You’ll have an opportunity to witness an unusual “blue moon” this month but don’t expect to go outside and literally see a blue-colored moon staring back at you. The term “blue moon” has an unusual and uncertain history, but it certainly does not refer to the actual spectrum of the moon.
The date was July 14, 1965. The entire world held its collective breath as NASA’s Mariner 4 spacecraft sailed past the red planet Mars at close range. Human exploration of our solar system via robot emissary had begun.
You are invited to join other astronomy enthusiasts from around the community for the Stagecoach Star Party at 9 p.m. Friday, July 10, at the Morrison Cove boat ramp on the southshore side of Stagecoach State Park, weather permitting.
On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, after a nine and a half year journey, finally will fly through the Pluto system and reveal the mysteries of this misfit planet and its five moons to us at long last.
Jimmy Westlake will be conducting a summer stargazing event out at the Yampa River State Park campground, three miles west of Hayden on U.S. Highway 40, beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday.
On the evening of Tuesday, June 30, starting about an hour after sunset, Venus and Jupiter will appear to pass so close to each other, about 1/3º, that you will be able to hide both planets behind the tip of your pinky finger held out at arm’s length.
What’s that bright star rising in the northeastern sky as darkness falls this month? It’s the star Vega, and its arrival is a sure sign that summer is just around the bend.
You too can see Centaurus peeking in on us. Go outside around 10 p.m. in late May and look due south, underneath the bright blue star Spica.
On May 22, the ringed planet Saturn will be at its closest point to the Earth for the year, a point called opposition. You can spot the planet at around 9:30 p.m. this month.
I’d like to share with you a story about three pairs of stars that you can spot almost overhead as darkness falls in the late spring.