaran. Aldebaran is the main star in Taurus.
The range of distance between us and these three objects is quite dramatic. The moon is about a quarter million miles away. Jupiter is 418 million miles away. Aldebaran is 65 light years away.
It takes light 65 years to reach us from Aldebaran. It takes 37 minutes for light to reach us from Jupiter. It takes less than two seconds for light to reach us from the moon. It takes about eight minutes for light to reach us from the Sun.
The size of the moon is but a tiny fraction of the size of Jupiter. Even the Earth is but a fraction of the size of Jupiter. Jupiter is so large you can fit over a 1,000 Earths into the planet, with room for at least another 200.
Aldebaran is huge. Aldebaran is thousands of times bigger than our own Sun. Were Aldebaran to replace our Sun, its size would exceed the size of Mercury’s orbit. Our Earth would be overwhelmed by the heat of the star.
The ringed planet Saturn rises after midnight and resides near the zodiacal constellation Libra.
|Fri., Feb. 15||6:37||5:14|
|Sat., Feb. 16||6:36||5:15|
|Sun., Feb. 17||6:34||5:17|
|Mon., Feb. 18||6:33||5:18|
|Tues., Feb. 19||6:32||5:19|
|Wed., Feb. 20||6:30||5:20|
|Thurs., Feb. 21||6:29||5:22|
|Fri., Feb. 22||6:27||5:23|
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Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 39º F.