astronomy

WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Western Slope Skies - Women In Astronomy

This is an ongoing series on Women in Astronomy.  Today, we meet three modern women in astronomy, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Andrea Ghez, and Carolyn Porco.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Western Slope Skies - December Solstice

The December solstice is coming!  At 4:03 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on December 21st, the Sun reaches its most distant point south in 2014, as viewed from Earth.  This defines the December solstice, which is the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere. 

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 11/21/14

The Stars of Autumn

With fewer hours of sunlight during autumn the nights grow longer and there is a distinct chill in the air after the sun sets. You may notice the sky appears darker and the stars just a little clearer. A star chart or an astronomy app for a phone or tablet will guide you to the fall constellations and many of the stars visible in our skies.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 11/7/14

November’s Meteor Shower

The November Leonid meteor shower has produced some of the greatest meteor storms in history.     

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 10/24/14

The Milky Way
Air Dates: October 24 & 29, 2014

On these late October evenings, you may see a hazy band of light stretching from the southwestern horizon and crossing overhead to the northeast.  This is the Milky Way, an object of great wonder throughout human existence.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 10/10/14

October 23 Solar Eclipse

On October 8 we were treated to a total eclipse of the moon, and on October 23 North American sky-watchers can experience a partial solar eclipse. 

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ENVIRONMENT
10:02 am
Wed October 8, 2014

The 'Blood Moon' Eclipse Was Quite A Show

The "blood moon" eclipse above the Washington Monument just before dawn on the National Mall, in Washington, D.C.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 1:45 pm

Here are some photos taken of the eclipse in the U.S., China and Nepal:

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ENVIRONMENT
9:13 am
Tue October 7, 2014

'Blood Moon' Eclipse To Be Visible Throughout U.S.

A "blood moon" captured on the night of Jan. 20, 2000.
Fred Espenak NASA

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 10:59 am

If you missed the total eclipse of the moon in April, you might have another chance: On Wednesday morning, the second of four lunar eclipses this year and next will occur.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 9/26/14

Pre-Dawn Lunar Eclipse

The second total lunar eclipse of 2014 will occur in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday, October 8th. Nearly the entire eclipse will be visible from Western Colorado.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 9/12/14

Binary Stars

Next time you see the Big Dipper out of the corner of your eye, take a look at the star in the middle of the handle. If you have decent eyesight, you may see not one, but two stars: a brighter star known as Mizar, and a fainter star called Alcor. 

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 8/29/14

Neptune

"BORING!" said the 5-year-old of the little blue dot appearing through the telescope…

Perhaps at first glance, but considering that Neptune, the 8th planet,  is 30 times farther from the Sun than Earth, it’s actually an amazing sight. At approximately 2.8 billion miles away, it cannot be observed with the un-aided eye.  Seeing the disk and color requires a moderately sized telescope, and a keen-eyed astronomy buff.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 8/15/14

Planetary Conjunctions

Late August will be a great time for planet watching, in the morning and the evening. If you are up early on Monday, August 18, you will be rewarded by a spectacular pre-dawn sight. 

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 8/1/14

The Tidal Dance of the Earth and the Moon

We learn in grade school that the Moon, our nearest neighbor in space, causes tides on the Earth’s oceans. It does so through its gravitational attraction to the Earth. But the gravitation interplay between Earth and Moon has other, subtler effects as well.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
11:52 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 7/18/14

The Evening Sky in Late July

The Sun sets late on these long summer days, and it’s not fully dark until almost 10 PM.  And, because of this week’s late-rising moon, the sky remains dark long after twilight, allowing us great views of the Milky Way and the stars of summer.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
12:50 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 7/4/14

Pluto a planet?  Not a planet?  Beloved Disney Dog?

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
12:43 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 6/20/14

June Solstice

With the arrival of warmer temperatures, perhaps you’ve been enjoying some outings to the mountains or a float trip on a river.  While there is no doubt that summer is in full swing here in western Colorado, it’s not until this coming Saturday that the Universe makes it official. 

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
10:08 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 6/6/14

Light Pollution

Those of us that live on the Western Slope are no stranger to spectacular scenery. The jagged peaks, chiseled canyons, and expansive plateaus of western Colorado are treasures that we all cherish. But one of our most spectacular natural wonders may also be one of our least appreciated: our incredibly dark and pristine night skies.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
12:51 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 5/23/14

Mercury in Evening Twilight
 

Have you ever seen the planet Mercury? When conditions are near optimal, Mercury is easy to see. However, optimal conditions are rare, and many casual observers search for Mercury without success. This is because of the planet’s proximity to the sun.  The safe time to view Mercury is after sunset or before sunrise, depending upon the Mercury's orbit.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 5/9/14

Saturn at Opposition

Last month on the program we learned that only the five superior planets can be at opposition. The fast movement of our planet’s orbit brings us between those five planets and the sun every year. In April, Mars was at opposition. This month, on Saturday, May 10th, its Saturn’s turn to shine!

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Western Slope Skies - 4/25/14

Navigating the Night Sky

The Big Dipper is a great starting point for learning the night sky. Located near the pole of the sky, it never completely sets or dips below the horizon—it’s visible in the night sky year-round from the Western Slope! 

The Big Dipper itself is not a constellation, but it resides in one called Ursa Major, the Great Bear, third largest of the 88 constellations. The name originates from the dipper-shaped pattern formed by the seven main stars in the constellation.

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