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Skywatch: Look for the latest sunsets of 2020

The latest sunsets of the year will be this week.
Credit: The New Moon

We’ll see a dark sky this week thanks to the New Moon. It arrives on Sunday at 2:41 a.m. which means the sky won’t have the light pollution from our Moon. 

If you’re far away from the city lights look up and you’ll be able to see stars and features you wouldn’t normally see.

Credit: Courtesy: NASA

We see the new moon when the Moon is between the Earth & the Sun. Sometimes things line up just right for a solar eclipse and we’ll have one on Sunday. 

Sadly we won’t be able to see it but this eclipse is known as an “annular solar eclipse”. 

This happens when the Moon doesn’t completely block out all of the sun and we see a ring around the silhouette of the Moon. These are known as “ring of fire” eclipses.

Credit: The Young Moon

If you’re out in the evenings early in the week go Young Moon hunting. The fingernail moon will be in the western sky after sunset Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. Above is how you’ll find it on Tuesday evening.

Credit: The Latest Sunsets of 2020

A few weeks ago we talked about the earliest sunrises occurring a little before the summer solstice. Now the latest sunsets are occurring. To explain why this happens think about solar noon. 

That’s when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. The time between two successive solar noons can be thought of as a day. 

This time of year that time between the midday sun from one day to the next is a little longer than 24 hours. This leads to the latest sunsets of the year this week. 

According to sunrise-sunset.org the latest sunsets of the year in Columbus will be on Friday & Saturday. That’s when the sun will set at 9:04 p.m. & 55 seconds. 

Happy hunting!