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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, August 29, 2015

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Earthsky Tonight—June 14: Young moon and Venus in

Earthsky Tonight—June 14: Young moon and Venus in west after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Tonight, the slender waxing crescent moon lodges close to the planet Venus. This dazzling world ranks as the third brightest celestial body in all the heavens, after the sun and moon. As seen from both the northern and southern hemispheres, Venus will set beneath the west-northwest horizon about 2.5 hours after sunset. Our chart shows the sky as it looks from mid-northern latitudes in North America. From almost ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 13: Year’s earliest sunrises

Earthsky Tonight—June 13: Year’s earliest sunrises for northern latitudes

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org For all of us in the northern hemisphere, the earliest sunrises of the year are happening now, despite the fact that the solstice is still a week away. If you are privileged enough to be outdoors before one of these early sunrises, you’ll find some of the most beautiful dawn twilights of the year … and, in 2010, you’ll also find the second brightest of all planets, Jupiter, blazing away in the southeast sky. For the ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 12: Zodiac means Pathway of

Earthsky Tonight—June 12: Zodiac means Pathway of Animals

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Today’s chart shows which zodiacal constellations are up soon after darkness falls on an evening in the middle of June. You are facing due south for this chart, looking southeast to west, more or less following the path the sun takes during the day. One of you wrote, “What does Zodiac mean?” The word “zodiac” just means “pathway of animals.” It is an important pathway across our sky because the sun moves ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—11: Altair, guide star to two small

Earthsky Tonight—11: Altair, guide star to two small constellations

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Look in the east at nightfall and evening to locate a sparkling blue-white star not far from the horizon. That is Altair, the brightest star in the constellation Aquila the Eagle, and the second brightest star in the Summer Triangle. The Summer Triangle formation is made up of the three bright summer stars, Vega, Deneb and Altair. The Summer Triangle lights up the eastern sky on June evenings. Once you have found Altair, ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 10: Find the Summer Triangle

Earthsky Tonight—June 10: Find the Summer Triangle ascending in the east

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org An asterism is not the same thing as a constellation. Constellations generally come to us from ancient times. Earlier in this century, the boundaries of 88 constellations were officially drawn by the International Astronomical Union. On the other hand, asterisms are whatever you want them to be. They are just patterns on the sky’s dome. You can also make up your own asterisms, in much the same way you can recognize ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 8: Crow, cup and water snake

Earthsky Tonight—June 8: Crow, cup and water snake sail the southern sky

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Early on this June evening, look to the southern sky shortly after sunset. The first star you will likely see, nearly due south, is Spica, in Virgo. However, wait a little and given clear skies and a lack of lights, a number of fainter stars will begin to become visible. Below and to the right of Spica are the constellations of Corvus the Crow, Crater the Cup, and Hydra the Water Snake. In Greek mythology, Apollo sent the ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 7: Closest two planets of 2010

Earthsky Tonight—June 7: Closest two planets of 2010 on June 8, but one may require binoculars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The closest planet/planet pairing takes place in the morning sky on Tuesday, June 8. Jupiter and Uranus stand less than 1/2 degree apart. (For reference, the moon’s diameter spans 1/2 degree of sky.) The brighter of these two planets, Jupiter, beams as the brightest celestial point of light in the dawn and predawn sky. Uranus, though, only appears about 1/2000 as bright as Jupiter. In other words, you will need a dark ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 6: Mars and Regulus in

Earthsky Tonight—June 6: Mars and Regulus in conjunction

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The planet Mars and the star Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, highlight their conjunction this evening. Two heavenly bodies are said to be in conjunction whenever they stand north and south of one another. Tonight, Mars and Regulus shine about a pinky-width apart. By all means, look at the evening couple through binoculars or low power on a telescope. The contrast of color makes their partner’s ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 5: Moon and Jupiter pair up

Earthsky Tonight—June 5: Moon and Jupiter pair up before sunrise

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Before daybreak tomorrow (Sunday, June 6), the two most brilliant heavenly bodies of the early morning sky – the waning crescent moon and the dazzling planet Jupiter – couple up together to light up the dawn and predawn hours. The moon and Jupiter showcase themselves all over the world, except at far northern latitudes near and north of the Arctic Circle. That far north, the June sun shines for 24 hours, or nearly 24 ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—June 4: Rastaban and Eltanin belong

Earthsky Tonight—June 4: Rastaban and Eltanin belong to constellation Draco

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org One of you asked, "What are constellations?" The answer is that they are just patterns of stars on the sky’s dome. The Greeks and Romans, for example, named them for their gods and goddesses, and for many sorts of animals. In the 20th century, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) formalized the names and boundaries of the constellations. Now every star in the sky belongs to one or another constellation. The ... Full Story

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