Thank you clouds. I finally got some sleep last night when the haze got too thick for a clear view of the northern lights. We had a maybe 45 minutes of good viewing of a very active aurora. By tonight the effects of the powerful solar flare will be on the wane. Some lights across the northern U.S. and southern Canada are possible, but don’t expect a display like the past two nights.
Up for sky gazing at dawn? You’re all broken now after a weekend of aurora-gazing, right? A very thin lunar crescent will be visible in twilight low in the northeastern sky about 25 minutes before sunrise tomorrow July 17. Above and right of the moon are Jupiter and Venus, but will you be able to spot that classic representative of winter – Betelgeuse in Orion?
Only those with the clearest skies might catch it rising in the east. In a couple weeks, the star will be higher up and much easier to see for two reasons: all the stars in the eastern sky rise 4 minutes earlier each night due to Earth’s motion around the sun. Combined with later sunrise times this month, the hours of night expand, forcing the early winter stars to practically leap into darkness as July gives way to August.