Jimmy Westlake columns

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Jimmy Westlake: Meet the Crow and the Cup

Winging his way across our springtime sky is a delightful little constellation named Corvus, the Crow.

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Jimmy Westlake: Earth-Mars close encounter

Night owls and early risers might have noticed recently a dazzling orange object shining low in the southern sky in the hours near midnight.

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Jimmy Westlake: Hectostar — 100 Little Diamonds

In about an hour, “Hectostar” had written itself. Here it is. Enjoy.

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Jimmy Westlake: See rare transit of Mercury Monday

For seven and a half hours on May 9, Mercury will slowly transit all the way across the face of the sun, although, we in Colorado won’t see the entire event.

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Jimmy Westlake: Spring’s diamond in the sky

The Spring Diamond asterism, also called the Virgin’s Diamond, is marked at its corners by four of the brightest stars sparkling in the spring sky: Arcturus, Spica, Cor Caroli, and Denebola.

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Celestial News: Catch the twilight planet this week

The one naked-eye planet most folks probably have never seen is the planet Mercury. Mercury is not only the closest planet to the sun, but it also became the solar system’s smallest planet after Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status in 2006.

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Jimmy Westlake: Viewing the Southern Cross

Though the Southern Cross is the tiniest of our 88 official constellations, its reputation is far larger than its actual size, even though most people living in the Northern Hemisphere have never seen it.

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Jimmy Westlake: Fires of Kilauea

This week, I am on the Big Island of Hawaii with 19 other members of the SKY Club, the student astronomy club at Colorado Mountain College.

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Jimmy Westlake: How Orwandil lost his toe

One of the sure signs that spring has arrived is the return of the Big Dipper to our early evening sky.

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Jimmy Westlake: An early Easter this year

Have you ever wondered why the date of Easter Sunday hops around like a bunny rabbit from year to year?

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Jimmy Westlake: Lunar eclipse visible next week

After being treated to four spectacular total lunar eclipses in 2014-15, lunar eclipse watchers will have to settle for a very slight lunar eclipse in 2016.

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Jimmy Westlake: Stalking the unicorn

The celestial Unicorn — Monoceros— is a relative newcomer to the sky, first appearing on a star chart in 1624.

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Jimmy Westlake: Jupiter — Giant of the solar system

In our solar system, Jupiter is the undisputed king of the planets.

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Jimmy Westlake: It’s leap year — time to take up the slack

Have you ever wondered why the month of February has only 28 days most years, but occasionally has 29 days, as it does this year? 2016 is a leap year, and it’s time to take up the slack in the calendar.

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Jimmy Westlake: Winter’s Hexagon of stars

Want to learn your way around the starry winter sky? The Winter Hexagon is a great place to start.

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