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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Sunday, November 23, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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, ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... Full Story

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 ... 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, ... 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 – ... Full Story

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