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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the sure signs that spring has arrived is the return of the Big Dipper to our early evening sky.
Have you ever wondered why the date of Easter Sunday hops around like a bunny rabbit from year to year?
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.
The celestial Unicorn — Monoceros— is a relative newcomer to the sky, first appearing on a star chart in 1624.
In our solar system, Jupiter is the undisputed king of the planets.
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.
Want to learn your way around the starry winter sky? The Winter Hexagon is a great place to start.
There are 6,000 or so stars visible to the naked eye under ideal conditions, but only Sirius, the famous Dog Star, can claim the title of “The Brightest Star.”
Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day, marking the midpoint of winter. The tradition of this unusual holiday can be traced back for many centuries, though not in the same form we celebrate today.
The parade of planets begins in earnest at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, when the waning gibbous moon appears right beside dazzling Jupiter, high in the southwestern sky.
Early this Tuesday evening, Jan. 19, the waxing gibbous moon will perform a prime time eclipse, or occultation, of the bright star Aldebaran, for folks living in the western United States.
Anyone who has ever looked up at the starry, winter sky has noticed it, although they might not have known what they were seeing. The three bright stars in a neat little row stand out among the other stars like a neon sign.
The Quadrantid meteor shower will peak at 1 p.m. Jan. 4 when up to 120 meteors per hour can be viewed.
About 2,000 years ago, St. Matthew recorded that the birth of Jesus was accompanied by something extraordinary that appeared in the sky over Bethlehem. For centuries since, astronomers have pondered the nature of this Star of Bethlehem.
On cold, crisp December evenings, you can spot two glittering star clusters in the constellation of Taurus the Bull, high up in the eastern sky around 8 p.m. They are the Hyades and the Pleiades star clusters.
What’s that flashy, golden star hovering over the northeastern mountains as darkness falls in mid-November? It’s Capella, the third brightest star visible in Colorado skies and the brightest star in our constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer.
The patch of the sky that appears overhead about 8 p.m. in early November is informally known as the “Celestial Sea.” That’s because it is home to all sorts of watery constellations, including the Dolphin, the Sea Goat, the Whale, the River, the Water Carrier and the Southern Fish, just to name a few.
Don’t be surprised if you see a blazing fireball or two streaking across the heavens during the early evening this week.
This Halloween, while you are out trick-or-treating, take a moment to look up at the stars overhead.
Located at the staggering distance of two-million light years, Andromeda’s galaxy is the most distant object easily visible to the unaided human eye.
If you are an early riser, you might have noticed several bright objects in the pre-dawn sky and wondered what they are.
In 1929, the International Astronomical Union, or the IAU, sat down to weed through the hundreds of constellations that had been invented over the centuries, and when the smoke cleared, 88 star patterns remained.
The student members of the Colorado Mountain College SKY Club and I, along with Steamboat Today, would like to invite you and your family out to the CMC campus next Sunday evening for a special “Eclipse Watch” program.
Watch for that big ol’ Harvest Moon rising over the eastern mountains just as the sun sinks below the western mountains on Sept. 27.
Hello sports fans. Did you know that there’s a baseball game tonight up in the stars? It’s true.
Peering at us from out of the darkness on late summer evenings are the twinkling eyes of Draco, the Dragon.
One of the first star patterns to catch your eye in the late summer and early fall is a distinctive group of 5 bright stars in the northeastern sky that forms the shape of a letter “W.”
Two very large constellations, Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, and Hercules, the Strong Man, take up a large chunk of our late summer sky. We see them standing head to head, high up in the southern sky as darkness falls.
With the annual Perseid meteor shower rising to its peak activity this week, it’s a good time to introduce you to the constellation that gives this delightful shower of shooting stars its name.
The annual Perseid meteor shower is cranking up and is expected to peak around 2 a.m. MDT Thursday, Aug. 13.
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.
Several bright planets are converging on our early evening sky this week and should provide for some great sky watching in the nights ahead.
What has nine heads, deadly breath, poisonous blood and stretches nearly one-third of the way around the whole sky? It’s the dreaded sea serpent known as the Hydra.
Locating Bootes and its bright star Arcturus is a snap. Just face the northeastern sky in the early evening and use the handle of the nearby Big Dipper as a pointer — follow the arc of the curved handle to find Arcturus.
This year, on Tuesday night, April 21 into Wednesday morning, April 22, the Earth will pass through the Lyrid dust swarm, creating 20 or more beautiful falling stars per hour.
If you missed the “new star” in Sagittarius last month, like I did, when it was at its peak brightness, I have some good news.
Early next Saturday morning, Coloradans will experience the third total lunar eclipse of the current tetrad of lunar eclipses.