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October 4 2019 Celestial alignment

Planets, the Moon, and Meteor Showers

October 4th will provide a great view of planets, the Moon, and a red supergiant On Friday, October 4, there will be a beautiful display of Saturn, the crescent Moon, Jupiter, and the red supergiant star Antares. (If you are in very dark skies, you might even see the Milky ...
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/ / Blog, moon, observations, solar system

What’s In the Sky on the 4th of July Weekend (Besides Fireworks)

Enjoy your 4th of July and while you’re out watching the fireworks, enjoy these sights over the weekend. July 4th weekend: The Moon will start low on the horizon on July 4th and gradually climb higher in the sky over the weekend going from waxing crescent to first quarter moon ...
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The North Star

Polaris, also known as the North Star, is located at the very tip of the group of stars called the Little Dipper.  As you may have guessed from its name, the North Star is always located in the direction of North. But why does this happen for this one particular ...
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/ / Blog, constellations, observation, stars

The Galilean Moons

Jupiter has more than 60 natural satellites, or moons. These moons vary in all shapes in sizes, from irregular shaped moons that are only a few miles in diameter to Ganymede, the largest moon of any in the Solar System. Of all Jupiter’s moons, the most well-known are the four ...
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What’s Up With Jupiter This Week?

If you’ve seen or read any astronomy news blurbs over the last week or two, you have probably come across the terms Jupiter is at “opposition” and “perigee” making it bright and easily visible in the Eastern sky. In astronomy, opposition is a term used to describe when a planet ...
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/ / Blog, observation, planets, solar system

The Seasonal Sky

You probably know that the cyclic change of seasons on Earth is caused by the planet’s 23.5 degree tilt which allows for the Sun’s light to shine more directly down during Summer. The more direct sunlight is the key to the warmth of these months. Conversely, the Sun’s light shines ...
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Say Goodbye… To the Winter Constellations

The night sky is in transition right now from what we call the “winter constellations” to the “summer constellations.” Some of the more well-known winter constellations include Orion, Gemini, and Canis Major. While many of the winter constellations are still visible early in the night, they will soon drop below ...
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Meteorite … or Meteor-“wrong”?

Have you ever heard the term asteroid or meteoroid, but wasn’t sure what it was exactly? Do you know the difference between a meteor and a meteorite? Take a look at this infographic for a quick and easy reference to these terms ...
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/ / Blog, meteor, solar system, vocabulary

Sirius

The star Sirius is the brightest star in our night sky. Located in Canis Major (and therefore sometimes called the Dog Star), Sirius is best observed during the winter months in northern latitudes. To find Canis Major and Sirius, recruit the help of Orion. Follow Orion’s belt stars to the ...
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/ / Blog, observation, stars

Retrograde Motion

Retrograde might sound like a ‘70s album, but when we’re talking in astronomy terms, it’s something much more ‘far out.’ When referring to the planets, retrograde motion describes the apparent backwards motion (observed in comparison to the background stars) a planet takes in its week-to-week journey across the sky and ...
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/ / Blog, observation, planets, solar system