Saturday June 8, 2013

Tomorrow morning will be the first of 15 mornings when the sun rises at 5:17 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), the earliest of the year in our locale. In Eastern Standard Time (EST), that’s 4:17 a.m., better describing the fact that day has moved into nighttime hours. Furthermore, astronomical twilight, the beginning of the end of complete darkness, will be at about 3 a.m. EDT! Civil twilight, the period when there is sufficient daylight to distinguish shapes, begins at 4:42 EDT. Bird song lifts in a chorus to its greatest intensity with the coming light. Look for the sun as it climbs over the horizon approaching its furthest point north of east during this two-week interval.

On the other side of day, sunset is approaching its furthest point north of west and sets at 8:27 today. Evening’s civil twilight begins at 9:01. Astronomical twilight, the beginning of complete darkness, is at 10:38. Planet Venus, the Evening Star, shines close to where the sun has set, brilliant before 9 o’clock. There’s a pleasant wait for fainter planet Mercury to appear above and to the left of Venus, coming into view as twilight deepens, by 9:15. Mercury will be at its highest in the west-northwestern sky on Wednesday the 12th.

While away the time awaiting Mercury by looking overhead for the brightest true star in the evening sky, Arcturus.


Advertisement

In natural settings, especially near a pond or wetland, a symphony of frog song fills the air, equaling morning twilight’s bird song. And the colors of light in the western sky are mesmerizing.

A crescent moon joins Venus on Monday, setting with the goddess at 9:54. Mercury sets at 10:18.

To contact Judy Isacoff go to: www.naturesturn.org