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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Earthsky Tonight—June 1: Big Dipper high in north on

Earthsky Tonight—June 1: Big Dipper high in north on June evenings

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Here is the legendary Big Dipper, now high in the north during the evening hours. It is one of the most familiar star patterns in the sky because its shape really resembles a dipper. Less familiar – and tougher to find – is the Little Dipper. Here is how you can find it. First, locate the Big Dipper in the northern sky during the evening hours. Notice that the Big Dipper has two parts: a bowl and a handle. See the ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 31: Saturn ’stationary’ in

Earthsky Tonight—May 31: Saturn ’stationary’ in front of Virgo

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Astronomical almanacs list Saturn as “stationary” today. That doesn’t mean that Saturn – like Polaris, the North Star – will remain in the same place in the sky all through the night tonight. Saturn will appear in your southern sky at dusk and nightfall. Thereafter, Saturn will descend westward, to set in the west during the wee hours after midnight. What “stationary” means is that as seen from Earth, ... Full Story

May 30: Star Deneb belongs to a cross-like star

May 30:  Star Deneb belongs to a cross-like star pattern

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Here is the view toward the northeast in mid-evening in the month of May. It is by looking in this direction that you can get a good look at Deneb: the bright star below and to the left of Vega on the sky’s dome. Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. If you look at the pattern indicated on today’s chart, you might be able to imagine Deneb as the point marking the tail of a swan flying ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 29: Tonight’s moon near

Earthsky Tonight—May 29: Tonight’s moon near Teapot asterism

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org At middle latitudes in North America, the waning gibbous moon rises into the southeast sky about 2 hours after sunset. The full moon only happened a few days ago, so the moon tonight will look very bright as it shines from mid-evening until dawn. Tonight’s moon beams in front of the constellation Sagittarius the Archer. By around midnight, the Sagittarian Teapot will climb above the southeast horizon, with the moon ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 28: Look for Vega in the

Earthsky Tonight—May 28:  Look for Vega in the northeast in springtime

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Here is the star Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky. You will find this beautiful bluish star by looking northeastward in mid-evening. It is so bright that you can notice it, even when no other stars are visible. Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp. To see the shape of the entire Harp, check out this chart. Vega is a lovely star to come to know. When I was first learning the night sky, ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 27: Full moon near the

Earthsky Tonight—May 27: Full moon near the Scorpion’s Heart

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The moon reaches its full phase tonight, but it rides low above the horizon for mid-northern latitudes. If your southeastern horizon is rather cluttered, you might have to wait 90 minutes after sunset for the brilliant orb to clear any obstacles. Once you have the moon well in sight, look about three lunar diameters (1.5 degrees) below it for a bright star. Tonight the moon pays a visit to Antares, the ruddy heart of the ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 26: Earth shadow, Belt of

Earthsky Tonight—May 26:  Earth shadow, Belt of Venus in east after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Here’s a lovely photo of the Earth’s shadow, which can be seen any clear evening ascending in the eastern sky at exactly the same rate that the sun sets below the western horizon. The shadow is a deep blue-grey – darker than the blue of the twilight sky. The pinkish part above the shadow is called the Belt of Venus. The shadow of the Earth is big. You might have to turn your head to see the whole thing. ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—- May 25: Mercury at greatest

Earthsky Tonight—- May 25: Mercury at greatest morning elongation on May 26

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Mercury, the solar system’s innermost planet, reaches its greatest morning elongation from the sun tomorrow (Wednesday, May 26). The term greatest elongation specifically applies to inferior planets – the planets that orbit the sun inside of Earth’s orbit: Mercury and Venus. As seen from Earth, Mercury – like a dog on a leash – never strays far from the sun. Mercury only becomes visible in the morning sky when ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 24: Bright star near moon is

Earthsky Tonight—May 24: Bright star near moon is Spica

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The waxing gibbous moon glides past the star Spica in the constellation Virgo this evening. It passes relatively close to Spica for a day or two each month that Spica is visible in our night sky. It does the same with other bright stars such as Regulus in the constellation Leo, Antares in the constellation Scorpius and Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus. Have you ever heard of the moon near Polaris the North Star? If ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight – May23: Moon leaving Saturn,

Earthsky Tonight – May23: Moon leaving Saturn, approaching Spica

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Yesterday – on Saturday evening – the waxing gibbous moon shone close to the planet Saturn. This Sunday evening, a fuller waxing gibbous moon beams in between Saturn and the star Spica. Tomorrow – on Monday – a larger yet waxing gibbous moon will couple up with Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. As the moon makes its rounds through the starry heavens, its passes through every constellation of ... Full Story

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