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Tag archives for stargazing

5 Sky Events This Week: Full Lunar Eclipse and Lord of the Rings

This is a big week even for the most amateur of sky-watchers, with a rare full lunar eclipse and Mars getting as close as it ever does to Earth. Moon shadow play. The moon will appear to be orange-red late Monday night and early Tuesday morning as it undergoes a total eclipse, the first visible…

5 Sky Events This Week: Lunar Wall, Mars Up-Close, and a Blue Giant

Fantastic fault lines and planetary close encounters this week offer sky-watchers some impressive cosmic views of the heavens. The lunar wall. The first quarter moon, which comes into view on Monday, April 7, offers the best moment this month to view, in small telescopes, an amazing lunar feature called the lunar wall, or Rupes Recta (sometimes called the…

Global Star Party Kicks Off Astronomy Month

Get up close and personal with the cosmos. The world’s largest event dedicated to sharing the wonders of the universe kicks off an exciting series of events for space geeks throughout April. This year’s Global Astronomy Month (GAM2014) brings together astronomy enthusiasts and organizations worldwide to share the passion for the night sky with everyone,…

4 Sky Events This Week: A Cosmic Kite and the King of Planets

As springtime winds begin to blow, a giant celestial kite sets sail, riding high in the night sky. For sky-watchers, another delightful week is ahead for observing the heavens, with the moon waxing after an early absence and taking a starring role in the celestial encounters ahead. Springtime kite. With the moon missing for most of the…

4 Sky Events This Week: Ghostly Glows and Rocky Worlds

Ethereal apparitions from the dusty inner solar system this week seem certain to delight sky-watchers.  Zodiacal lights. Starting Monday, March 24, and continuing through the week, keen-eyed sky-watchers in the mid-northern latitudes will witness the ghostly glow of the zodiacal lights, which will appear about one to two hours after local dusk in the western sky.…

5 Sky Events This Week: Moon Joins God of War While Leo’s Heart Winks Out

Sky-watchers can rejoice at the change of seasons this week, seeing the moon join forces with Mars and Saturn, just as one of the sky’s most brilliant stars is eclipsed. Moon joins Spica. Late at night on Monday, March 17, look for the waning gibbous moon to rise in the eastern sky with two bright celestial…

5 Sky Events of the Week: Stellar Peak-a-Boo and Leo Paws at the Moon

With a change of seasons only days away, mid-March skies offer celestial sights that even the novice stargazer will find easy to enjoy. Lunar rectangle. After nightfall on Monday, March 10, look for the waxing gibbous moon to form a corner of a rectangle with Jupiter and the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, high in the southern…

4 Sky Events This Week: Seven Sisters and a Stellar Sandwich

A final glimpse of the seventh planet from the sun comes this week, and the moon takes sky-watchers on a celestial tour of some stunning star clusters. Last-chance green giant. After dusk on Monday, March 3, the razor-thin crescent moon acts as convenient guidepost to the fast-fading planet Uranus, which will hang just below the moon.…

4 Sky Events This Week: Venus at Dawn and Gemini’s Double Jewel Box

A crescent moon snuggles up to the innermost planets this week, while sky-watchers will also see mythical twins reveal two stellar wonders. Zodiacal lights. With the moon out of the early evening sky this week, ideal sky conditions prevail for hunting down the elusive zodiacal lights. This ethereal glow across the sky is caused by sunlight…

Ancient Cosmic Collision Marked Dwarf Galaxy

Astronomers report evidence of an ancient merger between two “satellite” galaxies, ones that circled our own galactic big brother, the Andromeda Galaxy. Even larger than our own Milky Way Galaxy, Andromeda is located some 2.5 million light-years away. According to the study released by the journal Nature, evidence of an ancient galactic collision there comes from…

Photo: Scorpion’s Stinger Studded With Diamond Sash

  In the high desert of Chile, a giant telescope’s eye has opened ours to the true beauty of a well-known star cluster. Best of all, the starry bauble strikes the observer’s eyes from near the tip of a mythical Scorpion’s stinger. One of the more popular deep-sky objects for backyard stargazers, Messier 7 is a brilliant…

Intense Starburst Spotted in Nearby Galaxy

Things are rocking right now in our own galactic neighborhood. Backyard telescope users already knew about the Cigar Galaxy, or M82, located in the Great Bear constellation, Ursa Major. Now it has two new cosmic secrets to explore. Two weeks ago a supernova—a giant exploding star—was discovered by British university students within the galaxy, which is…

6 Sky Events This Week: Leo’s Heart and Goddess of Love

Just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the silvery moon guides sky-watchers to a stellar heart, just as the goddess of love shines at her brightest this week. Moon joins Jupiter. Check out the king of planets after nightfall on Monday, February 10, as Jupiter pairs up with the waxing, gibbous moon in the southeastern…

Watch Asteroid Take the Bull by the Horns

A glimpse of a large asteroid comes to delight sky-watchers this month, silently sailing its way through a cosmic bull’s horns and past a famous supernova remnant. In the next few weeks, the asteroid Herculina, the 532nd asteroid to be discovered, will glow in the sky at a magnitude of brightness of about 10. That should…

5 Sky Events This Week: Winged Equine, Jovian Shadows, and Seven Sisters

The game’s afoot! A cosmic menagerie offers sky-watchers an exciting chase this week, with everything from a mythical steed to a red bull’s eye. Moon and Pegasus. After nightfall on Monday, February 3, folks in the Northern Hemisphere can look for the Great Square of Pegasus. Appearing tipped on one corner, the distinct four-sided pattern represents…