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Sky Tonight—Feb 25, Scorpius the Scorpion’s stinger stars an early harbinger of spring
Posted By Editor On February 24, 2011 @ 10:38 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
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 Will you see the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion’s stinger stars below the waning crescent moon  in the cold dawn tomorrow? You will need a clear, unobstructed view to the south to southeast to spot the stinger stars – Shaula and Lesath  – flickering by the horizon.
If you cannot spot these stars tomorrow, try again in later winter. The stars at the end of the Scorpion’s tail are also known as the Cat’s Eyes .
For the Pawnee, who roamed the prairie of Kansas and Nebraska, the sky was a calendar, and the stars foretold the change of seasons. It is believed that the Pawnee called the stars on the Scorpion’s stinger the Swimming Duck stars. These stars are now coming into view shortly before dawn.
The return of the Swimming Ducks to the morning sky signaled the first stirrings of the great plains from hibernation. Shaula and Lesath’s presence over the horizon was symbolic of waterfowl breaking through the ice.
As we approach the end of winter, Shaula and Lesath will appear higher each morning in the dawn and predawn sky. Their morning appearance tells us that the prairie is about to awaken to the rolling thunders of spring.
By Bruce McClure 
EarthSky: Space 
CHANDRA Photo Album 
Universe Today 
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Simostronomy Blog 
Amazing Space 
Scope City 
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URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Moon-20_phases.jpg
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/feb25.jpg
 waning crescent moon: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/moon-phases/waning-crescent
 Shaula and Lesath: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/favorite-star-patterns/scorpion-stinger-stars-also-called-cats-eyes
 Antares: Heart of the Scorpion: http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/antares-rivals-mars-as-the-scorpions-heart
 Bruce McClure: http://earthsky.org/team/brucemcclure/
 Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
 EarthSky: Space: http://earthsky.org/space
 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/
 Simostronomy Blog: http://simostronomy.blogspot.com/
 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/
 James S McDonnell Planetarium: http://www.slsc.org/WhatToDo/Planetarium/NightSkyUpdate.aspx
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