SHORT FEATURES

WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
10:46 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Western Slope Skies: Star Formation

Our closest star, the Sun, is a middle-aged star.  This is good for us, but what exactly does ‘middle-aged star’ mean? 

Throughout their lives, stars are in a battle between gravity trying to collapse the star and pressure of the internal nuclear reaction trying to expand the star.

Make a note… It may take time, but gravity always wins!! 

Star formation begins with a massive cloud of dust and gasses.  The large majority of the cloud is hydrogen. 

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Western Slope Skies: Seeing Double in Perseus

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.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Western Slope Skies - Star Light, Planet Bright

The Pleiades
Credit Hubble Space Telescope - NASA

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.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Western Slope Skies - Lunar Eclipse at Dawn

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. 

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri March 13, 2015

Western Slope Skies - Ursa Major

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, near Montrose, CO, is an excellent place to observe night skies free from light pollution. When it comes to constellations, one of the most famous is Ursa Major, meaning “The Big Bear,” which includes “The Big Dipper.”

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
10:44 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Western Slope Skies - Solar System Exploration in 2015

2015 is a banner year for solar system exploration.  Although the European Venus Express Mission and NASA’s Messenger Mission to Mercury are ending, other missions will be gearing up in 2015.  NASA’s New Horizons probe will fly by Pluto in July, and in March, another NASA probe, called Dawn, will enter orbit around Ceres, the l

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StoryCorps
1:36 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Obama To Ambitious Teen: 'You've Got This Strength Inside Yourself'

President Barack Obama participates in a "My Brother's Keeper" StoryCorps interview with Noah McQueen in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 20.
Chuck Kennedy The White House

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 9:26 am

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.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Western Slope Skies - Venus Meets Mars and the Moon

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!        

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Western Slope Skies - The Dance of the Galilean Moons

As twilight ends this winter, look to the east. You may see a very bright “star” that does not twinkle. This is Jupiter, the largest planet of the Solar System, eleven times the diameter of the Earth.

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WESTERN SLOPE SKIES
7:00 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Western Slope Skies - The Color of Stars

For astronomers, it’s not all black and white…

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.

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