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Sky Tonight—April 28, Spica is your guide star to Omega Centauri cluster

Posted By Editor On April 27, 2011 @ 10:15 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled

Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science

Visit EarthSky at
www.EarthSky.org [1]

[2] [3]Silvery-blue Spica, the only prominent star in the constellation Virgo, acts as your guide to the Omega Centauri globular star cluster. To the unaided eye, Omega Centauri looks like a faint (and possibly fuzzy) star. Very few of the Milky Way galaxy’s 250 or so globular clusters [4] are readily visible without optics.

To find Spica [5], extend the curve of the Big Dipper handle, as illustrated on our April 5 [6] EarthSky Tonight. Spica transits – climbs to its highest point in the sky – around midnight tonight. Spica’s precise transit time for your sky is available at the US Naval Observatory [7]. Like any star, Spica transits 4 minutes earlier with each passing night.

Spica: Speed on [5]

As seen from mid-northern latitudes, Spica and Omega Centauri [8] transit due south in concert. Look for Omega Centauri about 35 degrees directly below Spica. (A fist at an arm-length approximates 10 degrees.)

People living south of 35 degrees north latitude have a realistic chance of spotting Omega Centauri, though it has been seen as far north as Point Pelee, Canada (42 degrees north). Best appreciated with a telescope, Omega Centauri, the largest and brightest of all globular star clusters, is a globe-shaped stellar city, teeming with millions of stars!

Omega Centauri: Largest and brightest star cluster [8]

Top tips for using ordinary binoculars for stargazing [9]

By Bruce McClure [10]



Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL [11]

EarthSky: Space [12]

CHANDRA Photo Album [13]

U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente [14]r

Universe Today [15]

StarDate Online [16]

Sky and Telescope [17]

National Geographic [18]

Space Com [19]

Simostronomy Blog [20]

Amazing Space [21]

The York County Astronomical Society [22]

Scope City [23]

James S McDonnell Planetarium [23]

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URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/sky-tonight%e2%80%94april-28-spica-is-your-guide-star-to-omega-centauri-cluster/

URLs in this post:

[1] www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org

[2] Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/phases-r-23.jpg

[3] Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/apr28.jpg

[4] globular clusters: http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/G/globclust.html

[5] Spica: http://earthsky.org/tonightpost/brightest-stars/speed-on-to-spica-the-15th-brightest-star

[6] April 5: http://earthsky.org/es-tonight/drive-a-spike-to-spica

[7] US Naval Observatory: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/sunrisesunset-moonrisemoonset-almanacs

[8] Omega Centauri: http://earthsky.org/clusters-nebulae-galaxies/omega-centauri-milky-ways-prize-star-cluster

[9] Top tips for using ordinary binoculars for stargazing: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/top-tips-for-using-ordinary-binoculars-for-stargazing

[10] Bruce McClure: http://earthsky.org/team/brucemcclure

[11] Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/

[12] EarthSky: Space: http://earthsky.org/space

[13] CHANDRA Photo Album: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/

[14] U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/astronomical-information-center

[15] Universe Today: http://www.universetoday.com/

[16] StarDate Online: http://stardate.org/

[17] Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/

[18] National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/

[19] Space Com: http://www.space.com/nightsky/

[20] Simostronomy Blog: http://simostronomy.blogspot.com/

[21] Amazing Space: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/

[22] The York County Astronomical Society: http://www.ycas.org/tonights_sky.htm

[23] Scope City: http://www.scopecity.net/

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