You may know the Greek myth of Perseus, a young hero who slew the petrifying Medusa and the sea monster Cetus, in order to rescue the beautiful Andromeda from her cruel mother Cassiopeia. The ancient Greeks saw fit to immortalize the story in the sky, by tracing constellations resembling these characters. We recognize these constellations today-- in particular, Andromeda with its legendary naked-eye galaxy M31, our closest spiral galactic neighbor.
The winter evening sky was dominated by two exceptionally bright “stars” that are actually planets — resplendent Venus, nearest of planetary neighbors, in the west, and regal Jupiter, largest of the planets, in the east. As we enter spring, Venus and Jupiter remain celestial highlights, and will treat us to a special double-feature in mid-April — each planet will be very close to a prominent open star cluster.
If you rise early on Saturday, April 4 you will be treated to an unusual event: the third of four total lunar eclipses occurring within a period of just two years. This has been called a lunar eclipse tetrad.
Noah McQueen is part of "My Brother's Keeper," a White House program aimed at young men of color.
His teen years have been rough, and include several arrests and a short period of incarceration. But last week, he was at the White House. The 18-year-old sat down for a StoryCorps interview with President Obama, who wanted to know more about Noah's life.
Venus, Mars, and a thin crescent Moon will create a stunning sight in our early evening sky on February 20. If skies are clear, find an open spot with an unobstructed horizon and look to the west between 6:15 and 7:00 p.m. At first you may see brilliant Venus next to a thin, crescent Moon. As twilight fades, fainter Mars will appear between Venus and the Moon. Use binoculars for a truly amazing view!
At first glance, our night skies can appear as a dark canvas illuminated with points of mono-hued light. But, as your eyes adapt, and on closer inspection, one can pick out stars with colors that are blue, white, gold, and reddish orange.