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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Sky Tonight—February 14, Blue-white Rigel is at the

Sky Tonight—February 14, Blue-white Rigel is at the foot of Orion

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Jupiter is the dazzling object in the west after sunset The three sparkling blue-white stars of Orion’s Belt are easy to spot, even on this moonlit night. As viewed from this hemisphere, this compact line of stars can be found in the south to southeast sky at nightfall. Look in the southern sky at evening and the southwest sky later tonight. Chances are the pattern you will pick out will be ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 13, Moon points the way to

Sky Tonight—February 13, Moon points the way to Winter Circle

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Tonight’s waxing gibbous moon resides inside the Winter Circle – an incredibly large star configuration made of six brilliant winter stars. Be sure to notice the variety in the colors of these stars. The Winter Circle – sometimes called the Winter Hexagon – is not one of the 88 recognized constellations. Rather, it is an asterism – a pattern of stars that is easy to recognize. Our sky chart ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 12, Moon between stars Elnath

Sky Tonight—February 12, Moon between stars Elnath and Aldebaran

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org As seen from around the world, the waxing gibbous moon shines in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull tonight. Despite the moonlit glare, you may see the Bull’s two brightest stars: Aldebaran and Elnath. Aldebaran, the star depicting the Bull’s eye, is Taurus’ brightest star. Elnath, the constellation’s second brightest star, marks the tip of the Bull’s northern horn. Aldebaran: Fiery ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 11, Waxing gibbous moon near

Sky Tonight—February 11, Waxing gibbous moon near Pleiades

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The waxing gibbous moon shines close to the Pleiades star cluster tonight. This cluster is also called the Seven Sisters. Because of the moonlit glare, you might need binoculars to see the dipper-shaped Pleiades cluster. As seen from North America, the Pleiades sit to the west (right) of tonight’s moon. As seen from mid-northern latitudes in Europe and Asia, the Pleiades sit to the moon’s east (or ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 10, Somber red Betelgeuse

Sky Tonight—February 10, Somber red Betelgeuse shines in the shoulder of Orion

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org At nightfall and early evening, people at mid-northern latitudes see the famous Belt of Orion – three stars in a short, straight row – about halfway between the southern horizon and straight overhead. Later at night, you will find Orion in the southwest. Above Orion’s Belt, you will find one of the sky’s most famous stars, ruddy-hued Betelgeuse. Kids especially like Betelgeuse, because its name ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 9, Shedding light on the

Sky Tonight—February 9, Shedding light on the moon’s dark side

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Look south to southwest this early evening to view the waxing crescent moon. The moon’s disk is nearly 40% illuminated by sunshine and 60% engulfed in its own shadow. Tonight, the moon shines near the three brightest stars of the constellation Aries: Hamal, Sheratan, and Mesarthim. Half the moon is always illuminated in space. In other words, the moon has a day side and a night side, just as Earth ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 8, Use Big Dipper’s Pointers

Sky Tonight—February 8, Use Big Dipper’s Pointers to find Polaris

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org If you can find the Big Dipper in the northern sky in mid to late evening tonight, you can find the North Star, Polaris. The Big Dipper is not a constellation. Instead, it is an asterism, just a recognizable pattern of stars on the sky’s dome. It is part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Greater Bear. Big and Little Dippers: Noticeable in northern sky A well-known trick for finding the North ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 5, Moon closer to Jupiter

Sky Tonight—February 5, Moon closer to Jupiter

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The brilliant point of light above tonight’s waxing crescent moon is Jupiter, the 5th planet outward from the sun. These two worlds – our companion moon and the solar system’s largest planet – are the brightest objects in the evening sky now. Look for them in the west, shortly after sunset. Jupiter – the king of planets in our sun’s system – has over 60 known moons of its own. Only four ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 3, Double Cluster of Perseus in

Sky Tonight—February 3, Double Cluster of Perseus in northwest

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org To find the gorgeous Double Cluster in the constellation Perseus, face north to northwest as darkness falls this evening. Here you can find the Double Cluster in the constellation Perseus. These are two open star clusters, known as “H” and “Chi” Persei (also called NGC 884 and 869). How to find them? First, you need a dark sky. Second, you may need binoculars, as the Double Cluster is only ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—February 2, Cassiopeia is shaped like an

Sky Tonight—February 2, Cassiopeia is shaped like an ‘M’ or ‘W’

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Erick wrote, “Do you have any information on Cassiopeia’s Chair?” Erick, you have used the lovely old-fashioned name for this constellation. In the 1930s, the International Astronomical Union gave this constellation the official name of Cassiopeia the Queen. Nevertheless, skywatchers still see the chair, and speak of it. Cassiopeia was an Ethiopian queen in ancient Greek mythology. According to ... Full Story

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