Eyes to the Sky
February 18 – March 1, 2020
Crescent moon, planets to bedazzle the dawn, dusk
The most alluring two weeks in the Moon’s cycle are about to begin. Each morning this week, one crescent moon after another – one more delicate than the one before – drops down a slanted ladder sketched by three planets in the southeast. The celestial drama of the waning moon and planets unfolds at dawn within twenty degrees of the southeast horizon.
On Wednesday, red Mars, not very bright at 1.19 magnitude, will be in view above brightest Jupiter at -1.93m, a crescent to its right. Next morning, the 20th, a fingernail crescent appears just below modest Saturn at 0.64m.
To observe Mars and Saturn, be positioned by 5:45am at a location with a clear view to the southeast horizon. The moon and Jupiter may be visible until about 6:15am.
An intermission between acts is expected at great performances. The New Moon, when the moon is dark, occurs on the 23
rd. Act II, the celestial drama of the waxing moon with the goddess planet, unfolds at the opposite time of day above the opposite horizon. The new cycle begins close above the western horizon following sunset on Monday, the 24
th when sunset is around 5:30pm. Gaze into the sunset glow soon after 6pm to find a fine crescent of light. The brilliant Evening Star, Planet Venus at -4.17m, shines 40 degrees above the horizon. Venus is increasing in brilliance and climbing higher in the sky every evening. Coincidentally, our moon appears more robust and higher in the sky each day. They meet on the 27
Opportunities to Participate
Teens and educators conduct citizen science
February 17 – 23, March 14 – 24 ongoing
April 4 & 5, 2020 Northeast Astronomy Forum http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html
April 2 & 3 Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaic.html
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