February 11, 2023: Daylight is longer than dark today until Halloween. Venus is moving toward Jupiter in the west-southwest, while Mars is moving east against Taurus.
By Jeffrey L Hunt
Chicago, IL: Sunrise, 6:52 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:19 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location. Times calculated from the US Naval Observatory mica Computer program.
Transit times of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, when it is at the planet’s center in the Southern Hemisphere: 9:28 UT, 19:24 UT; February 12, 5:20 UTC. Convert the time to your timezone. In the US, subtract five hours for EST, six hours for CST, and so on. Use the telescope to see the spot. times of Sky and telescope magazine.
The day is longer than the darkness. This statement is not about the upcoming equinox when day and night light are approximately equal. Let’s distinguish between some terms. When the sun is in the sky this day. When that’s not the case, it’s the time of the night.
The night can be divided into twilight – evening and morning – and darkness, when the sky is as dark as it normally is. This occurs when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. Night occurs in three phases, evening twilight, darkness, and morning twilight.
On the above chart, calculated from US Naval Observatory data, three lines show daylight, darkness, and twilight — with morning twilight and evening twilight added together.
The red diamond shows today’s date, when daylight is longer than darkness. That’s 10 hours and 27 minutes compared to 10 hours and 24 minutes for darkness. The daylight curve increases somewhat during the March 20 equinoxy, when daylight is 12 hours 9 minutes. Darkness 8 hours 45 minutes.
On the summer solstice, daylight lasts 15 hours and 13 minutes. Darkness decreases to 4 hours 23 minutes. Interestingly, twilight is a minute or two longer than darkness as of June 17y Until June 26thy.
After the solstice, daylight begins to decrease and darkness lengthens. By the equinox, September 23, the sun is above the horizon for 12 hours 8 minutes and the darkness increases to 8 hours 45 minutes.
On Halloween, daylight is four minutes shorter than darkness and the shortest daylight lasts more than 100 days at the latitude of Chicago. Daylight continues to wane until December 21 with 9 hours and 8 minutes of sunlight.
The dates when this happens vary in different latitudes. Regions farther south experience shorter periods when darkness lasts longer than sunlight. Towards the north, the interval is longer.
In Miami, Florida, daylight got longer on January 11y; In Tucson, Jan. 30y. From Seattle, Washington, the lapse ends in four days, but Juneau, Alaska doesn’t reach that state until March 21.St120 days when the darkness is longer than the daylight.
Despite this, Juno is going through a no-dark phase from April 27 through August 15y. It has daylight and twilight that does not turn into darkness.
Here are the forecasts for today’s planet:
The grainy moon, 72% illuminated, is about a third of the way up in the sky in the southwest, and 3.1 degrees to the upper left of Spica, the brightest star in Virgo. The lunar orb continues its journey eastward, passing half full, last quarter phase, on the 13thy.
Mercury continues to bask in the bright morning sunlight. The planet rises an hour before sunrise, only 4 degrees high and in the glow of the approaching dawn.
Saturn, which sets only fifteen minutes after sunset, is closer to the Sun in the sky than Mercury. The ringed wonders over the far arc of its solar orbit coincide within five days.
Forty-five minutes after sunset, the planet Venus shines brilliantly from the western and southwestern skies. It is located about 15 degrees above the horizon at 45 minutes after sunset. Its brilliance rivals the lights on low-flying planes or is mistaken for something out of this world.
Bright Jupiter is higher in the sky and 18.5 degrees higher and left of Venus. The Jovian Giant is slowly moving across Cetus. Venus is moving faster to the east and will pass Jupiter on March 1St In amazing synchronicity. The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter during twilight is an amazing event.
The best night is March 1stStbut from February 20y until March 11thyVenus is 10 degrees from Jupiter. The two brightest star-like objects stand close to each other.
Ten degrees is about the distance from your thumb to your pinky finger on your fist when extended at arm’s length. Close one eye and fist to notice the distance. Likewise, the last sun arc until sunset each day is about 15 degrees. Your fingernail is on your pinky finger, when extended at arm’s length about half a degree. It covers the full moon or the sun. Try it.
At this hour, Mars is in the southeast, traveling east with Taurus as the astrological background. In another 45 minutes, the background stars are easily visible behind the red planet.
Mars is 8.6° above and to the left of Aldebaran and 10.1° from Elnath, the northern horn of Taurus.
The grainy moon will rise after midnight tomorrow morning.