Mark Alan Lovewell

Snow Moon

Tomorrow night's full moon, the Snow Moon, will rise in the east at about the same time the sun sets in the west. The moon is in the zodiacal constellation Leo, a constellation we associate mostly with spring.This moon is a small moon. The moon will be at apogee or close to it, which means it is farthest from the Earth than most times.

The moon's orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle. Sometimes it is close, closest is perigee. Sometimes it is farthest, apogee. The moon will be in apogee on Sunday.

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Venus and Mars Conjunction

The two morning planets, Venus and Mars, are really close together.

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Crescent Moon

A thin crescent moon appears low in the southwestern sky tomorrow night,  You'll need a clear view of the southwestern sky to see it. It will be worth the look. The crescent is but a sliver, and right above the moon you'll see the planet Saturn. The two are a close pair and it will be an impressive sight.

Most of us will see the waxing moon on Sunday night when it is higher and more readily visible. The moon will appear above and farther from Saturn.

Through the coming week the moon moves through the zodiacal constellation Pisces. It gets progressively higher.

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Whale Washes Onto Shoreline At Squibnocket

The Wampanoag Tribe will receive the remaining skeleton of a dead juvenile humpback whale that washed up on Squibnocket Beach on Monday.

Matthew (Cully) Vanderhoop, natural resource director for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), said the skeleton will be put on exhibit at some future date in the tribe’s planned cultural center. He and a large team of scientists and volunteers spent much of yesterday cutting up the carcass and removing it from the beach.

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Extreme High and Low Tides

The tides in the week ahead will be more extreme, higher than usual and lower too. The reason is two astronomical events happening at the same time. The moon will be at perihelion next Thursday, which means it will be closest to us in its regular orbit around the Earth. Add to that another aspect: the moon will be in the New Moon phase the next day, which means that the moon will be in the same proximity of the sky as our sun.

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Waning Gibbous Moon

The brilliant moon will continue to dominate our evening skies through the weekend. Yesterday the moon was full and there is plenty of brilliance still up there. The moon spends the weekend moving through the zodiacal constellation Leo, a constellation we associate with spring. Tomorrow night, the waning gibbous moon appears under the bright star Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation.

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Ice Moon

The moon will dominate our weekend sky into next week. Tonight the gibbous moon appears in the zodiacal constellation Taurus and it appears way up high in the sky at least for a few night. Sunday, the moon advances into the northern and highest zodiacal constellation Gemini. It is night you might see your shadow, a moon shadow.

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Crescent Moon Passes by Saturn and Jupiter

The bright planet Saturn is slipping away from us. The planet commanded attention throughout the end of last summer and into autumn. It is now taking a backseat to the affairs of the winter sky. Saturn now slightly fainter resides low in the southwestern skies after sunset. A thin crescent moon appears above and near Saturn this Sunday night. Both are in the zodiacal constellation Aquarius, a constellation we associate more with autumn than winter.

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Two planets and the Moon

Next Monday morning, hours before sunrise there are three celestial objects forming a large triangle in the eastern sky. The waning crescent moon, appears in the zodiacal constellation Scorpius. Look to the left for the bright planet Venus. Look farther east to find the fainter planet Mercury.

The sight of all three together will be impressive. For those with keener vision take another look at the moon and right next to it you'll discover the brightest star in Scorpius and it is called Antares.

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Quadrantid Meteor Shower

There is a small and welcome display of meteors to begin the New Year. The Quadrantids meteor shower takes place in the wee hours of Thursday morning. The best time is around 3 a.m. and this shower is relatively short. The shower's radiant is under the Big Dipper rising in the Northeastern sky after midnight. While it is not a common shower, the next shower isn't for months, until April's Lyrid meteor shower. So, by default the Quadrantids has some degree of popularity among those who enjoy seeing shooting stars crossing the sky.

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