Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

This and that

Woke up to our first dusting of snow of the season this morning.Temps are expected to rise so it should hopefully be gone before the end of the day and mild temps are expected thoughout the Christmas week.

So far I have had no luck imaging Comet Catalina aka C/2013 US10.Sky conditions habe not been co-operating at all.It's somewhere in this shot but not visible to me.

This week's sky events:
December 20: El Nath
The star El Nath performs double duty. It represents the tip of one of the horns of Taurus, the bull. But it also forms part of the classical pattern of the adjoining constellation Auriga, the charioteer.

December 21: Winter Solstice
Winter arrives at 10:48 p.m. CST, when the Sun stands farthest south for the year. The Sun will "stand still" for a few days more, rising and setting at almost exactly the same points on the horizon. After that, it will begin to move northward.

December 22: Sparkly Rings
Fomalhaut, the brightest star of Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish, is low in the south as night falls. It is the only bright star in that region of the sky. A giant planet orbits the star, and the planet could be encircled by rings.

December 23: Moon and Aldebaran
The bull gets an eyeful of moonlight tonight. Aldebaran, the bright star that represents the eye of Taurus, the celestial bull, stands close to the upper right of the Moon at nightfall. The two remain close throughout the night.

December 24: Long-Night Moon
Santa shouldn't need Rudolph's help tonight, because the full Moon will light up the Christmas Eve sky. In fact, there's more moonlight tonight and tomorrow night than at any other time of the year.

December 25: The Reindeer
A long-forgotten reindeer jingles across the sky tonight. The extinct constellation Tarandus vel Rangifer snuggles close to Polaris, which marks the north celestial pole. It's above the pole this evening, to the right of M-shaped Cassiopeia.

December 26: Winter Circle
The just-past-full Moon joins a bright pattern of stars known as the Winter Circle or Winter Hexagon tonight. The group climbs into good view by about 9 p.m. Look to the upper left of the Moon for the twins of Gemini, the stars Pollux and Castor.

-- Al C 

Winter's Last Gasp

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