Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Stargazing

Go visit your local science museum, or your local planetarium and feel the mystery.  

Oprah Winfrey could not be more full of shit when she says "Atheists have no sense of awe or wonder."  It takes Jesus to have a sense of awe or wonder?  You keep your Jesus Oprah, I'll keep the stars, the universe, nature, and practically everything else that is actually real.

Sky Tips: February 2014


The Sun peeks from behind the Moon as seen January 30 from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. There was no eclipse from the ground because the Earth-Moon-Sun alignment was different than that seen by the spacecraft. [NASA/SDO]

Stargazing Summary

All five of the naked-eye planets put in an appearance this month. Mercury is quite low in the western evening sky early in the month before disappearing in the Sun’s glare. Venus reaches its most brilliant for its current “morning-star” appearance. Jupiter, the next-brightest planet, is in view all night, with Mars rising before midnight and Saturn a little after.

More stargazing information »

Radio Program Highlights

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February 3-9: Making Stars. Astronomers have been making stars in the lab — the atmospheres of the “dead” stars known as white dwarfs. Their findings could help probe the mystery of dark matter and measure the age of our own galaxy. Join us for this and more.

February 10-16: Outbursts. While most stars are fairly quiet and steady, some stars produce powerful outbursts. Some repeat many times per second, while others happen only once — because they destroy the star. Join us for stellar outbursts and more.

February 17-23: Wandering Moon. The Moon passes a passel of bright stars and planets this week, including Mars and Saturn and the leading lights of Scorpius and Virgo. Join us for these and other encounters in the night sky.

February 24-28: The Unicorn. To the eye alone, the celestial unicorn is a bit disappointing. To a telescope, though, it’s a wonderland of star clusters, colorful nebulas, and much more. Join us for the unicorn, plus the Moon and the “morning star.”

February program schedule »

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News from the Observatory

Taft Armandroff Appointed New Director of McDonald Observatory
Leading astronomer Taft Armandroff has been appointed the new director of The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory. Currently director of the W.M. Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawai’i, Armandroff will join the university in June 2014.

Coming Up in StarDate Magazine

In our March/April issue, find out how astronomers are searching for the signs of life in the light signatures from extrasolar planets. And brush up on how colonial astronomy played a role in the trial for treason of Aaron Burr, America's third Vice President.

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