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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Thursday, July 2, 2015

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

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

EarthSky Tonight—August 22, Almost full moon lights

EarthSky Tonight—August 22, Almost full moon lights up Capricornus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org We draw in the arrowhead-shape figure of the constellation Capricornus by the moon on tonight’s chart. However, you are not likely to see this star pattern tonight because of the overwhelming glare of the full-looking waxing gibbous moon. When the moon drops out of the evening sky by the end of the month, you will be able to see this loop of stars in a dark sky. The signpost of the summer skies – the Summer ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 21, Summer Triangle high

EarthSky Tonight—August 21,  Summer Triangle high overhead on summer evenings

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Our sky chart shows the Summer Triangle asterism as it appears at late evening. As seen from mid-northern latitudes, Vega – the Summer Triangle’s brightest star – shines high overhead around 10:00 p.m. daylight saving time (9:00 p.m. standard time) this evening. Altair resides to the lower left (southeast) of Vega, and Deneb lies to Vega’s left (east). As the stars drift westward during the night, Deneb will swing ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 20, Star-hop from Big Dipper

EarthSky Tonight—August 20, Star-hop from Big Dipper to Arcturus and Spica

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The Big Dipper pops out into your northwestern sky on August evenings. On August 3, we star-hopped from the Big Dipper to Polaris, the North Star. Tonight, we star-hop to two bright summer stars: Arcturus and Spica. As shown on our sky chart, we extend the Big Dipper handle “to arc to Arcturus and to drive a spike to Spica.” Arcturus is the brightest star in your western sky, so you cannot miss this yellow-orange ... Full Story

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