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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, January 31, 2015

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Earthsky Tonight —April 14: Sundial noon and clock

Earthsky Tonight —April 14: Sundial noon and clock noon agree in mid April

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Every year around middle April, time by the sun and the clock both agree. For instance, when the midday sun climbs highest in the sky at this time of year, the sundial reads 12:00 noon and your local clock time says 12:00 noon. Your local clock time is the same as standard clock time, as long as you live on the meridian that governs your time zone. If you live east of the time zone line, then your local time runs ahead of ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 13: Mars and Beehive

Earthsky Tonight — April 13: Mars and Beehive cluster pair up in mid April

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org These mid-April evenings provide you with a golden opportunity to see the Beehive star cluster, the crown jewel of the constellation Cancer the Crab. The moon will be absent from the sky for the next several evenings, featuring dark nights for observing this deep-sky treasure. The Beehive is faintly visible to the unaided eye in a dark country sky. However, you really need binoculars to transform this hazy smudge of light ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 12: Star-hop from Leo to

Earthsky Tonight — April 12: Star-hop from Leo to the Coma star cluster

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org We show the constellation Leo the Lion for about 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. tonight. At this time, the Lion will be due south and at his highest point in the sky. Two distinctive star patterns make the Lion fairly easy to identify. Leo’s brightest star – the sparkling blue-white gem Regulus – dots a backward question mark of stars known as The Sickle. If you could see a Lion in this pattern of stars, The Sickle would outline ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 11, Moon and Jupiter side

Earthsky Tonight — April 11, Moon and Jupiter side by side at dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org In North America, the slender waning crescent moon and brilliant planet Jupiter shine side by side before sunrise tomorrow. At mid-northern latitudes, the moon and Jupiter rise a bit more than one hour before the sun. From far northern Canada and Alaska, you might not see the moon and Jupiter at all, because these worlds rise at nearly the same time as sunrise that far north. It’s a different story for the more ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—April 10: Crescent moon above

Earthsky Tonight—April 10: Crescent moon above Jupiter at dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org About 30 to 60 minutes before sunrise on April 11, look for the waning crescent moon to shine above the dazzling planet Jupiter, with Jupiter barely above the eastern horizon. Binoculars help you to spot these two worlds. Although the moon and Jupiter appear close together at Sunday dawn, they are not really near each other in space. These worlds simply reside on nearly the same line of sight now. The moon, our closest ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 9: Star-hop to Canes

Earthsky Tonight — April 9: Star-hop to Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org We show a larger section of sky than we normally do on this chart. We’re looking directly overhead at about 10:00 p.m., viewing the sky from the comfort of a reclining lawn chair, with our feet pointing southward. The constellation Leo the Lion stands high in the southern sky, while the upside-down Big Dipper is high in the north. Tonight, we star-hop to the constellation Canes Venatici the Hunting Dogs by using the Big ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 8, Mercury at greatest

Earthsky Tonight — April 8,  Mercury at greatest evening elongation

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Mercury – the solar system’s innermost planet – goes unnoticed by most people, because it’s so often obscured by the sun’s glare. Even when Mercury is visible – like it is now – it takes a deliberate effort to catch this rather elusive world. This evening, Mercury reaches its greatest angular distance east of the sun. What this means is that Mercury sets a maximum time after sunset today, ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—April 7, 2010: Kochab and Pherkad

Earthsky Tonight—April 7, 2010: Kochab and Pherkad in the Little Dipper

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org If you draw an imaginary line between the two outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper – and extend that line northward on the sky’s dome – you’ll come to Polaris, the North Star. Polaris marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper, which is fainter and looks less like a dipper than the Big Dipper. Polaris is special because Earth’s northern axis nearly points to it. Polaris is less than a degree away ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 6, 2010: Use Big Dipper to

Earthsky Tonight — April 6, 2010: Use Big Dipper to find Polaris and Little Dipper

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Here is the view northward on April evenings. Now the Big Dipper is high in the north. Notice the two outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper. These two stars – called Duhbe and Merak – always point to Polaris, the North Star. Polaris is special because it always stays in the same spot in the northern sky. It is the star around which the entire northern sky appears to turn. That is because Polaris is ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 5, 2010: Star in the

Earthsky Tonight — April 5, 2010: Star in the constellation Bootes makes history

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org In 2007, a faint star in the constellation Bootes the Herdsman made astronomical history. An international team of astronomers, led by Jean-Francis Donati and Claire Montau of France, caught the star Tau Bootis flipping its north and south magnetic poles while these astronomers were mapping the magnetic fields of stars. This was the first time a magnetic reversal had been observed on any star other than our ... Full Story

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