Looking up at the Night Sky: The Return of Venus

Looking up at the Night Sky: The Return of Venus

~ St. Maarten’s Backyard Astronomy for September 8-10 ~

Sun rises at 5:59am

Sun sets at 12:19pm

Lunar phase: 4th quarter, waning crescent

Moon rises at 1:16pm

Moon sets at 3:02am

This weekend, we welcome the return of Venus! She takes her post in the morning sky to herald the new day. Venus was our Evening Star for the months of spring and early summer, hanging gracefully in the twilit western sky after sunset. But now she has shifted from following the sun to leading the sun, for the time being, Venus is the Morning Star!

Find Venus shining brightly in the east, low to the horizon, about 4:30am to 5:30am, that’s when the rising sun washes away the stars. In a couple of weeks, Venus will be at its brightest – and will, in fact, be bright enough to see during the day! Look about 30 degrees above the sun in the morning hours; there you will see Venus, a rare daytime star! Ok, not a true star, but still a rare sight!

Meanwhile, the early morning hours will be a good time to look for the waning crescent moon to slide by the constellation Orion the Hunter and into Gemini the Twins. Also, look for the bright-red supergiant star Betelgeuse which sits at Orion’s shoulder. Recently, the internet seems to have “discovered” that Betelgeuse is due to supernova, an event that will light up the night sky all over the world and even be visible during the daytime. However, like a slot machine at the casino, it may be “due” but it could still be a long way off. In the case of Betelgeuse, we are talking possibly centuries away. So don’t hold your breath!

If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Comet Nishimura in the predawn sky. It’s faint and has a greenish colour with a long tail. Find it with binoculars or a telescope, look about 90 minutes before sunrise, in the area of the constellation Leo the Lion. As the comet approaches the sun, the visitor is also getting closer to the horizon, thus making it more difficult to observe it after this week. So take a look at this new comet before it disappears in the sun’s glare.

Thank you for keeping up with the Night Sky articles, backyard astronomy designed for St. Maarten sky viewing. FYI: If you are out later on in the week, note that each star rises about four minutes earlier each day than written here, and the moon rises 50 minutes later. Night Sky is researched and compiled by Lisa Davis-Burnett. Earthsky.org is a key resource for information and images. Questions or comments? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Daily Herald

Copyright © 2020 All copyrights on articles and/or content of The Caribbean Herald N.V. dba The Daily Herald are reserved.

Without permission of The Daily Herald no copyrighted content may be used by anyone.

Comodo SSL

Hosted by

© 2024 The Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.