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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, April 19, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Earthsky Tonight —The 2010 equinox comes on March 20

Earthsky Tonight —The 2010 equinox comes on March 20

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The March equinox marks that special moment when the sun crosses celestial equator, going from south to north. It happens today at 17:32 Universal Time, or 11:32 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. The March equinox signals the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere. The equinox is a hallmark in Earth’s orbit, but it is also an event that happens on the imaginary dome of Earth’s ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — On eve of equinox, moon between

Earthsky Tonight — On eve of equinox, moon between Pleiades and Ram’s Head

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Just after sunset tonight you will spot the crescent moon above the western horizon. The moon floats between the faint head stars of the constellation Aries and the mythic sisters in the constellation Taurus, known as the Pleiades. The waxing crescent moon is only four days past new so it still appears to us as a rather thin crescent. This is a great time to tour the moon with your binoculars or telescopes. The ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — March 18: Venus in Pisces, moon

Earthsky Tonight — March 18: Venus in Pisces, moon in Aries

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Tonight, as soon as it gets dark, the waxing crescent moon can help you locate the small constellation Aries the Ram. Look to the west, just above the place where the sun went down. You will see the thin crescent by the head of the constellation Aries. Although we draw in the constellation Pisces, this faint group of stars is not really visible at this time of year. Given clear skies, there is no way that you ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — Young crescent moon above Venus

Earthsky Tonight — Young crescent moon above Venus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Our sky chart shows the waxing crescent moon and the blazing planet Venus for about 45 minutes after sunset (at mid-northern latitudes in North America). Venus sets a bit more than one hour after the sun, and tonight’s moon sets over two hours after sunset. Yesterday, at this time, the young moon was much closer to the western horizon, shining pretty much side by side with Venus. Tonight, the moon appears ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — Young moon and Venus low after

Earthsky Tonight — Young moon and Venus low after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org It is nearly spring in the northern hemisphere. The March equinox - when the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north – will fall on March 20. This time of year – near the spring equinox – is the most favorable for spotting a young moon. See if you can catch one today after sunset by the blazing planet Venus. A young moon is a thin waxing crescent moon visible in the west in evening twilight. ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight: March 15—The westward shift of

Earthsky Tonight: March 15—The westward shift of Orion and all the stars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org We got this question: “Orion seems to have moved and turned considerably in the last two weeks. Will Orion disappear before summer?” The answer is that all the stars and constellations shift westward as the seasons pass . . . and they also move westward in the course of a single night. Orion is no exception. Exactly when Orion will disappear from the evening sky – into the sunset – depends on your latitude. The ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—March 14, Leo loses his tail, we

Earthsky Tonight—March 14, Leo loses his tail, we gain a constellation

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Tonight’s chart again shows the evening sky high to the east. Below and to the left of the constellation Leo the Lion are dozens of very faint stars. They are Coma Berenices, otherwise known as Bernice’s Hair. The Greek-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy and others considered it Leo the Lion’s bushy tail. Coma Berenices remained part of Leo until several hundred years ago, when it was first listed as a separate ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—March 13, Use the Big Dipper to

Earthsky Tonight—March 13, Use the Big Dipper to locate the Hunting Dogs

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org You can locate the Big Dipper in the northeast in mid- to late evening around now. The Big Dipper is part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Greater Bear. In addition, if you can find the Big Dipper, you can find two Hunting Dogs seen by the ancient stargazers to be nipping at the Bear’s heels. The Hunting Dogs are a separate constellation: tiny Canes Venatici. You will need a dark sky to see these two little ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—March 12, Tangle of stars in

Earthsky Tonight—March 12, Tangle of stars in Berenice’s Hair

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org What we are about to describe requires a dark sky to be seen: a faraway cluster of stars known as “Coma Berenices.” How can you spot it? One way is to use the famous constellation Leo the Lion, now in the east each evening. Leo is relatively easy to see. The front part of the Lion looks like a backwards question mark, and the back part is a little triangle, which includes the star Denebola, marked on ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—March 11: Mars stationary in front

Earthsky Tonight—March 11: Mars stationary in front of stars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Almanacs say the planet Mars is “stationary” today. However, stationary doesn’t mean that Mars stays in the same place in Earth’s sky all night tonight. Mars actually shines in the southern sky at mid-evening, and crosses the sky westward throughout the night. This ruddy world sets beneath the western horizon before dawn tomorrow. Does stationary mean that Mars is staying still in its orbit around the ... Full Story

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