Jimmy Westlake columns

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Celestial News: Orion and company

Winter is an excellent time to begin learning the constellations. The winter sky contains more bright stars and constellations than any other season of the year.

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Celestial News: Meteor shower rings in New Year

One of the best manual meteor showers of the year will light up Colorado skies early next week. It’s called the Quadrantid meteor shower, and it could bring dozens of “falling stars” per hour at its peak.

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Jimmy Westlake: An evening star for Christmas

On Christmas Eve, dazzling Venus will appear only 2 degrees from the star Gamma Capricorni, also known by the lovely name Nashira, which means “bringing good tidings.” What

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Celestial News: Geminid meteors compete with full moon

The best annual meteor shower of the year is in progress this week and rising toward a spectacular peak before dawn Wednesday. It’s the Geminid meteor shower and, under ideal dark sky conditions, it can bring as many as 120 shooting stars per hour to our sky.

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Jimmy Westlake: The universe below

Six months later, during the late fall, we can gaze out of the bottom of the Milky Way to see what lies beneath our galaxy.

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Celestial News: Catch Orion rising

Orion is one of only two constellations visible from Colorado that contain two first magnitude stars.

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Celestial New: The Triangle, the Ram and the Fly

Nestled between the constellations of Andromeda, Perseus and Pisces is a curious little trio of stellar triangles, visible on crisp November evenings. Each triangle has an interesting history all its own.

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Jimmy Westlake: Sea monster rising

Wedged in between the bright star Fomalhaut to the south and the glittering Pleiades star cluster to the east is the huge, lumbering constellation of Cetus, the Sea Monster.

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Jimmy Westlake: Here comes a super-duper moon

Once a year, the monthly full moon nearly coincides with the moon’s monthly perigee, producing what has become known as a "super moon."

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Jimmy Westlake: Getting acquainted with Aquarius

With the moon out of the way this week, it’s a great time to step outside after nightfall and look for the large but faint constellation of Aquarius, the Water Bearer.

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Jimmy Westlake: Algol — a spooky star for Halloween

The star that marks the eye of Medusa is a most remarkable star named Algol, which means the “Demon Star.”

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Jimmy Westlake: Delightful Delphinus

The autumn sky is dominated by several giant constellations that eat up a lot of territory, but tucked in between these sky-hogs are a few tiny constellations that are a snap to locate precisely because they are so compact.

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Jimmy Westlake: With a Name Like Uranus…

Uranus. There, I said it. Well, giggles or not, I am writing today to inform you that now is the prime time to see Uranus up in the sky.

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Celestial News: With a name like Uranus …

Uranus. There, I said it. The very thought of having to utter the name of the seventh planet in public is enough to strike fear in the heart of even a veteran reporter.

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Jimmy Westlake: Catch Fomalhaut and the Southern Fish

Shining brightly in the southern sky, as darkness falls, is one of autumn’s few bright stars, a blue gem named Fomalhaut (pronounced FOAM-a-low).

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