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Posts by Bruce McClure

Our local star.  Image via NASA
FAQs | Feb 27, 2015

Are a star’s brightness and luminosity the same thing?

A star’s luminosity is its true brightness. Nearly every star you see with the unaided eye is more luminous than our sun.

2015-february-26-orion-moon-night-sky-chart
Tonight | Feb 26, 2015

Moon skims north of Orion on February 26

Watch for the waxing moon. On the evening of February 26, 2015 – and for a few nights afterwards – it arcs north of the constellation Orion and south of the ecliptic.

The star Aldebaran near the moon.  Image via Wikipedia
Tonight | Feb 25, 2015

Bright star near moon on February 25 is Aldebaran

From far-northern latitudes, the moon will cover Aldebaran for up to an hour. The rest of us get an awesome view of this bright star right next to the moon.

2015-february-24-taurus-pleiades-moon-night-sky-chart
Tonight | Feb 24, 2015

Waxing moon in Taurus, heading toward Jupiter

Tonight’s moon shines near the star Aldebaran and the dipper-shaped Pleiades star cluster. The very bright object in the east is the planet Jupiter.

Photo Credit:  Wil Milan
Tonight | Feb 23, 2015

Beehive: 1,000 stars in Cancer

You might notice it a smudge in a dark sky, with three times the moon’s diameter. It’s really a wondrous cluster of stars called the Beehive, or M44.

2015-february-23-mercury-night-sky-chart
Tonight | Feb 23, 2015

Watch for Mercury before dawn this week

In late February 2015, the Southern Hemisphere has a ringside seat to this morning apparition of Mercury. Tips on finding Mercury from the Northern Hemisphere, too.

2015-february-21-venus-mars-night-sky-chart
Tonight | Feb 21, 2015

Venus and Mars in conjunction below moon on February 21

This is the closest conjunction of Venus and Mars since 2008. They won’t couple up this closely again until 2017. Look west after sunset!

Spectacular moon and lanets after sunset February 20, 2015!
Tonight | Feb 20, 2015

Glorious moon and planets at nightfall February 20

Venus and Mars in the west after sunset – and the waxing moon. It doesn’t get any better. Plus … can one planet ever pass in front of another and blot it from view?

If you miss the young moon after sunset on February 19, try again after sunset February 20. The green line depicts the ecliptic - the pathway of the moon and planets
Tonight | Feb 19, 2015

Venus, Mars, moon after sunset February 19

Planets and moon – west after sunset – are about to be spectacular. Friday and Saturday nights awesome. And tonight? Could be wonderful, especially if you catch the very young moon.

new-moon-young-moon
Tonight | Feb 18, 2015

New supermoon – and Black Moon – on February 18, 2015

It’s a new moon at its closest to Earth. Expect higher-than-usual tides in the days ahead. It’s also the third of four new moons in this present season.