Home » Online » On Your Screen » Blog

Blog

Four Ways To Find The North Star (And One Way Not To)

Nov 30 2015 - 4:52pm
Caption: You can use the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, or Cassiopeia to help you find the North Star.

BY: AMY SAYLE

“How can you find north?” I once asked a planetarium audience. A young voice replied, “Just look for the red letter N!”

That, of course, was an excellent suggestion for inside the planetarium. There, helpful red letters on the horizon mark the cardinal directions.

But what do you do outside?

The early bird gets the planets this fall

Oct 28 2015 - 7:56am

By Amy Sayle

For you early birds, the current planet viewing situation is fabulous. Step out on the next clear morning before sunrise (you’re already up anyway, right?) to see Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Mercury.

Image: Venus and Mars appear close together in the pre-dawn eastern sky on November 3, 2015 (Credit: Stellarium).

Q&A about viewing the total lunar eclipse on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015

Sep 23 2015 - 10:20am

BY AMY SAYLE

This coming Sunday, September 27, 2015, the full moon will move into Earth’s shadow, creating a lunar eclipse. The eclipsed Moon should be a beautiful shade of deep red or orange.

As long as the weather cooperates, this is an especially nice eclipse for those of us in the eastern United States. We get to see every stage of the eclipse, the Moon will be well positioned fairly high in the sky, and most of the action happens before midnight.

Mark your calendar for August 21, 2017, for ‘the most exciting thing people can see’

Aug 20 2015 - 9:15am

In 2017, the continental United States will get its first total solar eclipse in 38 years

BY AMY SAYLE

Image on right: Total solar eclipse in 2010, Easter Island. (Credit: Jay Pasachoff, Muzhou Lu, Craig Malamut, Hana Druckmüllerová)

Tips for viewing the 2015 Perseid meteor shower

Aug 7 2015 - 5:17pm

BY AMY SAYLE

As long as the weather cooperates, this is a particularly good year for the Perseid meteors. This annual meteor shower is already happening and is predicted to peak the night of August 12-13, 2015 (Wednesday evening into Thursday pre-dawn).

How to Treat Post-Pluto Depression

Jul 22 2015 - 12:53pm

BY AMY SAYLE

Nothing existed for me last week except Pluto.

After 9 years, New Horizons reaches Pluto’s doorstep

Jul 6 2015 - 9:26am
Image: New Horizons mission design - Yanping Guo, Robert W. Farquhar

BY TONY RICE

After 9 years in flight the New Horizons mission is on Pluto’s doorstep. That journey was made possible in part by a gravity assist from massive Jupiter in 2007 which accelerated the baby-grand-piano-sized spacecraft to a speed of over 83,600 km/h (52,000 mph) away from the Sun, New Horizons will fly by Pluto and its system of five known moons on July 14, 2015, returning science to help unlock the secrets of the outer solar system.

Cover Venus and Jupiter with your pinky on June 30, 2015

Jun 26 2015 - 3:22pm

BY AMY SAYLE

If you've paid attention to the evening sky recently, you know that the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, appear to be pulling closer together each night.

Venus is that object shining very, very brightly in the west soon after sunset. Jupiter is the less bright (but still bright) object currently positioned just to the upper left of Venus.

See four evening planets: Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn

May 11 2015 - 11:43am

BY AMY SAYLE

Have you seen the four planets that currently decorate the evening sky? From west to east, they are Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn.*

The easiest of the four to spot is Venus – because it is so, so bright. Look in the western sky soon after sunset. You can easily pick it out in the twilight, before you notice stars becoming visible and well before the sky becomes completely dark.

Has it been five years already?

Apr 10 2015 - 8:40am

Today (April 10, 2015) marks the first day of the 2015 North Carolina Science Festival ... and it's amazing to think that five years have passed since Morehead created this incredible celebration of science waaaaaaaay back in 2010.

Pages