Farmers'AlmanacThe Farmers' Almanac predicts stormy weather for the next three days with widespread thunderstorm activity for Maryland and Virginia. Clearing and pleasant weather is forecast for Sunday through Wednesday.

Planetary Watch The planet Mercury reaches its greatest elongation on the east side of the Sun on May 14, and is in its best position for the year to be observed in the western twilight.

Unfortunately, as usual it is low in the sky and dowsed in sunset glow. At mid-month, look for it just a few degrees above the west-northwestern horizon an hour after sunset.

Venus appears too close to the Sun to be seen by most observers this month, and does not emerge again in the evening sky until July.

Although well past its prime and fading from its former glory, Mars is still a great sight, high in the western evening sky. At mid-month it is among the faint stars of Cancer, near M44, about halfway between Pollux in Gemini and Regulus in Leo.

In Sagittarius, Jupiter rising earlier (late evening to just after midnight) and brightening a bit, making it an easier sight to view than in the previous few months. Still it is best before dawn, at its highest in the southern sky shortly before sunrise.

Saturn reigns in Leo as queen of the evening sky (although Saturn the god was a male!), more than a half degree brighter than Mars and visible an hour or so longer. The rings are easily visible now through a small telescope, but appear increasingly thinner as the year wears on. Don't worry - nothing is happening to the rings themselves, but our angle relative to them is changing, such that they appear edge on (and potentially not visible) early next year.

Red Clay stream watch

The following stream levels were measured this week in the Red Clay Creek near Kennett Square.

Date: May 6, 2008

Flow in cubic feet per second:27

Minimum for date, cubic feet per second: 18

Mean for date, cubic feet per second: 56

Maximum for date, cubic feet per second: 310

Sun times for May 8

Sunrise: 5:52 a.m. Sunset: 8:03 p.m. Hours of sunlight: 14 hours, 10 minutes, 47 seconds

Weekend forecast

Friday, May 9: Rain and thunder, High 68, Low 49

Saturday, May 10: A few showers, High 68, Low 50

Sunday, May 11: Mostlyl cloudy, High 70, Low 52

Moon phases

First Quarter: May 12 Full Moon: May 20 Last Quarter: May 28 New Moon: June 3

comments powered by Disqus