Well duh, you say, the sun goes down followed by dark pretty much every night. But if you look at that clear blue sky over your head right now with a breeze that will die to a gentle puff from the north by morning and the crescent moon does not rise until 2:54AM that means it might be really really dark. So go look at the stars tonight*. (*see end of post for update!)
If you go down to Good Harbor Beach on the bridge end and look to the twin towers on Thacher the 11% waning crescent moon will rise at 2:54 AM and maybe a half hour later it will look like this (from earthsky.org)
Just replace those buildings with the lighthouse towers.
Next week I will be posting about an amazing local organization that has no dues, no overhead, but plenty of great members who all share a love of stuff up in the sky. The Gloucester Area Astronomy Club or GAAC (like the sound a cat makes getting rid of a hairball oh now you’ll remember). GAAC has a website, a Facebook Page, and a Tweeting Twitter account to stay up to date on their telescope meet ups on Halibut Point or their telescope parties (one just last week) at Bearskin Neck (best line, a tourist kid upon looking at Saturn’s rings “Is that real or is that painted on?”)
These dudes and dudettes know their sky. I learned more in an hour on Bearskin than I did earning my Boy Scout Astronomy Merit Badge. In twenty minutes, Saturn, Mars, binary stars, two galaxies in one eyepiece, M13 (a pantload of stars) and a half dozen more of those things Mister Messier thought were pretty cool to look at. (Actually they annoyed him as he looked for comets but that’s another story.)
GAAC members meet at St Paul Lutheran Church in Lanesville, at 8:00 pm on the second Friday of every month.
EXTRA EXTRA Even More Breaking News: GAAC will be setting up for the sunset at 8:22PM TONIGHT in the field across from the parking lot at Halibut Point. Spray on bug spray before you come, a red flashlight if you have one and don’t trip over tripods. You’ll see cool stuff not of this world and Rubber Duck will be there. Astronomical twilight is 10:38PM