Sun and Moon Data
To find sun and moon rising and setting times for your park or office, go to the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day webpage.
An update on the moon, planets and night skies for the next few weeks. Visible planets during the period:
- Mercury climbs higher and higher in the evening sky just after dusk and is at its greatest elongation on February 16th. It then drops back toward the horizon.
- Mars is low in the southwest after sunset until about mid-February, when it begins fading slowly from view.
- Jupiter is high and bright in the evening sky – at magnitude -2.4 it shines brighter than any other point of light in the sky.
- Venus is visible before dawn in early February but soon disappears into the pre-dawn twilight.
- Saturn rises shortly before midnight by mid-February and appears highest in the south as morning twilight begins.
Calendar of upcoming celestial events:
- Sunday, 2/3 – Last quarter moon.
- Friday, 2/8 – Mercury passes less than a half degree north of Mars.
- Sunday, 2/10 – The moon is new (dark).
- Monday, 2/11 – Mercury appears between the crescent moon (above) and Mars (below) about a half hour after sunset.
- Saturday, 2/16 – Mercury appears at its 2013 best in the evening sky.
- Sunday, 2/17 – First quarter moon.
- Monday, 2/18 – The moon passes a degree south of Jupiter.
- Monday, 2/25 – Full moon.
For more information on stars, planets and other night sky phenomena, go to “The Sky This Week” page at the U.S. Naval Observatory page at http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/sky-this-week
Watches and Warnings
The principal watches and warnings posted as of early this morning were as follows. Note that these change over the course of a day and represent only initial daily forecasts. Click on this link for a full-sized map showing these hazards:
- Red flag warnings – South Texas.
- Severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings – A band from southern Mississippi to southern Indiana.
- Winter storm watches, warnings and advisories – Most of the Rocky Mountains from Montana down into New Mexico, northern Utah, the mountains of western Washington, a diagonal band from Kansas to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and northern New York and New England.
- Flood watches, warnings and advisories – The north central states from Missouri to Michigan, a band from West Virginia to northern New York, and an area on the Louisiana/Mississippi border.
- High wind watches, warnings and advisories – Southern Wyoming and most of the East, particularly the Appalachians and New England.
For additional information on severe weather, go to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/ .
There were no NPS line of duty deaths on this date. Click here for a full list of on-duty deaths.
From The Morning Report Archives
Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:
Kenai Fjords NP – On March 31, 1989, the first report was submitted on an oil spill that had occurred off the Alaska coastline – soon to be known infamously as the Exxon Valdez oil spill. A nine-member Type 1 IMT that had been dispatched to Valdez to assist with the spill response had moved to Kenai Fjords to help park staff deal with the impacts of the spreading spill, which were expected to reach the park within two to four days. The NPS response would eventually involved hundreds of employees and go on for many months.