Let’s come out and see if Betelgeuse blows up for us tonight!
This is one of those frustrating mornings when several different weather forecasts that I check to disagree with each other. All agree the sky will be half cloudy, half clear at sunset. Some predict the clouds will increase through the night, but some predict the sky will be 100% clear by 8 pm. We have had bad weather for the past two star party dates, so let’s take a chance and see if we can observe some nice winter sights tonight. The temperature will be mild (40s), so it won’t be a big challenge to stay warm. The dew point will be very close to the temperature, so expect lots of dew and come prepared to manage it on your instruments. (The last two nights have been so dewy that in the mornings I’ve asked myself if it rained overnight.) Rain is likely before dawn, so you won’t want to be out all night.
Sunset will be 4:53 pm, and astronomical twilight will end at 6:30 pm, this evening.
(About Betelgeuse – it is a variable star, but its brightness has dimmed much more than it usually does. The star has gone from 6th brightest in the sky to 21st brightest. If you like to do photometry, Betelgeuse is a great target for that right now. It is still very unlikely to go supernova in our lifetimes. But we can hope.)