Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning   . The concept is over two thousand years old and is referenced in the New Testament as established wisdom that prevailed among the Jews of the Second Temple Period by Jesus in Matthew The rhyme is a rule of thumb used for weather forecasting during the past two millennia.
The Colors of Sunset and Twilight
It is based on the reddish glow of the morning or evening sky, caused by haze or clouds related to storms in the region. The saying assumes that more such clouds are coming in from the west. Conversely, in order to see red clouds in the evening, sunlight must have a clear path from the west, so therefore the prevailing westerly wind must be bringing clear skies. There are occasions where a storm system might rain itself out before reaching the observer who had seen the morning red sky. For ships at sea however, the wind and rough seas from an approaching storm system could still be a problem, even without rainfall.
Download a PDF containing this chart, additional charts for specific areas of the sky and descriptions of interesting objects visible at this time of year.
Golden Jupiter is the bright 'evening star' appearing midway up the eastern sky soon after sunset. Seen above it, when the sky darkens, is orange Antares.
Well below and right of Jupiter is Saturn, much fainter than Jupiter but the brightest 'star' in that part of the sky. Both planets shine with a steady light rather than twinkling like stars.
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At 10 pm Jupiter is north of the zenith. The brightest true stars are orange Arcturus in the north sky and white Canopus low in the south west. Sirius, the brightest star, might be seen setting in the southwest in the twilight. Arcturus sets in the northwest around midnight, twinkling red and green when low in the sky.
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Canopus swings lower in the south, setting for while from northern NZ, then moves up the southeast sky. Being bright it twinkles like a diamond as the air breaks up its white light into all colours.
Evening Skies Stock Photos & Evening Skies Stock Images - Alamy
On the opposite horizon is Vega, rising in the northeast around 9 pm. Vega and Arcturus are the brightest stars north of the equator. Early in the month Mars and Mercury not shown the chart are low in the northwest twilight. At first Mercury is above reddish Mars. It sinks lower and fades as its sunlit side turns away from us.
July guide to the bright planets
Mars sinks more slowly, disappearing on the far side of the sun by the end of July. Mars is million km away. Any telescope will show the oval disk of Jupiter with its four 'Galilean' moons lined up on either side. Click the download links below to obtain the latest issues in PDF format.
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Red sky at morning
The Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 binoculars are an excellent, low-cost choice for the urban skywatcher. All time best seller in this category. Includes set of star charts. More Sky Myth Books What We See in the Stars A richly illustrated guide to the myths, histories, and science of the celestial bodies of our solar system, with stories and information about constellations, planets, comets, the northern lights, and more. Chart shows 2, stars, nebulae and star clusters visible to the unaided eye.
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