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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Thursday, January 29, 2015

‘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 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

Earthsky Tonight—May 22, Moon near golden planet

Earthsky Tonight—May 22, Moon near golden planet Saturn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org find the moon in a waxing gibbous phase this evening – more than half lighted but less than full – in the sky from sunset until after midnight. Tonight’s moon will be visible near a bright object in our sky. It’s not a star, but a planet – Saturn, planet of the rings. Given clear skies, almost everyone around the world can see the moon and Saturn near each other this evening. Earth passed between Saturn and ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 21, Gibbous moon between Mars

Earthsky Tonight—May 21, Gibbous moon between Mars and Saturn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Tonight’s waxing gibbous moon points out a colorful lineup of celestial lights. The planet Saturn shines to the left (or east) of the moon, whereas the star Regulus and the red planet Mars shine to the moon’s right (or west). These heavenly bodies exhibit distinctive colors, but you may need binoculars to discern them. Saturn, the 6th planet outward from the sun, appears yellow or golden through binoculars. What’s ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 20, First quarter moon – or

Earthsky Tonight—May 20, First quarter moon – or ‘half moon’ – near Regulus and Mars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org In the west-southwest this evening, the first-quarter moon hangs below the “Sickle” of the constellation Leo the Lion, and its brightest star, Regulus. Note that the “Sickle” looks like a backward question mark. If you hold your outstretched fist to the right of the moon, it will span the distance to a ruddy “star” – but that’s no star, it’s the planet Mars. Ever since the end of January – when Mars and ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 19, Moon and Mars close

Earthsky Tonight—May 19, Moon and Mars close together

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org This evening, the rather fat waxing crescent moon sits fairly close to the ruddy planet Mars. Yesterday evening, a somewhat thinner lunar crescent shone closer to the Gemini stars, Castor and Pollux. Tomorrow evening, the first quarter moon will shine more closely to Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. The moon, always in motion, continually goes eastward in font of the background stars. It ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 18, Moon near Mars, Castor,

Earthsky Tonight—May 18, Moon near Mars, Castor, Pollux

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org At nightfall, the waxing crescent moon lines up with Castor and Pollux, the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini the Twins. People often refer to these stars as ‘The Twins’ but they aren’t really twins at all. At a distance of about 34 light-years, Pollux wins acclaim as the closest giant star to our solar system. It’s one of the very few giant stars in our galaxy known to harbor a planet. Castor is ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—May 16, Crescent moon near Venus

Earthsky Tonight—May 16, Crescent moon near Venus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org As seen from parts of southeast Asia, the moon passes in front of Venus at about 10 hours Universal Time today. Unfortunately, this is not visible to North American or European observers, but we have not lost out entirely. Tonight, just as it gets dark, look to the western sky and, weather permitting, you should see a beautiful sight — bright Venus with the waxing crescent moon nearby. You should have no trouble finding ... Full Story

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