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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Thursday, September 18, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Sky Tonight—January 22, Faint, fuzzy object near

Sky Tonight—January 22, Faint, fuzzy object near Sirius is a star cluster

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org A reader wrote, "On November 4, I went to study the constellation Orion, but first I had to see the star Sirius and there was a glimmer below Sirius and upon looking, it seemed to be a very nice comet. Has anyone else seen this? I am a newby … (and) would like someone to verify if they see this. I am quite up and excited." It was not a comet, but very likely was a lovely star cluster called M41. So, the ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 21, Identify the Winter Circle

Sky Tonight—January 21, Identify the Winter Circle and winter’s brightest stars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Tonight’s chart covers a wider area of sky than what we typically show. It is in answer to a reader in Nashville, who wrote, I have heard mention of the Winter Circle of Stars. Could you list the stars in this circle? You will find these stars at this time of year by looking east-southeast at early to mid evening. Again, this is a large pattern and covers a wide area of sky, but as always, it is ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 20, Orion the Hunter easy to

Sky Tonight—January 20, Orion the Hunter easy to spot in January night sky

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The constellation Orion the Hunter is probably the easiest to pick out of all the constellations in the winter sky. It is identifiable by Orion’s Belt, three medium-bright stars in a short, straight row at the mid-section of the Hunter. See these stars? They are easy to spot on the sky’s dome. As seen from mid-northern latitudes, you will find Orion in the southeast at nightfall and shining high in ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 19, Full moon rises in east

Sky Tonight—January 19, Full moon rises in east around sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org This is the first full moon after the December solstice. In North America, we commonly call this full moon the Old Moon or Moon After Yule. Can you tell me the full moon names? The photograph above is by sky artist, Dan Bush, by the way. Be sure to check out his moon page. Look for tonight’s full moon to rise in the east around sunset today (Wednesday, January 19). Like every full moon, it will ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 18, Moon near Gemini stars

Sky Tonight—January 18, Moon near Gemini stars Castor and Pollux

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at0 www.EarthSky.org The moon will look full tonight as it shines close to the constellation Gemini’s brightest stars, Castor and Pollux. The moon will not actually be astronomically full – or most opposite the sun – until tomorrow, on Wednesday, January 19. Although we draw in the stick figure of the Gemini Twins on tonight’s chart, you will not see much of Gemini in the moonlight except for Castor and Pollux. By ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 17, Sun moves toward star Vega

Sky Tonight—January 17, Sun moves toward star Vega in journey around galaxy

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org An Australia visitor wrote, I seek to find out what speed our sun is traveling at and also how many years does it take to circumnavigate the galaxy? Our Milky Way galaxy is a collection of several hundred billion stars. It has an estimated diameter of 100,000 light-years. Our sun does indeed circumnavigate the Milky Way galaxy. In space, everything moves. There are various estimates for the speed the sun ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 16, Cassiopeia and Big Dipper on

Sky Tonight—January 16, Cassiopeia and Big Dipper on opposite sides of North Star

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Bright star on January evenings? It’s the planet Jupiter The northern sky’s two most prominent sky patterns – the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen and the Big Dipper – both circle around Polaris, the North Star, once a day. They are opposite each other – one on either side of the North Star. The constellation Cassiopeia the Queen is easy to recognize in the northern sky, either in the ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 15, Moon near Aldebaran and the

Sky Tonight—January 15, Moon near Aldebaran and the Pleiades

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Bright star on January evenings? It’s the planet Jupiter We are displaying a larger swath of sky than we usually do on tonight’s chart. That is because we are showing you how to star-hop from the three stars of Orion’s Belt to the star Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster. Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster reside within the constellation Taurus the Bull. However, you will not need ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 14, Moon and Pleiades – or

Sky Tonight—January 14, Moon and Pleiades – or Seven Sisters

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The waxing gibbous moon and the Pleiades star cluster are found high in the southern sky at early evening. Although the moonlit glare may make it difficult to see this tiny, dipper-shape cluster of starlets tonight, be sure to check out the Pleiades on a dark, moonless night. The moon will leave the evening sky during the last week of January 2011, staging the Pleiades in a dark starry sky. Then, you can ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—January 13, Moon in front of Aries the

Sky Tonight—January 13, Moon in front of Aries the Ram

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Tonight, the waxing gibbous moon shines in front of the constellation Aries the Ram. As seen from mid-northern latitudes at nightfall and early evening, you’ll find the moon high in your southern sky, and the three stars outlining the head of the Ram shining to the right or upper right of the moon. These Aries’ stars are Hamal, Sheratan and Mesarthim. Hamal is the brightest of these three stars, ... Full Story

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