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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Posts Tagged ‘Big Dipper’

Earthsky Tonight—April 7, 2010: Kochab and Pherkad

Earthsky Tonight—April 7, 2010: Kochab and Pherkad in the Little Dipper

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org If you draw an imaginary line between the two outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper – and extend that line northward on the sky’s dome – you’ll come to Polaris, the North Star. Polaris marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper, which is fainter and looks less like a dipper than the Big Dipper. Polaris is special because Earth’s northern axis nearly points to it. Polaris is less than a degree away ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April 6, 2010: Use Big Dipper to

Earthsky Tonight — April 6, 2010: Use Big Dipper to find Polaris and Little Dipper

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Here is the view northward on April evenings. Now the Big Dipper is high in the north. Notice the two outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper. These two stars – called Duhbe and Merak – always point to Polaris, the North Star. Polaris is special because it always stays in the same spot in the northern sky. It is the star around which the entire northern sky appears to turn. That is because Polaris is ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — April1, 2010 Follow the arc to

Earthsky Tonight — April1, 2010 Follow the arc to Arcturus

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Now is the perfect time to look outside in the evening and learn a phrase useful to skywatchers. Scouts learn it. Grandparents teach it to kids. It was one of the first sky tools I learned to use in astronomy. The phrase is: follow the arc to Arcturus. First locate the Big Dipper asterism in the northeastern sky in mid-evening, maybe around 9 p.m. Can’t find the Big Dipper? Look ahead to our chart ... Full Story

Tonight, the waning gibbous moon beams near two bright

Tonight, the waning gibbous moon beams near two bright and beautiful stars

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Tonight, the waning gibbous moon beams near two bright and beautiful stars, Arcturus and Spica. Sparkling above the eastern horizon at early to mid evening, these stars travel westward (along with the moon) throughout the night, and stand high in your southern sky in the wee hours after midnight. As dawn starts to color the sky, these gems light up the western sky. In early spring, these two springtime stars ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight—March 9: Ancient eye test relied on

Earthsky Tonight—March 9: Ancient eye test relied on two stars in Big Dipper

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org Look back to “this chart”  for more about how to recognize the Big and Little Dippers on these almost-spring evenings. The ancient eye test for those wishing to join the Roman army was administered using stars in the handle of our modern-day Big Dipper. If you passed, you got a job as an archer. If you failed, you had to serve in another capacity … perhaps as a cook. It is said that sultans of the past ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — March 4, 2010: Recognize the Big

Earthsky Tonight — March 4, 2010: Recognize the Big Dipper … and Little Dipper

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science 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 asterism that is ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight — March 3, 2010: Use the Big Dipper

Earthsky Tonight — March 3, 2010: Use the Big Dipper to locate Polaris

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org At one time, sailors’ livelihoods and survival depended on their lucky stars – most especially, the pointer stars of the Big Dipper. Drawing a line through the two outer stars of the bowl faithfully points to Polaris, the North Star. Polaris is not the brightest star in the sky, as is commonly believed. It is a moderately bright second magnitude star, radiant enough to be easily seen – even on a moonlit night. ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight, February 12, 2010: Use Big

Earthsky Tonight, February 12, 2010: Use Big Dipper’s Pointers to find Polaris

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org If you can find the Big Dipper in the northern sky in mid to late evening tonight, you can find the North Star, Polaris. The Big Dipper is not a constellation. Instead, it is an asterism, just a recognizable pattern of stars on the sky’s dome. It is part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Greater Bear. A well-known trick for finding the North Star, or Polaris, is that the two outermost stars in the bowl of ... Full Story

Earthsky Tonight: January 12, 2010 – Cassiopeia

Earthsky Tonight: January 12, 2010 – Cassiopeia and Big Dipper are opposite each other

Courtesy of EarthSky A Clear Voice for Science www.EarthSky.org The constellation Cassiopeia the Queen is easy to recognize in the northern sky, either in the evening or before dawn. This constellation is shaped like a W or M and contains five moderately bright stars. The distinctive shape of Cassiopeia makes her very noticeable among the stars of the northern sky. Cassiopeia is also famous in relationship to another constellation, Ursa Major, which contains the Big Dipper ... Full Story

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