Is Gemini “your” constellation, and you want to know how to see it in the night sky? This post can help. It offers several ways to find the constellation Gemini, plus gives you some of the sky lore and mythology associated with this constellation. Follow the links inside for mini-lessons on the constellation Gemini.
Two meek animals seem to cower at the feet of Orion the Hunter: Lepus the Hare and Columba the Dove. There are hints in early writings that stargazers knew the name Columba, and identified a Dove here, as long as 17 centuries ago.
Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) analyzed 35 years of data to learn that wet weather patterns in the U.S. Southwest have become more rare. They say this result in is agreement with global climate models, which project drying for this already-arid region, where drought has been a major issue in recent years.
The red planet Mars swings to west quadrature on February 7, 2016. That means that – if you had a bird’s-eye view of the solar system – you’d see the sun, Earth and Mars making a right (90-degree) angle in space, with Earth at the vertex of this angle. It means the best time to see Mars in 2016 – in fact, the best time in about two years – is just ahead! Follow the links inside to learn more.
The Red Rectangle Nebula is a star in the last stages of its life. The star has puffed up and begun to shed its outer layers. The X-shape probably means something is preventing the uniform expansion of the star’s atmosphere, but what?
Face the northwestern horizon as darkness falls on winter evenings to find the Double Cluster in the constellation Perseus. Look above the M- or W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. You may see the Double Cluster as a faint smudge of light, if your sky is dark enough. Binoculars will reveal a double smudge – really, two clusters of stars. Each cluster contains 300 to 400 stars at over 7,000 light-years away.
A record etched in rock from 120 million years ago shows the fragile beauty of an ancient butterfly-like insect.
Tonight, look for ruddy-hued Betelgeuse, one of the sky’s most famous stars. Kids especially like Betelgeuse, because its name sounds so much like beetle juice. The movie by that same name perpetuated this pronunciation. But astronomers pronounce it differently. We say BET-el-jews.
You can see all 5 bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – together in the sky before dawn, through mid-February.
Best photos from the EarthSky community of the 5 bright planets now visible at once in the sky before dawn. Thanks to all who posted!