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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, August 23, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

EarthSky Tonight—September 1, Venus, Mars, Spica

EarthSky Tonight—September 1,  Venus, Mars, Spica meet in west after sunset early September

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The first few evenings of September 2010 present a celestial trio – the planets Venus and Mars, and the star Spica fitting within a circle that is smaller than 5 degrees in diameter. Because a typical binocular field spans about 5 degrees of sky, there is a good chance of seeing all three luminaries squeezing up together inside a single binocular field. All three should be bright enough to see with the unaided eye, if ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 31, Moon and Pleiades from

EarthSky Tonight—August 31, Moon and Pleiades from midnight to dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The moon is not quite yet at its last quarter phase as it and the Pleiades star cluster rise over your east-northeast horizon around midnight tonight. The Pleiades cluster follows the slightly waning gibbous moon upward during the morning hours after midnight on Wednesday. The two luminaries shine high in the southeast as morning dawn starts to color the sky. As seen from Madagascar, the Mauritius Islands to the east of ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight— August 30, Andromeda Galaxy

EarthSky Tonight— August 30,  Andromeda Galaxy visible again each evening

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The Great Square of Pegasus sparkles over your eastern horizon at early to mid evening. For some idea of the Great Square’s size, extend your hand an arm length from your eye. You will see that any two Great Square stars are farther apart than the width of your hand. The Square of Pegasus is a great jumping off point for finding the famous Andromeda galaxy, also known to astronomers as M31. As seen from mid-northern ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 29, Closest celestial trio

EarthSky Tonight—August 29, Closest celestial trio of 2010 in late August, early September

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org In a few more days, Venus and Mars will team up with the star Spica to stage this year’s closest celestial trio – three heavenly bodies fitting within a circle smaller than 5 degrees in diameter. A typical binocular field covers about 5 degrees of sky, and you might catch all three snuggling within a single binocular field this early evening. As seen from North America, the threesome cozies up even more closely on ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 28, Ophiuchus is part of the

EarthSky Tonight—August 28, Ophiuchus is part of the Zodiac, too

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The faint constellation Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer appears in the southwest sky on late August and September evenings, above the bright ruddy star Antares, the brightest in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. Ophiuchus’ brightest star is called Rasalhague. It marks the head of Ophiuchus and is nowhere as bright as Antares, the star that depicts the Scorpion’s beating heart. The Zodiac – or ‘pathway of ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 27, moon near Jupiter –

EarthSky Tonight—August 27, moon near Jupiter – not Mars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The moon is near a bright object on August 27, 2010, but – no matter what anyone tells you – that bright object is not the planet Mars. Instead, it is Jupiter. Will Mars appear as large as a full moon in August 2010? Over the past few days, the waning gibbous moon has approached Jupiter and passed it. Tonight the moon is not as close to Jupiter as it was last night. However, Jupiter is still very noticeable on ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 26, Jupiter and moon in east

EarthSky Tonight—August 26, Jupiter and moon in east by late evening

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Tonight’s sky is dominated by Jupiter and the waning gibbous moon. You can see them in the east by mid-evening tonight, after brilliant Venus has disappeared beyond the western horizon. Rising just an hour or two after sunset, Jupiter and the moon can be viewed for the rest of the night among the faint stars of the constellation Pisces the Fish. With a bright moon passing near them, Pisces’ dim outline might not be ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 25, Orion the Hunter and

EarthSky Tonight—August 25, Orion the Hunter and Sirius the Dog Star

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The very noticeable constellation Orion the Hunter can be seen ascending in the southeast before dawn at this time of year. Orion will be visible in the evening by winter, but right now the Hunter lords over the southeastern sky at dawn’s first light. Orion was low in the west after sunset last spring, and, in early summer, this constellation was behind the sun as seen from Earth. Orion only returned to visibility in ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 24, August full moon is

EarthSky Tonight—August 24, August full moon is smallest, farthest full moon in 2010

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The August 2010 full moon is the smallest, farthest full moon of the year. It lies more than 252,000 miles away, in contrast to the moon’s average distance of about 239,000 miles. Farthest and closest full moons recur in regular cycles. The closest full moon comes 7 lunar months – in other words, 7 full moons – after the farthest full moon. Then the farthest full moon comes 7 lunar months after the closest full ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 23, Venus points way to

EarthSky Tonight—August 23, Venus points way to fainter Mars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org How soon can you spot Venus above the western horizon as the sun sets? From the northern hemisphere, the ecliptic – the line in the sky that marks the path of the sun, as well as its attendant planets – makes a shallow angle with the horizon. The slant of the ecliptic is more perpendicular to the horizon in the southern hemisphere, making Venus stand tall during twilight. Shining at magnitude -4.4, Venus easily pierces ... Full Story

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