Northern Skies

The Sky This Month - April 2016

Gemini Twins

After a long cold winter, we now get to enjoy some spring observing. Gemini the Twins in one of Ptolemy’s 48 original constellations and in fact the word Gemini comes from the Latin meaning “twins”. Dominated by the stars Castor and Pollux, Gemini’s outlines twin figures. Mythology states Pollux is the son of the mighty Zeus whereas Castor was a mere mortal. As the story goes, they were placed in the sky to be together for all time. Although the two stars might appear close in brightness, they physical properties are quite different.

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The Sky This Month - March 2016

Sky This Month – March, 2016
By: Gary Boyle, Ottawa

Hunting The Hare

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The Sky This Month - February 2016

Orion Battles the Bull,

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The Sky This Month - January 2016

The River Eridanus,

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The Sky This Month - December 2015

A Long Awaited Comet,

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The Sky This Month - November 2015

The Great Square

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The Sky This Month - November 2015

The Great Square

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The Sky This Month - October 2015

The Swan and the Fox

Step outside on these cool autumn nights about an hour after sunset and look up. Cygnus the Swan also known as the Northern Cross is well positioned overhead and easily recognized. The faint glow of the Milky Way is the collective glow of millions of stars too dim to be distinguished individually by the human eye. This stellar cloud of stars is perfectly positioned along the long neck of the swan which is the perfect guide when attempting to glimpse the galactic arms of our Milky Way Galaxy from light polluted suburban skies.

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The Sky This Month - September 2015

Capricorn, Aquarius and a Lunar Eclipse

Moving eastward from the great Teapot of Sagittarius, we continue our voyage along the ecliptic to Capricornus – The Goat. This constellation takes up 414 square degrees of sky making it the 40th largest constellation. To date – nine planets have been found orbiting five stars in Capricorn. The stars that make up the asterism are of average brightness, running in the range of magnitude 2.8 to 4.5.

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The Sky This Month - July 2015

Scorpius and The Planet Saturn

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