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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 [1]

[2] [3]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 [4] 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 [5].

That is Antares [6], the brightest star in Scorpius. This ruddy gem represents the Scorpion’s beating heart. Antares is not as red as a fire engine or a tomato. To me, it looks more like a faint ketchup-stain red. Antares is 16th brightest star in the night sky. A star this bright – and this close to the horizon – is bound to sparkle. Although you cannot see it, Antares has companion star, Antares B. This companion is blue in color. Can you imagine living on a planet that has a blue and a red sun?

Starshine in color [7]

Antares: Heart of the Scorpion [6]

Speaking of red, the moon may have an orange tinge when you see it near the horizon. That is because – at such times – you are looking through a greater thickness of atmosphere than when the moon is higher in the sky. The moon and Antares – the Scorpion’s heart – will rise in the southeast a few hours after midnight tonight, then will swing into the southern sky by daybreak on Friday, February 25.

Top tips for using ordinary binoculars for stargazing [8]

By EarthSky [9]

Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL [10]

EarthSky: Space [11]

CHANDRA Photo Album [12]

U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente [13]r

Universe Today [14]

StarDate Online [15]

Sky and Telescope [16]

National Geographic [17]

Space Com [18]

Simostronomy Blog [19]

Amazing Space [20]

The York County Astronomical Society [21]

Scope City [22]

James S McDonnell Planetarium [23]