This Week’s Sky: August 14th-20th

The 2010 Perseids over the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT)

Sunday, August 14th  Jupiter shines at a magnitude -1.7 within the western portion of the Virgo constellation a half hour after sunset.   Since it is low in the sky- around 10 degrees high- the planet’s detail is limited when seen through a telescope.  During the predawn hours, M31, the Andromeda …

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Skywatching: The Iconic Summer Triangle

Image credit and copyright: Alan Dyer

Look directly overhead at 10:30 pm EDT and you will see Vega- the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and the fifth brightest in the night sky. Using Vega as a reference point, Altair is located to the lower left (southeast) and Deneb to the left (east). Together, these three …

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Origins: The Hubble Space Telescope

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Since the 1920s, astronomers have struggled to deal with the very thing that keeps humanity alive: the atmosphere.  Although it provides a relatively stable and hospitable climate on Earth, it also makes studying the cosmos from Earth challenging.  The atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays, an important attribute …

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The Relationship Between Easter and the Full Moon

Full "Harvest Moon" and corn stalks in October.

Whether you receive an Easter basket in late March or April depends not on Peter Cottontail, but rather the lunar cycle.  The date of Easter, according to the Christian Bible, must fall on the Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal- or spring- equinox. Some years, Easter seems …

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