Many people think that the Polaris, aka “the North Star,” is the brightest star in the sky. Actually, Polaris is about the 47th brightest star in the nighttime sky. So, you may ask, what exactly are the brightest stars? Here is the list of the top 10 brightest stars you can see in our nighttime sky.
Last year, we had a series of three blogs dealing with the astronomical world of Harry Potter. Not only did we looked at how some of the characters in the Harry Potter series got their names from the Roman, Greek, & Norse mythologies, but how those mythologies played into the develop of their respective characters. If you missed it, we covered Draco, Luna, Dumbledore, Fenrir, Sirius and Bellatrix.
So, what about two of Harry Potter’s most trusted friends: Hermione and Ginny?
Break out the binoculars because on Wednesday, Jan. 20, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will all be visible in the sky at the same time. If you miss it tomorrow night there’s no need to fret, the spectacle will still be visible for the remainder of the month.
Supernovae are some of the brightest events that happen in space. However, in recent decades scientists have discovered a rare new class of blasts known as superluminous supernovae (SLSNe), or “hypernovae” to some. The new discovery was spotted last June by the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN). At its peak, the new supernova known as ASAS-SN-15lh outshone our entire Milky Way galaxy by 50 times.
Now that 2015 has come and gone we can look back on some of the more notable astronomical events: March brought the total eclipse of the sun that could be viewed in the North Atlantic, and in April there was the total eclipse of the moon which could be viewed primarily on the Pacific edge of US and Canada. Well, 2016 is here and the folks at Universe2Go have provided a nice infographic for all the upcoming astronomical events that you should be keeping an eye on.
There is a star so close to its parent star that its heated atmosphere is expanding away into space. Some astronomers studying this distant planetary system now believe they have detected water vapor among the gases being liberated. Planet HD 209458b may be evaporating.
Who remembers Comet ISON? It was the comet that was obliterated by the sun back in December 2013. Before its solar demise, the media reported that as ISON passed us by it would become brighter than the moon; however, the comet was too dim to be seen by the naked eye. So, it is with some hesitation that we tell you about Comet Catalina. This comet will be visible in the Northern hemisphere as a pre-dawn object in late November and should get brighter and easier to find through the month of December. It is expected to be seen by the naked eye at dark sky sites, but will be a tough object to glimpse from most suburbs and cities. That being said, it is one comet we can guarantee that inexperienced observers can view with a pair of binoculars.
It is always shining, constantly alight and blazing with energy. The Earth is awash in an endless tide of its particles. The Sun’s energy and light drives our weather, biology and more. But in space, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) keeps an eye on our nearest star 24/7. SDO captures images of the Sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material. In this recently released video we experience images of the Sun in unprecedented detail captured by SDO. Presented in ultra-high definition video (4K) the video presents the nuclear fire of our life-giving star in intimate detail, offering new perspective into our own relationships with grand forces of the solar system.
For the past several days there has been a lot of talk about this mysterious star located some 1,480 light-years away called KIC 8462852, located in the constellation Cygnus . This star appears to be flickering at irregular intervals. Some have gone so far as to hypothesize that the dimming is a sign of an advanced alien presence, suggesting the possible presence of advanced satellite orbits or a Dyson sphere. This has been a hot news story in the reaches of astronomy. But I waited to post anything about it, choosing not to jump on the train of speculation until further news came in.