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Skywatch: This week sees the earliest sunrises

Early risers will enjoy the highlights of the week.
Planet Watching

Early risers will have a lot to look at this week. On Monday morning Jupiter & Saturn will be in the southern sky. Use the Moon to locate the pair, it’ll be just below and right of the pair.

While you won’t be able to see it with the naked eye Pluto will be a little closer to the Moon than the two planets.

Earliest Sunrises this Week

If you notice that the sun is rising a little earlier this week you’re very perceptive. The earliest sunrises occur about a week before the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. 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 earliest sunrises this week and will be responsible for the latest sunsets of the year a few weeks from now.

According to sunrise-sunset.org the earliest sunrise of the year in Columbus will be on Friday when the sun comes up at 6:02 a.m. & 36 seconds.

The Red Planet & the Moon

If you plan to get up early on Friday to see that early sunrise consider setting your alarm just a little earlier. In the southeastern sky before dawn you’ll be able to find Mars and the Moon.

Mars will be just above and left of our satellite and a little above and left of the Red Planet you’ll find Neptune but you’ll need a nice telescope to do so.

The Last Quarter Moon

If you’re out on Friday night look up for the half-moon. The First Quarter Moon will arrive early on Saturday morning at 2:24 a.m. Happy hunting!