Enjoy the Winter Night Sky

It may be getting cold out, but the winter night sky is a spectacular site. If you can visit a dark site (such as one of the AMC’s huts or lodges), take advantage of this time to see the sky when the brightest stars are out.  Mighty Orion is rising at sunset, with red Betelgeuse in his right shoulder and a stellar nursery – the Orion Nebula – in his sword. Here new stars are being born, their hot surfaces making the remaining gas glow. Visible with the naked eye, it’s a marvelous site in binoculars or telescopes. Later in the night Jupiter rises – easily the brightest object you’ll see at that hour. Venus shines early in the morning, and with sunrise so late you’re likely to see it in the east when you arise. 

Full moons on Christmas, January 24th, and February 22nd are great opportunities for a moonlight ski, snowshoe, or hike (and the moon will be quite bright for a day or two before or after those dates).

Come join us at the AMC’s Highland Center for periodic astronomy programs this winter – beginning on Saturday January 16th. Weather permitting telescopes will be available for you to explore and enjoy the night sky.

{Figure Caption: The full moon, imaged this past October after the Total Lunar Eclipse.}

Guest Nature Notes Blogger:
Douglas N. Arion, PhD
Director, Carthage Institute of Astronomy
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Donald Hedberg Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship
Carthage College

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