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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, July 30, 2016

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

EarthSky Tonight, December 15: Bellatrix—Orion’s

EarthSky Tonight, December 15: Bellatrix—Orion’s third brightest star—means Female Warrior

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The third-brightest star in Orion, Bellatrix, is often overlooked. Yet, Bellatrix is such a wonderful star. According to Richard Hinckley Allen’s classic book Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, the Latin name Bellatrix means Female Warrior, which some find odd since the original Arabic title translates as the Conqueror. But women understand. Bellatrix represents Orion’s left shoulder. Although it appears ... Full Story

December 14, Focus on stars Betelgeuse and Rigel in

December 14, Focus on stars Betelgeuse and Rigel in Orion

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Orion the Hunter is one of the most prominent constellations in all the heavens. You cannot fail to spot Orion’s Belt – three medium-bright stars in a short, straight row – if you look eastward in the evening. The magnificent Orion Nebula, or M42, is a fuzzy patch in Orion’s Sword. Most constellations have only one bright star, but Orion has two: Rigel and Betelgeuse. Rigel is Orion’s left foot. A ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Dec. 13, Best night for 2010

EarthSky Tonight—Dec. 13, Best night for 2010 Geminids

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The best night for viewing the 2010 Geminid meteor shower might be the night of December 13 from late night until dawn (Monday before midnight, Tuesday morning after midnight). You will see the most meteors after the moon sets in the middle of the night. By the way, the bright “star” near tonight’s moon is the planet Jupiter. Generally, the shower intensifies after midnight and reaches its peak around 2 ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 12, 2010 Geminid meteors

EarthSky Tonight—December 12,  2010 Geminid meteors late evening to dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Sunday, December 12 is one of the peak nights of the 2010 Geminid meteor showers. Monday, December 13 might be even better. The dazzling Geminid meteor shower should pick up steam from late evening until around 2 a.m. when the radiant point – near the star Castor in the constellation Gemini – is high in the sky. Radiant point for December’s Geminid meteor shower As a bonus, the moon is near Jupiter tonight. ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Tonight December 11, Radiant point

EarthSky Tonight—Tonight  December 11, Radiant point for Geminid meteor shower

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Today’s chart shows the radiant point for December’s famous Geminid meteor shower. The 2010 shower is peaking around now. You might see some Geminid meteors on the night of December 11, but the forecast calls for them to be falling most richly after the moon sets on Sunday, December 12 and Monday, December 13 – from late at night until dawn. About the radiant point. You don’t have to locate a meteor ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 10, Celestial Chariot high

EarthSky Tonight—December 10, Celestial Chariot high overhead at midnight

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org On these long December nights, you can find the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. The Heavenly Chariot – with its brilliant yellow star Capella – starts the journey in the northeast at dusk, flies overhead at midnight and finishes up in the northwest at dawn. Our chart shows Auriga at around midnight, when this pentagon-shaped pattern hits the zenith, or highest point in the sky. With no moon in sight, a ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 9, Find Orion the Hunter

EarthSky Tonight—December 9,  Find Orion the Hunter and see the Milky Way

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org You can find one of winter’s most famous constellations – Orion the Hunter – plus see the Milky Way tonight. Orion is bright and can be seen from inside smaller cities. For the Milky Way, you will need a dark sky! On these evenings in early to mid-December, the constellation Orion rises over your eastern horizon 2 to 3 hours after sunset. Orion swings south to his highest point around midnight, then sets ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 8, Earliest northern

EarthSky Tonight—December 8,  Earliest northern hemisphere sunsets are not at solstice

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The 2010 solstice comes on December 21, but the earliest sunsets for the northern hemisphere are around now. It seems paradoxical. At middle latitudes in the U.S. – and throughout the northern hemisphere – the earliest sunsets of the year come about two weeks before the solstice and the shortest day of the year. Everything you need to know about the solstice on December 21 Why isn’t the earliest sunset on ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Young moon and Mercury after sunset

EarthSky Tonight—Young moon and Mercury after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Can you find the slim waxing crescent moon and planet Mercury after sunset this evening? It will be a major sky-watching challenge. Binoculars can help you search, although both worlds are actually visible to the unaided eye in a clear sky shortly after sunset. To see the planets, find a level horizon in the direction of sunset. The moon and Mercury will pop out close to the southwest horizon some 35 to 60 minutes ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 6, Winter Circle up by

EarthSky Tonight—December 6, Winter Circle up by late evening

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org You will have to stay up until 9 or 10 p.m. tonight to see the exceptionally brilliant and huge Winter Circle filling up the eastern portion of sky. This famous sky pattern is not a constellation. It is an asterism: a noticeable pattern on the sky’s dome. In this case, the pattern is made of the brightest stars of winter, in many different constellations. From a dark sky, you will see the Milky Way’s hazy band ... Full Story

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