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When nights get longer, stargazing becomes so much better – Twin Cities

Stargazing this time of year becomes much easier because nights are now much longer than days. Secondly, with the end…

Stargazing this time of year becomes much easier because nights are now much longer than days. Secondly, with the end of summer time last weekend, it’s dark enough for stargazing at 6 o’clock !!

After all, this week’s best starring in the morning is two to three hours before the sunrise. Who wants to go to bed early and set the alarm for 3 or 4 in the morning? You will want for this week’s amazing show going on in the morning sky, it’s about the clouds not footbreaking the sky. Fix a large cup of coffee, bundle up, take a lawn and blankets and prepare to be dazzled. The exhibition is even better in the darker countryside, but even if you have to compete with city lights, it’s worth getting up.

Mike Lynch

When you first go out, just sit in a lawn or lean against your car and let your eyes be used to the dark. You can not help blowing away by the great constellation that happens in the morning of the southern sky. The amazing winter constellations overwhelm that part of the sky. This is “Orion and his gang” hanging out. Orion Hunter and his surrounding gang of constellations – Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins and others – Change gradually from south to southwest as you approach the morning dusk. I’m never tired of seeing the great heavenly characters. Although it is not true winter, Orion and his posse are considered winter constellations because in January, when the earth continues its orbits around the sun, these bright shiners will be seen in early evening sky, so consider seeing them this week as a preview of the great evening starring coming.

To get to know these constellations, download a good January Night Star Map. You can find a good on and set up for early evening sometime in January. Make sure you use a red filter lamp to see the map so that you do not destroy your night vision. Of course, there are many good stargazing apps for smartphones available. My favorite is “Sky Guide.” On that app, you can turn the screen on your phone red to maintain night vision.

While you take in all the bright stars’ darling early in the morning, you will also see some stars that shoot over the celestial dome. They are actually not stars but meteors rip into our atmosphere. Later in the week and especially this weekend you have to see more meteors than usual. This is because the annual Leonid meteor rain will peak. The Leonids are not the best meteor rain of the year, but I would put them in the upper part. What makes them attractive this year is that there is no moonlight during the early hours of the morning, which gives a much darker background to catching these “falling stars”.

Annual meteor cities like the Leonids occur when the earth in its orbit around the sun plows in debris left by a comet. Comets are more or less “dirty snowballs” of rock and ice that circulate the sun in very elliptical elongated lanes. When their pathways take them close to the sun, they melt in part and leave a junk groove consisting of small particles from the size of dust to small pebbles about the size of small marble.

The comet that burns Leonid meteor shower is called Temple Tuttle, which came recently from this part of the solar system in 1998 and will not return to 2031. The Earth in its solar bypass brakes this track from the Tuttle Temple at 66,000 km / h and At the same time, the comet litter particles or bullets whizzing along its orbits on thousands of miles an hour as well. This means that the garbage can crash into the atmosphere at speeds over 150,000 mph!

With that type of speed, the individual particles rapidly burn up due to a huge air friction, but the light we see is not due to combustion. It’s impossible to see it because these small particles burn somewhere from 50 to 150 miles high. The strap we see is the glowing column of air that is chemically excited by the particle ripping through it. Sometimes these lines look like different colors, indicating the type of atmospheric gas that is temporarily awakened.

Meteor showers are best seen after midnight, because that’s when you’re on the side of the rotating earth plunging into the litter of litter. It is typical to drive cross county on a hot summer night. You get more bugs crushed on your windscreen than you do on your rear window. After midnight we face the moving winds’ windshield.

Leonid’s meteor shower is not named after the Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev. They are called Leonids because the meteors seem to originate from the sky where the constellation Leo Lion is ready. After midnight, Leo is hanging in the eastern sky and looks like a backward question mark. That does not mean that you should limit the meteorjakt to just the sky’s area. If you come, you will miss many of them, because the meteors can pop up somewhere in heaven.

The best way to watch Leonids or any other meteor shower is to lie back on a grass chair with blankets sometime after midnight, preferably after 2 or 3 in the morning, roll your eyes around the night sky and see how many meteors you discover during a certain hour It’s a fun group or family activity.


In the weekend of the evening, the new crescent will hang next to the Venus of the light planet in the low southwest sky. Later this week, the first quarter’s moon will be very close to the planet Mars in the evening’s southern skies. On Thursday, the moon will be to the right of Mars, and on Friday, Mars will be parked to the upper left part of the red planet.


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