- Recorder Online - http://www.berthoudrecorder.com -
Earthsky Tonight — April 26, Moon, Spica and Saturn in Virgo
Posted By Gary Wamsley On April 25, 2010 @ 10:49 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
 Tonight, the almost-full waxing gibbous moon  sits close to Spica , the brightest star in the constellation Virgo the Maiden. The star-like point of light above the moon this Monday evening is actually no star at all but Saturn, the 6th planet outward from the sun.
Although the moon pairs up with Spica for only a day or two each month, you can always use the Big Dipper  to star-hop to Spica after the moon goes down the pike. Once you find Spica, you can locate Saturn’s place in the night sky. The ringed planet bejewels the head of Virgo the Maiden until July of 2010.
Whereas the moon is our closest celestial neighbor, Saturn wins acclaim for being the most distant world that we can easily see with the unaided eye. The moon stands about 230,000 miles away from Earth tonight. In contrast, Saturn lies some 3,500 times the moon’s distance from Earth.
When speaking of stellar distances, though, Saturn is only a stone’s throw away from Earth. Saturn resides at 9.5 times the Earth’s distance from the sun – or 80 light-minutes away. Yet, the star Spica lies out there at a whopping 260 light-years  away. That is about 1.7 million times Saturn’s distance from the sun!
Written by Bruce McClure
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Amazing Space 
Scope City 
Article printed from Recorder Online: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com
URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/04/25/earthsky-tonight-%e2%80%94-april-26-moon-spica-and-saturn-in-virgo/
URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/10apr26_430.jpg
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/phase26.gif
 waxing gibbous moon: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/moon-phases/waxing-gibbous
 Spica: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/brightest-stars/speed-on-to-spica-the-15th-brightest-star
 Big Dipper: http://earthsky.org/es-tonight/drive-a-spike-to-spica-in-may
 light-years: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/astronomy-essentials/how-far-is-a-light-year
 Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
 CHANDRA Photo Album: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/
 U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/astronomical-information-center
 StarDate Online: http://stardate.org/
 Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/
 National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
 Space Com: http://www.space.com/nightsky/
 Amazing Space: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/
 The York County Astronomical Society: http://www.ycas.org/tonights_sky.htm
 Scope City: http://www.scopecity.net/
Copyright © 2010 Berthoud Recorder. All rights reserved.