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 – Areas in Florida.
- Winter storm watches, warnings and advisories – The Appalachian Mountain region from Tennessee up into Pennsylvania. Also northern Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
- Lake effect snow watches, warnings and advisories – Areas along the southern and/or eastern shores of the Great Lakes.
- Flood watches, warnings and advisories – Scattered counties throughout the Eastern states, from Louisiana to Maine.
- High wind watches, warnings and advisories – Areas in Virginia and the Carolinas.
For additional information on severe weather, go to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/ .
On January 31, 1990, Grand Canyon maintenance worker William Holland, 57, died of a heart attack while walking from his snowmobile to a trailhead sign on the North Kaibab Trail.
Click here for a full list of on-duty deaths.
From The Morning Report Archives
Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:
Yosemite NP – The body of a 21-year-old English visitor was found at the bottom of a cliff near Mirror Lake and the base of Half Dome on April 7, 1989. Investigation revealed that he’d arrived in the park with a tour group that morning and that he’d rented a bicycle, ridden it to the Mirror Lake area, then gone hiking on the Mirror Lake loop trail. He evidently attempted to solo climb the cliff bands below Half Dome and fell to his death. No climbing equipment was found in the area where his body was found.