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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, October 1, 2016

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Sky Tonight—December 29, Moon and Venus before dawn

Sky Tonight—December 29, Moon and Venus before dawn tomorrow

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org If you look in the eastern predawn sky in the coming mornings, you will find the moon and planet Venus close together. They will be a beautiful sight tomorrow morning, shining nearly side by side. Venus is easy. It is the brightest object there other than the sun and moon. However, Mercury –the most elusive planet – is also up before dawn, closer to the horizon. Now here is a challenge. Did you see Mercury ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—December 28, Find a variable star in

Sky Tonight—December 28, Find a variable star in Lyra

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org This evening, we zoom in on a variable star – a star whose brightness changes – near the star Vega in the small but distinctive constellation Lyra the Harp. Here is how to locate it. A dark sky brings out the four rather faint stars to the left of Vega. These stars form a parallelogram – a four-sided figure with its opposite sides equally long and parallel to one another. Three fingers at an arm length ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—December 27, Moon, bright star, two

Sky Tonight—December 27, Moon, bright star, two planets before dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Before dawn tomorrow (Tuesday, December 28), look in the east for the planet Saturn and star Spica near the last quarter moon. Beneath this threesome – moon, Saturn and Spica – you will see the blazing planet Venus much closer to the eastern predawn horizon. You might be seeing these objects when there is a fair amount of predawn twilight washing the sky. The planets and stars have colors of their own. Saturn ... Full Story

Sky Tonight— December 24, Moon approaching Regulus

Sky Tonight— December 24, Moon approaching Regulus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Bright object in south on December evenings? It’s the planet Jupiter If you are out late on this Friday evening, look toward the east to see the moon near the star known as the Lion’s Heart. This is Regulus, brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. Although our sky chart is designed for mid-temperate North American latitudes, the moon and Regulus can be seen late tonight from all around the world. ... Full Story

Sky Tonight, December 23—Southern Cross visible in

Sky Tonight, December 23—Southern Cross visible in Hawaii before sunrise

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Bright object in south on December evenings? It’s the planet Jupiter A reader asked us, “When can I see the Southern Cross in Hawaii?” At this time of year, Hawaiians can see the Southern Cross, which is also known as the constellation Crux, in the southern sky before dawn. The Southern Cross stands close to upright, but quite low in the sky. Notice the two nearby stars, Rigel Kentaurus and Hadar. Rigel ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—December 22, Moon and heavenly Twins

Sky Tonight—December 22, Moon and heavenly Twins

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The big and bright waning gibbous moon shines in front of Gemini the Twins tonight. Our chart today shows you the view toward the east-northeast sky about three hours after sunset. Gemini’s two brightest stars are Castor and Pollux. They shine quite close to the moon tonight. The moon and Gemini swing westward throughout the night, for the same reason the sun moves westward during the day. It is because the ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—December 21, solstice marks day of

Sky Tonight—December 21, solstice marks day of southernmost sun

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Today’s 2010 December solstice comes at 23:38 (11:38 p.m.) Universal Time today, when the sun on our sky’s dome reaches its farthest point south of the celestial equator – an imaginary line around the sky directly above the Earth’s equator. Translating Universal Time to Mountain Standard Time, that is 4:38 p.m. today. How do I translate Universal Time to my time? At this solstice, we celebrate the ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 19, Use moon to imagine

EarthSky Tonight—December 19, Use moon to imagine Pioneer 10 spacecraft

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org As seen from around the world this Friday evening, the very round and full-looking moon will be a few days shy of full moon. Tonight’s moon will actually be a waning gibbous moon, though it will be so big and bright that you might think it is full. It will be so bright that it will erase most of the stars from the sky. Northernmost total lunar eclipse of 21st century on December 20/21 It is possible to use ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 18, Moon glides by

EarthSky Tonight—December 18, Moon glides by Pleiades cluster

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Tonight, moving eastward as it always does in orbit around Earth, the moon will pass by the famous Pleiades star cluster. Our sky chart shows you what the moon and the Pleiades cluster might look like through binoculars this early evening. Notice that the Pleiades has a dipper shape. Total lunar eclipse on December 20 or 21, depending on time zone Early stargazers sometimes described the Pleiades as a ’swarm of ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 16, Jupiter at eastern

EarthSky Tonight—December 16, Jupiter at eastern quadrature

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org If you could look down on the solar system plane from outer space today, you would see that the sun, Earth and Jupiter form a 90-degree angle. Astronomers will say that Jupiter is at eastern quadrature – or 90 degrees east of the sun – today. Geometric markers such as these, for planets and moons in our solar system, are more than just academic. They indicate where you can find these bodies in our sky – and ... Full Story

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