Lore of the Constellations: Sagittarius the Archer

Welcome back to yet another edition of the Lore of the Constellations.  We are in the season of Summer and so far we have covered three constellations:  Aquila the Eagle, Lyra the Harp, and Cygnus the Swan.  Three constellations part of something called the Summer Triangle.  Now, if you’ve been following these videos you’re aware of how Aquila the Eagle was the pet of Zeus and each day was set up Prometheus to torment him for stealing fire.  Well, today we’re going to go over Sagittarius and how this constellation is connected in the ancient Greek myth with Aquila.

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Lore of the Constellations: Aquila the Eagle

Last season, we took a look at some of the more notable constellations that can be found in your seasonal Spring sky.  We’re now in the season of Summer, so let’s take a deep dive into your favorite constellations you can now find from your very own backyard.  You may have heard of the constellation Aquila the Eagle, but did you ever wonder why we recognize that batch of stars with that particular name?  What is it named after? How long ago was this?  Why is this eagle so special.  Well, in these upcoming Lore videos, we’re going to explore how some of your favorite Summer constellations got their names.

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Lore of the Constellations: Corona Borealis

In our last video, Jay Lamm, Planetarium Producer and Technical Manager at the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium in the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, will tell you a little bit about the crown in our sky: Corona Borealis, or, the Northern Crown.

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Lore of the Constellations: Leo

In this special video series, Jay Lamm, Planetarium Producer and Technical Manager at the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium in the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, will take you on a historical stroll through how some of the most notable Spring constellations got their names.  After all, have you ever wondered what “Boötes” meant or why we honor “Virgo” with a special group of stars?  There will be four videos for four notable constellations.  The first involves the easy to find Leo, the Lion.  Continue reading

Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 3 – Digital Sky Animation

The first time I ever went to a planetarium was when I was in second grade.  It was on a field trip and I remember the show dealt with a private detective investigating something dealing with the stars.  I remember this because I had always wanted to have a job like Sherlock Holmes.  So, when I got a job at the planetarium I assumed that all the shows would revolve around a static star field and maybe a half-hour presentation on some of the planets you can find from your backyard.  How wrong I was.

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Let’s Make a Planetarium Show: Part 1 – Take It From the Top

When you come to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and see a Sky Tonight show—when you see the stars on the dome, the planets in orbit, the deep sky objects far beyond our own galaxy—you’re actually looking at a 3D model of our observable universe.  Every star, planet, and object is placed where they belong in space.  You’re underneath a dome that operates essentially like a digital universe.  Navigating through this and making a show with the enormity of space can be a little bit tricky.  Well, that’s where I come in.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Dec. 18, New Moon

new moon, sky tonight

This December 18, the Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 06:30 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Nov. 24, Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation

Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation

This November 24, the planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 22.0 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.