Mark Alan Lovewell

Fall Equinox

Autumn arrives tomorrow morning at 2:50 a.m. The evidence of a changing season has been noticeable particularly in the last few weeks. Hurricane Lee sent a plethera of cool northerly breezes our way, significantly colder than what we've had. The hours of day and the hours of night are about the same.

Look up at the night sky and the evidence is so noticeable. Arcturus, the brightest star now in the western sky was higher during summer. Above the northwestern horizon the familiar constellation Big Dipper is positioned to cook a meal. The handle points to Arcturus.

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Where are the Planets?

The only evening planet this month is the ringed planet Saturn. You can find Saturn rising in the east an hour or so after sunset. The planet is the brightest "star" in the east. Saturn is in the zodiacal constellation Capricornus. As the evening progresses, the planet will rise somewhat.

The brightest evening planet is Jupiter but it rises in the east a good deal later, after 10 p.m. Jupiter is approaching the zodiacal constellation Taurus.

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Crescent Moon and Venus

Mornings offer plenty of planet watching this month. In the wee hours of Monday morning take a look towards the eastern skyline. Well before sunrise you'll see the brilliant planet Venus and not too far away a thin crescent moon. Both are in the zodiacal constellation Cancer, a constellation we associate with more often with late winter.

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A Stellar Flavor of Autumn

If you are looking for a piece of autumn in the evening sky stay up late and go outside. The constellations of autumn are ready to display now around midnight.

The zodiacal constellation Aries appears high in the East. You'll see the gibbous moon right under the constellation late Sunday night.

Look again the following night, Monday night, and the moon appears near the bright planet Jupiter. There is no other celestial object that is as bright at that hour as Jupiter, other than of course the moon.

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Saturn is Close

The ringed planet Saturn is close to us.

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Property in West Tisbury Is Sold For $12 Million, Island Record

The most expensive sale of residential Vineyard real estate was completed on Tuesday in a law office in Boston. An old summer family sold 80 acres of north shore property that fronts Vineyard Sound in West Tisbury for $12 million.

The property, in proximity to Paul's Point, had been in the Albridge C. Smith family since 1943. The sellers were his two daughters: Margaret (Trika) Smith-Burke of Connecticut and Cary Hart of California. The property was put on the market early last winter.

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Vineyard Golf Club Course Changes Rural Landscape

The trees have been cleared, the land smoothed over; the contours of a new 18-hole golf course in Edgartown are taking shape. While it is months before grass seed takes root, the landscape already presents vistas never seen before. The Vineyard Golf Club project is well under way.

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Star Antares and the Moon

The bright waxing gibbous moon will cross over the bright star Antares on Thursday, August 24 at 10 p.m. The time to watch is well before, when you can more easily see the two together. Then watch as the moon slowly approaches the star.

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Perseid Meteor Shower

The long awaited meteor shower of the year is this weekend. The Perseid Meteor Shower, the most popular shower of the year, takes place tomorrow night into Sunday morning. Keep your eyes to the heavens this weekend and through the coming week for shooting stars, meteors passing overhead.

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Where is Venus?

The brightest planet in our western sky for most of spring and into this summer, appears to have disappeared. Venus has slipped so low in the western sky you almost can't find it. The planet used to be high in the sky, a beacon at twilight. Now it is just too close to the sun to be visible, though still possible to see.

Venus is closer than you think. Venus is about to be precisely between the Earth and the Sun, thus not visible to us.

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