Mark Alan Lovewell

Geminid Meteor Shower

The biggest meteor shower of the year will take place next Wednesday night. The Geminid meteor shower will be a wonderful way to close out the year with the best display. The moon will not interfere. As long as skies remain clear late into the evening, observers can expect to spot meteors, shooting stars crossing the sky fairly frequently. While most are familiar with the August Perseid Shower for its size and familiarity, the Geminid shower is better. The challenge with this shower is the temperature outside.

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Waning Gibbous Moon

The moon will continue to dominate our evening skies over the weekend. The waning gibbous moon moves through the constellations of winter. Tonight the moon is in the zodiacal constellation Gemini. This moon is one day short of being the highest moon in its month long orbit around the Earth. Though past full moon, this one still commands attention.

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Moon and Jupiter

Tomorrow night's gibbous moon appears near the bright planet Jupiter. The two will appear low in the eastern sky soon after sunset but soon gain height as the evening progresses. The two are beneath the zodiacal constellation Aries.

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Leonid Meteor Shower Tonight

One of the favorite and small meteor showers of the season takes place in the wee hours of Ssaturday morning. Step outside after midnight tomorrow morning for a fairly nice show. Bundle up, get a hot cup of chocolate and sit in one of your summer easy beach chairs. You may see upwards of 15 meteors in an hour of viewing, though that seems optimistic.

The shower is named for the constellation Leo, where the meteors appear to originate. The constellation doesn't rise until well after midnight but you can see a meteor in the dark any time.

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Task Force Discusses Dormitory Housing

An initiative to build a $3.5 million dormitory for summer employees at the airport is at least two years away from completion. Members of a committee looking at the feasibility of a complex said there is much work to do, but support is widespread.

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Autumn and the Milky Way

You got to love the crisp, clear nights of autumn. Now that we are in the time of Standard Time, and put Daylight Savings time away, we get an early dose of evening. Trips home from work are dark.

Step outside before the dinner hour and the brightest of stars are already overhead. To those who wait a little longer, the Milky Way is an easy find.

The Milky Way extends overhead and across the sky, rising in the northeast and passing overhead, then descending down to the southwestern horizon.

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Taurid Meteor Shower

The first of two Taurid meteor showers is taking place this weekend. This meteor shower is one of the small ones we go through each year. You could see upwards of ten meteors shooting across the sky at night. The viewing is better late in the night. The meteors appear to come from the constellation Taurus, thus its name Taurids. Taurus is rising in the east after sunset. So watch the shower late in the evening when the constellation is higher. The shower is space debris caught in the orbit of Comet Encke.

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Shellfish Group Meets Biological Success, Fiscal Crisis

It is a record year for baby shellfish growing up at the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, but the 21-year-old institution is facing severe financial troubles, its worst in years.

There is another contradiction. The hatchery, highly regarded in the national aquaculture industry, the recipient of federal grants and accolades from the science community, is dealing with an image problem before Island town selectmen and financial committees. Town officials like the work but they don’t want to help it financially.

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New Shellfish Hatchery on Chappy Nurtures Island Aquaculture

Near Chappaquiddick Point lies an unassuming summer house with a big mission. Over the last summer, the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group has converted the two-bedroom home into a shellfish nursery complete with swirling pools of saltwater and millions of baby bay scallops. And although the project is not yet complete, the hatchery has already helped raise millions of tiny shellfish for distribution to the Island’s coastal ponds.

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Cultured Oyster Crop Is Set for Market; Island Fishermen Hope to Export Oysters

If you ate a raw oyster last summer on the Vineyard, chances are it came from either Canada or Long Island. But for oyster lovers, the summer ahead offers another treat: the Vineyard oyster.

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