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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Monday, April 21, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

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

EarthSky Tonight—August 19, Venus’ greatest

EarthSky Tonight—August 19, Venus’ greatest evening elongation favors southern hemisphere

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Because the planet Venus circles the sun inside of Earth’s orbit, Venus can never appear opposite the sun in Earth’s sky – like the moon does at full moon. In fact, Venus cannot even get as far as 90 degrees from the sun – as the moon does at its first and last quarter phases. As seen from Earth, Venus stays closely tethered to the sun. These next few evenings, however, will find Venus at the end of its tether, at ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 18, Moon shines above

EarthSky Tonight—August 18, Moon shines above Scorpion’s stinger

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Every month, the moon swings full circle in front of the constellations of the Zodiac. And each month, as the moon parades past the constellation Scorpius, the moon makes sure to stay a safe distance above the Scorpion’s stinger stars, Shaula and Lesath. After all, the lore of the skies tells us the Scorpion’s stinger put Orion the Mighty Hunter to death. As seen from mid-northern latitudes in North America, the ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 17, Antares – Fire Star

EarthSky Tonight—August 17, Antares – Fire Star – near moon

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org You have got about another month to see a uniquely summer star, Antares in the constellation Scorpius, in the evening. It is the brightest star near the waxing gibbous moon tonight, in the southern sky as night begins. The moon and Antares will drift westward throughout the night, to set around midnight. Antares sets some 4 minutes earlier with each passing night. By late September, Antares will be tough to spot in the ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 16, August best time to see

EarthSky Tonight—August 16, August best time to see random meteors

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Astronomy is said to be the people’s science in part because anyone, regardless of training, can participate. There is so much you can observe in the sky, even without a telescope, and of course, meteors – also called shooting stars – are high on the list. When will the next meteor shower occur? That depends on what you mean by meteor shower. If your shower has to be a recognized and recurring event, then there are ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 15, Moon passes beneath

EarthSky Tonight—August 15, Moon passes beneath Libra stars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The waxing crescent moon and the constellation Libra’s two major stars – Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali – appear rather low in your southwest sky at nightfall. The moon can help you find these stars. As evening deepens, the moon and these Libra stars descend westward, to sink beneath the southwest horizon by mid to late evening. Zubenelgenubi: Alpha star of Libra the Scales Zubeneschamali: Green ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 14, Look for moon, Spica,

EarthSky Tonight—August 14, Look for moon, Spica, Venus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org In the west after sunset tonight, you will find Spica and the waxing crescent moon. The planets to the right of the moon are Mars, Venus and Saturn. Of those planets, Venus will be easiest to see because it is so bright. You might need binoculars for Mars and Saturn. Spica is known as a blue-white star. Can you detect its color in contrast to nearby stars? If not, try looking at Spica with binoculars. Spica isn’t ... Full Story

EarthSky Tonight—August 13, Moon and Venus, more

EarthSky Tonight—August 13, Moon and Venus, more Perseid meteors, and two star clusters

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The 2010 Perseid meteor shower has been in full swing for at least the past 24 hours, but you still have a last chance to see a good display of meteors before dawn August 14. In addition, as night falls this evening, you can see Venus near the waxing crescent moon in the western twilight sky. Today’s chart shows that lovely sky scene, which will set soon after darkness falls. You really have to be a night owl or an ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—August 12, Moon and Venus in

Earthsky Tonight—August 12, Moon and Venus in evening, 2010 Perseid meteors before dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The 2010 Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight. Look late tonight and between midnight and dawn on Friday, August 13. As always, this forecast represents a best guess, not a certainty. Any clear night on the nights of August 11, 12 and 13 should be fine for watching the Perseid meteor shower! Be sure to go to a dark location and watch for an hour or more. The annual Perseid meteor shower ranks as one of the most prolific ... Full Story

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