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?
The second meteor shower of the year will be in the form of the Eta Aquarids, an event that springs from the result of the passing of Halley’s Comet. The Eta Aquarids is an annual event that runs from around April 19th through May 28th. This year, the peak viewing time will be May 4 through Tuesday night, May 5th.
It is time for the annual Lyrid meteor shower and this year it will be better than usual. The peak of this spectacle will be the night of April 22 and will continue through the dark morning hours of the 23rd. The moon will be in its waxing crescent phase and will set around midnight local daylight time, leaving the prime viewing hours before dawn moon-free.
This April 4th, 2015, most of North America, South America, Asia, and parts of Australia will be able to view a Total Lunar Eclipse. The moon will be eclipsed in totality for about 5 minutes. The entire event will take place, from beginning to end, for 3 hours and 29 minutes.
Thanks to NASA and the Hubble Telescope we now have the largest and clearest image ever taken of our universe. It is a 1.5 billion-pixel image (69,536 x 22,230) of M31, also known as the Andromeda Galaxy.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has traveled roughly 3 billion miles at this point and it’s finally set its sights on the dwarf planet Ceres. Images of Ceres were released back in December, but those images were just for calibration. Dawn’s recently captured pictures are about 27 pixels across, about three times better than what it took last month.
January 3rd will mark 2015’s first meteor shower: The Quadrantids. This traditional meteor shower starts the year off and peaks at about 9pm ET on Saturday.
In the evening hours of this Thursday October 23, 2014 a partial solar eclipse will be visible here in Baton Rouge, weather permitting. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. On Thursday, the center of the Moon’s shadow will miss the Earth, but a partial eclipse will be visible before sunset across most of North America. If you want to see a total eclipse you’ll have to wait a few more years.
North America is predicted to have the best view of a possible new meteor shower from Comet 209P/LINEAR Friday night through Saturday morning (May 23-24, 2014). (Deborah Boyd-EarthSky)
We have had some astronomical disappointments of late but we might just see a really nice meteor shower this Friday night into Saturday morning.
Meteors from the May 24th’s early-morning display can appear anywhere in the sky, but they will appear to originate from a point (called the radiant) in the constellation Camelopardalis, the Giraffe. Stars are plotted for 2 a.m. local daylight time as seen from mid-northern latitudes. Sky & Telescope illustration.