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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Monday, April 21, 2014

‘Earth & Sky’ Archives

Sky Tonight—March 5, Young moon and Jupiter low in

Sky Tonight—March 5, Young moon and Jupiter low in west after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org For us in North America, March 5 presents a golden opportunity to catch a very young moon. As seen from North America, tonight’s waxing crescent moon is less than 30 hours old. In other words, the moon will make its first appearance in the March evening sky less than 30 hours after the moon turns new. You will need a level horizon and crystal-clear skies to see the very thin lunar crescent in the west ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 4, Bright star Arcturus is a

Sky Tonight—March 4, Bright star Arcturus is a harbinger of spring

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The gloriously bright star Arcturus rises into your east-northeastern sky around 9 p.m. tonight. This yellow-orange beauty – like any brilliant star – sparkles wildly when it hovers near the horizon. Arcturus is the brightest star in the constellation Bootes, which represents a Herdsman – though to our modern eyes, this star formation might look more like a kite or snow cone. Arcturus is the fourth ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 3, Recognize the Big Dipper …

Sky Tonight—March 3, Recognize the Big Dipper … and Little Dipper

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org We received a question about the Big and Little Dippers. “How can I locate both Ursa Minor and Ursa Major? I am seeing one of them in the sky . . . but cannot tell which one and where the other one is.” The answer is that, if you are seeing only one dipper, it is probably the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major. This constellation, also called the Greater Bear, contains the Big Dipper ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 2, Use Big Dipper to locate

Sky Tonight—March 2, Use Big Dipper to locate Polaris, the North Star

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org People are always asking how to find Polaris, the North Star. It’s easy! Drawing a line through the two outer stars of the bowl of the Big Dipper faithfully points to Polaris. At one time, sailors’ livelihoods and survival depended on their lucky stars – most especially, the pointer stars of the Big Dipper. Scouts also learn to use the Big Dipper and Polaris to find the direction north. Polaris ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—March 1, Moon still close to Venus

Sky Tonight—March 1, Moon still close to Venus before sunrise

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org The thin crescent moon still shines near Venus, the sky’s brightest planet, at morning dawn on Wednesday, March 2. However, you will need a level and unobstructed horizon to catch the moon and Venus low in your east-southeast sky. Look for them over the horizon about 75 to 60 minutes before sunup. Venus, the 2nd planet outward from the sun, orbits the sun one step inward from Earth. Because Venus’ ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—Feb 28, Moon and Venus closest together

Sky Tonight—Feb 28, Moon and Venus closest together on morning of March 1

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Our sky chart shows the waning crescent moon and the brightest planet Venus for about an hour before sunrise on March 1. We are showing mid-northern latitudes, like those in the U.S. As seen from the world’s eastern hemisphere – Europe, Africa, the Middle East, western Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand – the moon and Venus pair up even more closely together than they do in the ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—Feb 27, Moon and Venus in southeast

Sky Tonight—Feb 27, Moon and Venus in southeast before sunrise

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org If it is clear in the wee hours before sunrise on February 28, there is no way that you can miss the waning crescent moon and the dazzling planet Venus in the east or southeast sky. After all, the moon and Venus rank as the second- and third-brightest heavenly bodies, respectively, after the sun. From middle latitudes in the northern hemisphere, the moon and Venus will rise about 2 hours before the sun ... Full Story

Sky Tonight-Feb 26, Epsilon Aurigae, the

Sky Tonight-Feb 26, Epsilon Aurigae, the Charioteer’s distant and mysterious star

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org At early evening, look up high for the brilliant star Capella, the brightest in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. Close to Capella, note the prominent triangle of starlets called The Kids. Lighting up the apex of this triangle is the star Epsilon Aurigae (Almaaz), one of the most mysterious stars in all the heavens. More on Capella: Golden Goat Star Although Capella looks much brighter than ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—Feb 25, Scorpius the Scorpion’s

Sky Tonight—Feb 25, Scorpius the Scorpion’s stinger stars an early harbinger of spring

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Will you see the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion’s stinger stars below the waning crescent moon in the cold dawn tomorrow? You will need a clear, unobstructed view to the south to southeast to spot the stinger stars – Shaula and Lesath – flickering by the horizon. If you cannot spot these stars tomorrow, try again in later winter. The stars at the end of the Scorpion’s tail are also known ... Full Story

Sky Tonight—Feb 24, Moon by Scorpion’s Heart

Sky Tonight—Feb 24, Moon by Scorpion’s Heart before dawn

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science Visit EarthSky at www.EarthSky.org Friday morning – an hour or two before sunrise – the moon will shine quite close to the heart star of the constellation Scorpius. Find the rather fat waning crescent moon in the south to southeastern sky. Then look for the nearby reddish star. If you can’t see the sanguine color of the Scorpion’s heart with the eye, try binoculars. That is Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius. This ruddy ... Full Story

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