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Warm weather has made it to the East Coast! You may spend your Friday and Saturday nights outdoors for the first time in months! So, let's see what you will find in the night sky.
The newest addition to the evening sky is Jupiter. It was a late-night planet for the last few months. But, as we head through the rest of spring and summer, it will be in the sky most of the night. There is no mistaking Jupiter. It is stunningly bright, especially compared to the surrounding stars. Look for Jupiter to rise around 10 p.m. local time.
With a lack of moonlight this weekend, it'll be easier to spot meteors. There are no active showers right now. But, there can be random fireballs at any time through the night. But we will see more and more meteors next week as we approach the peak of the Lyrids shower. That shower peaks next weekend.
That shower fluctuates year to year, and has produced very high rates recently. We are conservatively forecasting 15-20 meteors per hour. The nights leading up to the peak will feature great viewing with very little interference from the moon.
Speaking of the moon, Monday evening will feature a must-see event. The new, thin crescent moon will be visible right after sunset.
The moon will appear as a fingernail thin crescent next to the brilliantly shinning Venus.
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The moon brightens in advance of next week's full moon. The Mars opposition happens on the same day as a lunar eclipse and the peak of a few different meteor showers!