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EarthSky Tonight—August 20, Star-hop from Big Dipper to Arcturus and Spica
Posted By Gary Wamsley On August 20, 2010 @ 8:28 am In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
 The Big Dipper pops out into your northwestern sky on August evenings. On August 3,  we star-hopped from the Big Dipper to Polaris, the North Star. Tonight, we star-hop to two bright summer stars: Arcturus  and Spica .
As shown on our sky chart, we extend the Big Dipper handle “to arc to Arcturus and to drive a spike to Spica.” Arcturus is the brightest star in your western sky, so you cannot miss this yellow-orange beacon. Blue-white Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, is nowhere as bright as Arcturus but it is still a first-magnitude star. This blue-white gem appears to the southwest (lower left) of Arcturus.
Spica and Arcturus descend westward throughout the evening hours. Spica sets beneath the west-southwest horizon by mid to late evening. Arcturus sets beneath the west-northwest horizon after midnight. These stars will appear in almost the same place in the sky at the same time tomorrow – but not quite!
Spica and Arcturus set 4 minutes earlier with each passing day. Spica will disappear from the evening sky by late September, and Arcturus will disappear from the evening stage in November. As these stars sink westward day by day, it is a sure sign of cooler weather to come!
Written by Bruce McClure 
Universe Today 
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Amazing Space 
Scope City 
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URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/08/20/earthsky-tonight%e2%80%94august-20-star-hop-from-big-dipper-to-arcturus-and-spica/
URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/08/20/earthsky-tonight%e2%80%94august-20-star-hop-from-big-dipper-to-arcturus-and-spica/phase-aug-20/
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/2010/08/20/earthsky-tonight%e2%80%94august-20-star-hop-from-big-dipper-to-arcturus-and-spica/10aug20_430/
 August 3,: http://earthsky.org/es-tonight/dipper-to-polaris-plus-mizar-and-alcor
 Arcturus: http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/bright-orange-arcturus-use-the-big-dipper-to-find-it
 Spica: http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/speed-on-to-spica-the-15th-brightest-star
 Bruce McClure: http://earthsky.org/author/brucemcclure/
 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
 Universe Today: http://www.universetoday.com/
 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/
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