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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sky Tonight—March 11, Moon and star Aldebaran close in evening sky

Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science

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Our sky chart shows the waxing crescent moon and the star Aldebaran as they appear in North America. However, the moon and Aldebaran can be seen from pretty much all over the world this Friday evening.

As seen from the eastern part of the globe – Asia, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand – the moon will be closer to the Pleiades cluster than to Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus the Bull. Nonetheless, simply look for the nearest bright star to tonight’s moon, and that will be Aldebaran.

The ruddy color of Aldebaran really stands out in a dark country sky or in binoculars. Any reddish star that you can see with the unaided eye is an old, bloated star in the autumn of its years. Astronomers also expect our middle-aged sun to swell into a red giant star when it reaches old age in another 5 billion or so years.

Does this mean that all red-colored stars have one foot in the grave? No, just those that you can see with the unaided eye. There are billions of red dwarf stars in our Milky Way galaxy that are still in the heyday of youth, though they are all too small and faint to see without an optical aid.

Top tips for using ordinary binoculars for stargazing

This Friday night, look for Aldebaran – the red giant star that you can see – in the vicinity of the moon!

Aldebaran: Fiery Eye of the Bull

Pleiades: Famous Seven Sisters

Understanding moon phases

By Bruce McClure

Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL

EarthSky: Space

CHANDRA Photo Album

U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information center

Universe Today

StarDate Online

Sky and Telescope

National Geographic

Space Com

Simostronomy Blog

Amazing Space

The York County Astronomical Society

Scope City

James S McDonnell Planetarium

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