The Ursids, or Ursid meteor shower, are an annual meteor shower that coincides with the winter solstice. The Ursids occur from December 17 to 25 and peak just before Christmas, around December 22, with a zenithal hourly rate of 10 meteors per hour. The meteor shower was named for its radiant point, or apparent point … [Read more…]
Here are some of the highlights of the December sky: 6 PM, southwestern sky – Mars over the southwestern horizon just after sunset 5:30 PM, southwestern sky – Venus joins Mars low over the horizon later in the month 11:30 PM, eastern sky – Jupiter rises in the east 6:30 AM, southeastern sky – Saturn … [Read more…]
Polaris, also known as the North Star, Alpha Ursae Minoris or Star of Arcady, is the brightest star in Ursa Minor constellation. Polaris is notable for currently being the closest bright star to the North Celestial Pole. The pole marks true north, which makes the North Star important in navigation, as the star’s elevation above … [Read more…]
Little Dipper is a prominent asterism in the northern sky, formed by the brightest stars of Ursa Minor constellation. The asterism is often confused for the constellation itself, much like the Big Dipper is sometimes confused for Ursa Major, the Great Bear, but it is only the brightest part of the constellation.
Here are some of the highlights of the night sky in April: 9 PM western sky – Jupiter hanging over the western horizon 9 PM eastern sky – Mars hanging over the eastern horizon, up throughout the night 11 PM southeastern sky – Saturn rising after sunset 11 PM eastern sky – on April 16, … [Read more…]
The Big Dipper is one of the most easily recognizable asterisms in the night sky, found in the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The Big Dipper is well known in many cultures and goes by many names, among them the Plough, the Great Wagon, Saptarishi, and the Saucepan. The asterism is particularly prominent in … [Read more…]