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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Thursday, April 24, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

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

Earthsky Tonight — April 4, 2010: Drive a spike to

Earthsky Tonight — April 4, 2010: Drive a spike to Spica

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Notice that we have shrunk the scale of today’s chart, in order to take in a wide sweep of sky, from northeast to southeast. Tonight, let the Big Dipper introduce you to another bright star. This star is Spica in the constellation Virgo the Maiden. If you are outside this evening, you can follow the arc to Arcturus and drive a spike to Spica. In other words, today’s chart shows a wide sweep of sky, from ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 3, 2010: Mercury and Venus

Earthsky Tonight — April 3, 2010: Mercury and Venus closest for year

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Have you seen the planet Mercury after sunset yet? If not, what are you waiting for? The first week of April presents your best chance to catch Mercury in all of 2010. Mercury is rather easy to spot right now, because it shines right next to the blazing planet Venus. Since Venus is the brightest celestial object after the sun and the moon, you should have little trouble seeing Venus low in the west some 30 ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 2, 2010: Moon and Scorpius

Earthsky Tonight — April 2, 2010: Moon and Scorpius rise after Orion sets

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Here is the waning gibbous moon near the star Antares in the southeast sky shortly after midnight on April 3. If you are looking for the moon on the evening of April 2, you won’t find it. The moon will not rise tonight until after the middle of the night – at about the same time that the constellation Orion’s bright star Betelgeuse sets in the west. Tonight, from about one after midnight until dawn, the ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April1, 2010 Follow the arc to

Earthsky Tonight — April1, 2010 Follow the arc to Arcturus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Now is the perfect time to look outside in the evening and learn a phrase useful to skywatchers. Scouts learn it. Grandparents teach it to kids. It was one of the first sky tools I learned to use in astronomy. The phrase is: follow the arc to Arcturus. First locate the Big Dipper asterism in the northeastern sky in mid-evening, maybe around 9 p.m. Can’t find the Big Dipper? Look ahead to our chart ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight – March 31, 2010 Mercury and

Earthsky Tonight – March 31, 2010 Mercury and Venus in same binocular field after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org If you have never seen the planet Mercury before, now is time to do so. Find the planet Venus in the western twilight after sunset, and you are pretty much assured of spotting Mercury. Venus is easy to find, because it is the third brightest celestial object to bedeck the heavens after the sun and the moon. Mercury, although considerably fainter than dazzling Venus, is still as bright as a first-magnitude star. ... Full Story

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