Wintertime is a great time for staring. Here is the Super Bowl of serengaenu, as long as I'm worried.
If you got a telescope under the Christmas tree, here's the time to use. Too many people wait until warmer weather to try their new icons, and that's a mistake. Waiting means you'll miss a golden opportunity to enter the exciting world of amateur astronomy. If you wait until spring, you'll be more comfortable, but by then, the great winter concepts will be below the western horizon. In the spring, the air will have a little more moisture, a bit unclear in heaven, especially if there is any type of urban lighting, and you must wait later to see the alliances. So bundle up and take the bright outdoors.
The best part of winter wild coats is a great crew of Orion constables. As darkness sets, they start in the south east sky and then reach their highest point above the southern horizon of about 9 p.m. The allies around Orion are Gemini the Twins, Canis Major and Minor (the big and small dogs respectively), Auriga the sheepfriend driver, and Taurus the Bull with the Pleiades star cluster, also known as " Seven Little Sisters. "
Without any doubt, Orion and Gang have the largest collection of bright stars collected anywhere across the night sky in the North Hemisphere. I love those compositions! As a matter of fact, I can show the sequence of accompaniment in my next column.
In the northern air, look for the Big Dipper, standing on its hand, and the backup "W" fan that outlines the Cassiopeia casing. You can see those concepts and others every night in the north as they make a tight circle around Polaris, the fashionable North Star. Polaris is approximately halfway from the northeast to the zenith above, and all celestial objects in the air all appear to turn around every 24 hours. The limitations of a range such as the Big Bear and Cassiopeia are close enough to Polaris in the air so that they are always above the horizon.
If you're fancy watching the planet with the night and you're pretty close at the moment. Mars only has to eliminate available in the air southwest night sky. I said "disappeared" because Mars was so far now than it was last summer when it was less than 36 million miles away. Now there are over 140 million miles away. However, this is the object similar to the star in that part of the sky, but it's a bad telescope target because it is so far away and so small – about half diameter the Earth.
In the air early in the morning before the green, a few bright light blanks are available. About 6 a.m. This week you will see two very bright stars fairly close together in the low air to the southeast. That's the Jupiter and Venus planets in fact. Although they are close together in the air, they are not physically close together. They happen to be the same line of sight. At present Venus is 75 million miles away, but Jupiter is about 550 million miles from Earth.
None of them are very good telescope targets because they are so close to the horizon and the light must travel although there is a thick layer of Earth's atmosphere to reach our eyes. That will make them very unclear through the telescopes and binoculars. Venus will be a half-moon shape, and Jupiter will be an incredible disk with up to four stars on either side. That's the bright Jiwpiter pictures in an orbit around the big man of our solar system.