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Advanced Stargazing Quiz (QM)

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onewithnature
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Re: Advanced Stargazing Quiz (QM)

Unread postby onewithnature » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:00 am

Canopus is a delightful star to find, navigate by, or appreciate, as it is the second brightest star in the whole night sky. Clearly visible in the southern hemisphere, and often in the northern, it would have been the brightest star by far if it was closer to earth. Sirius only appears brighter because it is so very much closer. Canopus is, in fact, the brightest star within 700 light years of earth!

It is, indeed, around thirty degrees away from Sirius, as seen from earth. (Well done, Michel. :clap: )This translates to about one-and-a-half times the fully outstretched hand, or three times a closed fist, both at arm's length.

I usually find Canopus by extending the direction of Orion's sword, through Lepus the hare. :thumbs_up:
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onewithnature
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Re: Advanced Stargazing Quiz (QM)

Unread postby onewithnature » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:58 am

A large zodiacal constellation is now rising over the eastern horizon just after sunset. As the weeks progress, it will become clearer and easier to see.
However, its brightest star is beautifully visible at the moment, just to the left of the very bright Saturn, which is also rising above that horizon.
Face east at around 8-9 p.m. and both will be very clear.

Do you know which constellation I am talking about, and therefore what the name of the bright star is?
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Re: Advanced Stargazing Quiz (QM)

Unread postby Timepilot » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:51 am

Virgo, and therefore Spica?
“ Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all. ” FC Selous 1881

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onewithnature
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Re: Advanced Stargazing Quiz (QM)

Unread postby onewithnature » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:23 am

TP, great to have you gracing the star quizzes again. :clap: :clap: :clap: :D :D

Absolutely correct, TP. :clap: :clap: Virgo is indeed rising over the eastern horizon after sunset, and will get higher as the weeks progress.

Spica is the brightest star of the zodiacal constellation, Virgo, and in fact is the 15th brightest star in the entire night skies. It is a blue giant - not many stars in the sky are indeed blue to the naked eye.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, the Big Dipper can be used to easily find Spica, and thus Virgo, as follows: follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to Arcturus, and then continue on the same arc to Spica - "Follow the arc to Arcturus and speed on to Spica." :D (Sadly, most of us in the southern hemisphere seldom see the Big Dipper, and then only a part of it at best.)
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TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)

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Re: Advanced Stargazing Quiz (QM)

Unread postby Timepilot » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:28 am

A rare moment of indulgence OWN :redface: :wink: I just happened to have been looking over the last couple of nights :whistle:
“ Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all. ” FC Selous 1881

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onewithnature
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Re: Advanced Stargazing Quiz (QM)

Unread postby onewithnature » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:21 pm

Then, perhaps TP, you need to have more "rare" moments of stargazing indulgence! Very well done indeed. :clap: :clap:
Spica is close to the ecliptic, which means that the zodiacal light can be seen in dark conditions in its vicinity. :thumbs_up:
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


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