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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

EarthSky Tonight—Algol, a famous variable star,

EarthSky Tonight—Algol, a famous variable star, dimmest tonight

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Algol – perhaps the most famous variable star in all the heavens – will be dimmest tonight at 8:29 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Even at its dimmest, Algol is still bright enough to see with the eye. Algol is what astronomers call an eclipsing binary star. In other words, the single point of light that we see as Algol is really two stars. Like clockwork, these two stars revolve around each other every 2.87 ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 4, Cassiopeia high up in

EarthSky Tonight—December 4, Cassiopeia high up in northern sky on December evenings

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org On these December evenings, the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen appears high in the northeastern sky at nightfall and swings directly over Polaris, the North Star, at about 8 p.m. local clock time. Cassiopeia – sometimes called The Lady of the Chair – is famous for having the shape of a telltale W or M. You will find this configuration of stars as a starlit M whenever she is highest in the sky, hovering ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 3, Greatest illuminated

EarthSky Tonight—December 3, Greatest illuminated extent for Venus December 4

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Venus shines at it brightest throughout the first week of December 2010. However, tomorrow is a special day for earthly observations of Venus. It is the day on which Venus reaches what astronomers call its greatest illuminated extent. It happens on Saturday, December 4, 2010 at 4 a.m. Central Standard Time (10 Universal Time). This event marks the moment when the visible fraction of Venus’ day side – the part ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight— December 2, See the moons of

EarthSky Tonight— December 2, See the moons of Jupiter on December evenings

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Given clear skies, everyone with a decent backyard telescope should be able to view Jupiter’s moons. In their outward order from Jupiter, these four major moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. First, find Jupiter with the unaided eye. That should not be too difficult because this dazzling world beams as the brightest star-like object in the evening sky. At mid-northern latitudes – like in North ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—December 1, Moon and Venus at

EarthSky Tonight—December 1, Moon and Venus at brightest pair up before sunrise December 2

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org On Thursday morning, December 2, 2010, the moon and planet Venus pair up in the predawn sky. What’s more, if you look, you will find Venus shining at its maximum brightness around now as the morning star. It is always bright, but – when brightest – Venus looms as an eerie beacon in our twilight sky. It is quite a sight to see. Look eastward before dawn lights the sky. Venus will not appear this bright in the ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 30, Sun in Ophiuchus until

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 30, Sun in Ophiuchus until December 17

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org If you could see the stars during the daytime, you would see the sun shining in front of the constellation Ophiuchus today. At about this time each year, the sun passes out of Scorpius to enter Ophiuchus. Like Scorpius, Ophiuchus is a constellation of the Zodiac, and every year the sun passes in front of Ophiuchus from about November 30 until December 17. The ecliptic – which translates on our sky’s dome as ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 29, catch Mercury after sunset

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 29, catch Mercury after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org You might be able to find the most elusive planet – Mercury – low in the southwest sky at evening dusk for this entire next week. This is the best evening apparition of this planet until March 2011. Even so, you will need an unobstructed southwest horizon and a clear sky – and possibly binoculars – to catch Mercury after the sun goes down. Mercury is hard to spot, not because it is dim, but because it so ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 28, Summer Triangle in west on

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 28, Summer Triangle in west on fall and winter evenings

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The Summer Triangle – the signature star formation of summer – is made up of the three brilliant stars Vega, Deneb and Altair. Although December is just around the corner, the Summer Triangle still lights up these autumn evenings. What’s more, the Summer Triangle will continue to shine after dark throughout December and January. Look for it at early evening, fairly high in your western sky. In late June ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 27, Orion the Hunter rises in

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 27, Orion the Hunter rises in the east at mid-evening

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Orion the Mighty Hunter – perhaps the easiest to identify of all constellations – rises at mid-evening in late November and early December. Depending on where you live, Orion will climb over your eastern horizon by around 8 to 9 p.m. tonight. Orion appears to be lying on his side when he first ascends into our eastern sky. Orion’s Belt of three moderately-bright stars juts more or less straight upward from ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 26, Can you see the different

EarthSky Tonight—Nov 26, Can you see the different colors of the stars?

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The stars are like wildflowers, in that each star radiates with a different color of the rainbow. Have you ever noticed star colors? Let’s explore some of the stars that you will see in the meadow of night tonight. In the northeastern sky at evening shines a bright star called Capella, the Little She Goat, in the constellation Auriga. Like brighter Sirius, which does not rise until several hours later in the ... Full Story

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