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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Monday, September 1, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Sky Tonight—March 26, Is Sirius the most luminous

Sky Tonight—March 26, Is Sirius the most luminous star in the sky?

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Look southward at dusk and nightfall, and you can’t miss Sirius, the brightest star in the nighttime sky. Mia asks, “Isn’t there a brighter star in absolute magnitude which appears dimmer because of its distance?” Yes, Mia, you are right. Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (the Greater Dog), looks extraordinarily bright in Earth’s sky because it is only 8.6 light-years away. Many stars on ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 25, The westward shift of Orion

Sky Tonight—March 25, The westward shift of Orion and all the stars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at 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 ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 24, Predawn moon near the

Sky Tonight—March 24, Predawn moon near the Scorpion’s Stinger

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org On the morning of Friday, March 25, 2011, the waning gibbous moon helps you to locate the two “tail-end” stars of the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. These two very noticeable stars – called Shaula and Lesath – are often shown on old star maps at the tip of the Scorpion’s stinger. Shaula and Lesath mean raised tail and stinger respectively in Arabic, although there is some controversy over ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 23, Moon near red star Antares

Sky Tonight—March 23, Moon near red star Antares before dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org If you are an early riser, look out a south-facing window before dawn on March 24, 2011 – Thursday morning – to see a lovely waning gibbous moon in front of the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. Understanding moon phases The reddish star near the moon is Antares, considered the Scorpion’s ruby heart. Antares is a red supergiant star, located roughly opposite in the sky from another famous red ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—Tuesday, March 22, Mercury farthest from

Sky Tonight—Tuesday, March 22, Mercury farthest from sunset glare

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Mercury, the solar system’s innermost planet, never strays far from the sun and into Earth’s nighttime sky. Today, however, this world reaches its greatest elongation east of the sun at 7 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Mercury swings to the end of its tether, at 19 degrees east of the sun. (For reference, your fist at an arm’s length approximates 10 degrees of sky.) Nineteen degrees east of the sun is ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 21, As Mercury sets, zodiacal

Sky Tonight—March 21, As Mercury sets, zodiacal light shines faintly in western sky

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org After the sun sets, you can see the elusive planet Mercury – and the even more elusive zodiacal light – in the western sky. For those living in the northern hemisphere, this next week presents the best chance in all of 2011 to see Mercury, the solar system’s innermost planet. Meanwhile, if you have a very dark sky, the zodiacal light can be seen in the west about an hour after sunset through March and ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 20, The 2011 March equinox

Sky Tonight—March 20, The 2011 March equinox

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The March equinox happens today at 23:21 Universal Time, which is 17:21 (5:21 p.m.) Mountain Daylight Time for us in the U.S. The March equinox signals the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere. It marks that special moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. How do I translate Universal Time into my time? Celebrate ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 19, Closest full moon of 2011 on

Sky Tonight—March 19, Closest full moon of 2011 on – high tides – Saturn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Today – March 19 – features the closest full moon of 2011. Some are calling it a supermoon. As a result, you might look for higher-than-usual tides along the ocean coastlines throughout the world. What is true – and false – about the March 19 supermoon What’s more, the bright point of light near tonight’s moon is the planet Saturn, the sixth planet outward from the sun. Because the ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 18, Watch for full moon, planet

Sky Tonight—March 18, Watch for full moon, planet Saturn, high tides this weekend

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org   There is a lot going on in the sky on the weekend of March 18-20, 2011. The moon will be near a bright planet (Saturn) and some bright stars (Regulus and Spica). Plus there will be an especially close full moon – which some are now calling a supermoon – which might mean higher-than-usual tides, especially if the weather gets stormy along coastlines. What is true – and false – about the ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 17, Moon swings close to Leo’s

Sky Tonight—March 17, Moon swings close to Leo’s bright star Regulus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Can you find the star that is shining close to the big and bright waxing gibbous moon tonight? That is Regulus; the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. Regulus is the only first-magnitude star to sit almost exactly on the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the Earth’s orbital plane projected outward onto the sphere of stars. The ecliptic is often shown on sky charts, because the moon and planets ... Full Story

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