This week a thin crescent moon will appear low in our southwestern sky. Those who have a clear unencumbered view of the horizon may see it Monday night, amid the twilight. The best viewings will be from Menemsha Beach and from West Chop, where the moon is above the Elizabeth Islands.
Tuesday evening, when the moon moves higher into the western sky, it will be more visible.
The week begins with the moon moving through the zodiacal constellation Pisces and ends in the zodiacal constellation Taurus.
In the weeks ahead, Jupiter will appear overhead early in the evening. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is 423 million miles away. It takes about 38 minutes for light from the distant planet to reach us. Venus, the brightest planet, hangs low in the southeastern sky at dawn. Venus is 47,523,000 miles away.
Mars continues to brighten at a dramatic rate. It rises in the southeastern sky before midnight. Mars glows like a sapphire near Spica, the principal star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. It is easy to watch Mars brighten. Watching Mars move through the stars will be easier now because Spica is so close. During the first few weeks of March, watch as Mars moves west past Spica. Mars is in opposition on April 8, closer to Earth than it has been in two years. Being closer also means being brighter.
Saturn, the ringed planet, rises daily at 3 a.m. There is no mistaking this distant planet as there are few stars that come close to being so bright. Saturn resides in one of the southern most zodiacal constellations, Libra.
|Fri., Feb. 28||6:18||5:31|
|Sat., March 1||6:17||5:31|
|Sun., March 2||6:15||5:32|
|Mon., March 3||6:13||5:34|
|Tues., March 4||6:12||5:35|
|Wed., March 5||6:10||5:36|
|Thurs., March 6||6:09||5:37|
|Fri., March 7||6:07||5:38|
|Day||Max (Fº)||Min (Fº)||Inches|