Mark Alan Lovewell

Venus and Saturn

For those up early enough in the morning, take a look low in the eastern sky before dawn. The brilliant planet Venus appears close to the much more distant Saturn. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Aquarius. Venus is always the easiest planet to see. Fainter, Saturn takes a bit more effort. The two will be closest on the morning of Thursday, March 21, two days after the first day of spring.

Take your time and look to the right of Venus and you'll find the red planet Mars, also in Aquarius, but slightly higher in the East, thus easier to see.

Moon and Regulus

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Jupiter and Crescent Moon

The brightest planet in our western sky is descending closer and closer towards the horizon. Throughout the winter Jupiter was high in our evening sky. It drew attention by being so brilliant and so high. That is changing with the changing seasons.

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Moon and Star Antares

On Sunday morning the last quarter moon appears nearest to Antares, the brightest star in the zodiacal constellation Scorpius. For those living in the Southeastern United States and to the west, the moon will occult, pass over the star. For us, the two are just really close. The event takes place around 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

Scorpius is a constellation we associate mostly with summer. The constellation is one of the southernmost zodiac constellations. We all have memories of standing out on a summer night and looking South and seeing these stars appear right over the ocean.

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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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