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Regulars (Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll)

While we’re seeing less of the sun, the nights are lighting up

The sun sets in the west-southwest just after 6:00 at week’s end and more than a minute earlier each day thereafter for the next couple weeks. It’s no better in the morning, with sunrise at 7:36 Friday but more than a minute later each following day....

You don’t need to wait until 2062

Who hasn’t heard of Halley’s Comet, that most famous celestial interloper that passes earth every 76 years? While we’re not due for another visit from the comet until 2062, we’re reminded of it each year around this time.
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Start looking for Venus and Mars

The recent Hunter’s Moon still dominates the night sky when it rises after sunset Thursday, with the piercing light of Jupiter to the moon’s right. While the waning moon rises later through the week, Jupiter rises earlier until reaching opposition October 28....

It’s a mess of a place up there

Like calendar pages strewn across an untidy desk, the stars of summer and even spring linger after sunset, with their autumn and winter counterparts commanding the heavens before dawn.
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Sometimes you have to hunt for the night’s best sights

Just a week past equinox, the balance between day and night is shifting fast, with a loss of nearly 20 minutes of sunshine already.
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Enjoy the balance while we can

The waning crescent moon rises around 3am Friday, its upper tip pointing to the red planet Mars, only five degrees away. Both shine within the faint stars of Cancer, home to the Beehive star cluster, which appears as a smudge of light a half-dozen degrees behind moon and planet. By 5am, the moon and Mars are well placed about 30 degrees high in the east.
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Atlas’ daughters beckon

The waning gibbous moon still rises on the heels of sunset at week’s end. But by the 20th,  when Luna reaches last-quarter, it crests the horizon past midnight.
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The Harvest Moon brightens more than one night

The night skies are alight with the glow of the Harvest Moon, which is technically full on the 12th but appears to shine from dusk to dawn over several nights. Every full moon rises around the time of sunset and sets the next morning around sunrise, but only for one day. However, the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to autumnal equinox, which falls on September 21, is different.
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Let its waxing glow guide you

The moon reappears in our evening skies Thursday as a thin crescent low in the southwest at dusk. Lined up to the west is the twinkling blue-white star Spica and beyond that golden Saturn.
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More than stars and planets brighten our night skies

The moon wanes through week’s end, reaching new phase Sunday. Friday the thin crescent rises around 4am, trailing a dozen degrees behind the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux to slightly to the north and ruddy Mars a little to the south.
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