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April 2017: Skies Over C…

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April 2017: Skies Over Crestone

      by Kim Malville Mercury reaches its greatest height in the sky on the first of the month. Look in the west, some 30 to 45 minutes after sunset. It will set about 90 minutes after sunset. Mars will be visible about 15° above Mercury on this day. But, catch rapidly moving Mercury […]

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March 2017: Skies Over C…

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March 2017: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville   Venus has been dominating our evening skies these past few months. In March it drops suddenly from 32° in the western skies to 0° in four weeks. Venus passes the sun on March 25, when the planet sets 14 minutes after the sun at our latitude. Quite remarkably, it will also […]

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February 2017: Skies Ove…

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February 2017: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville Jan 31: Close approach of the moon to brilliant Venus, which will be first visible soon after sunset around 5:40pm. Venus will set around 9pm, depending on your horizon. Feb 3: First quarter moon February 10: Full Moon and partial eclipse of the moon. It will be a very subtle darkening of […]

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January 2017: Skies Over…

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January 2017: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville This month the western sky after sunset is going to be dominated by Venus, which reaches its greatest height above the horizon on January 12. Above it you will find dimmer and redder Mars. Jupiter rises around midnight and will be high in the south at dawn. January 1, 2, and 3. […]

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December 2016: Skies Ove…

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December 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville In the evening, Venus will be getting brighter and higher in the southwestern skies at dusk this month. It will remain in the sky three hours after sunset at the start of the moon, increasing to three and a half hours at the end of the month. Not only does it get […]

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November 2016: Skies Ove…

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November 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville This is the month for lovers of Venus. The brilliant planet rises higher and higher in the evening throughout the month. Its altitude at sunset increases from 16 ° to 22 °, getting brighter every night. Venus is bright because of its cloud cover, but below it lies the hottest planet in […]

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October 2016: Skies Over…

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October 2016: Skies Over Crestone

  by Kim Malville  October 3: Low on the western horizon look for the thin crescent moon above Venus October 5: The moon has moved higher, now close to Saturn. Look below Saturn to see twinkling red Antares in the southwest. October 20-22: The Orionid meteor shower will peak early in the morning of October […]

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September 2016: Skies Ov…

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September 2016: Skies Over Crestone

The first two weeks of September lie in the current eclipse season. There will be an annular solar eclipse visible in Africa on September 1 and then two weeks later there will be a lunar eclipse visible practically everywhere on the earth but the Americas. But, despair not. Next summer on August 21 we shall […]

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August 2016: Skies Over …

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August 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville August is the very best month of the year for us in the northern hemisphere to spot meteors. Beloved by campers in the summer, it is a time for sleeping outside without a tent. The Perseids begin to appear in late July and reach their peak on August 12. If you watch […]

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July 2016: Skies Over Cr…

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July 2016: Skies Over Crestone

  by Kim Malville This is a glorious month for planets; all eight planets will appear in our skies.  Jupiter is in the west at dusk, lying between the constellations of Leo and Virgo. Mars, as red and spectacular as ever, is in Scorpius. To its left left is Saturn, which is whiter and fainter. […]

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June 2016: Skies Over Cr…

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June 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville Three bright planets are visible in the evening skies. The two brightest are Jupiter in Leo and Mars in Libra. Saturn is a little fainter, appearing to the east in Scorpio.  June 17: The Moon, Saturn, and Mars will form a wide triangle. The Moon will be above Antares, the red heart […]

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May 2016: Skies Over Cre…

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May 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville May 5 & 6: The Eta Aquarid meteors occur when the Earth passes through the debris dropped by Halley’s Comet as its moves along its orbit. This year we pass close to the center of this debris cloud. The best time for viewing these meteors will be just before dawn on these […]

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April 2016: Skies Over C…

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April 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville April 9: For two weeks Mercury will be visible after the fading of twilight on the west-northwest. On April 9 you will find Mercury close to the horizon and to the right of the slender crescent moon. April 10: Occultation of Aldebaran by the Moon- This is something special! Aldebaran is the […]

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March 2016: Skies Over C…

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March 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville The month of March has two eclipses, a total solar eclipse in Indonesia on March 8-9 and a partial lunar eclipse, two weeks later, on March 23. The lunar eclipse, which will not be dramatic, will be at its deepest at 5:45am. You should be able so sense that the moon looks […]

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February 2016: Skies Ov…

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February 2016:  Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville Venus will be obvious in the mornings of the beginning of February. It will be the brightest object above the southeastern horizon.  Mercury will be close to the horizon and difficult to see for those who live close to the mountains. To the far right of the arc of planets is Jupiter, […]

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January 2016: Skies Over…

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January 2016: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville January 1: In the first week of January, the planet Mercury can be seen low in the southwestern 5:40pm sky. To the left of Mercury are the two brightest stars of Capricornus with Alpha on top and Beta below. January 2: The Earth is closest to the sun for the year, at […]

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December 2015: Skies Ov…

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December 2015:  Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville December 7 – Conjunction of the Moon and Venus. In the morning of December 7 the crescent moon will come within 2° of bright planet Venus. December 13/14 and 14/15 – Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids is the Queen of the meteor showers, the best shower in the heavens. This year the […]

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November 2015: Skies Ove…

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November 2015: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville The biggest planet spectacle occurs in the east before dawn where Jupiter rises around 3am to be followed by brilliant Venus and dimmer Mars. November 2-4: Mars and Venus move close to each other on these three mornings. Jupiter lies above and to the left. November 7:  A waning crescent moon is […]

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October 2015: Skies Over…

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October 2015: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville The brightest object in the sky this month will be Venus in the early morning hours. It is brilliant and unmistakable, looking like a brightly lighted UFO coming in for a landing. There are two planetary conjunctions this month. That is the good news. The bad news is that they are early […]

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September 2015: Skies Ov…

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September 2015: Skies Over Crestone

by Kim Malville Spectacular total lunar eclipse September 27 This will be a big one! A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow of the earth. This particular moon will be a super-moon, when the moon is very close to the earth, at perihelion in its orbit. In fact, it will be […]

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August 2015: Skies Over …

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August 2015: Skies Over Crestone

August 2015 Saturn is the only bright planet visible after twilight this month and dominates the skies in the south-southwest after sunset. The ringed planet lies in eastern Libra (the Scales, which used to be the pinchers of Scorpio) about 10° west of Antares. On these warm August evenings you might enjoy looking upward to […]

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