A Diamond for Mom

   About an hour after local sunset go outside and face south and look for the planet Saturn above the southeast horizon. Then look up to the right for the bluish-white colored star Spica.
   Spica, a star in Virgo the Harvest Maiden, marks the lower corner of the asterism known as ‘the Diamond of Virgo’. To see the asterism look up to the left from Spica for the reddish star Arcturus in the kite-shaped constellation Bootes the Herdsman. Then look nearly straight up, the zenith, for the dimmest of the diamond stars, Cor Caroli in Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs. Then look down to the right for the star Denebola, the tail of Leo the Lion.

   This evening also treat her to a look at Venus, Jupiter, and the waxing crescent Moon over the western horizon. See my post from yesterday for more about this.

   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Saturn at Opposition

saturn   On Sunday April 28th Saturn will reach a point along its orbit around the Sun that places it on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, or at opposition. At opposition, with the Earth between Saturn and the Sun, Saturn rises at local sunset time and is above the horizon all night setting at local sunrise time – much like a full Moon.

Follow the Arc...

Follow the Arc…

To help you locate Saturn and to add to your celestial thrills and chills you could recite a spring time astronomers mnemonic that connects the arc-shaped or curved handle of the Big Dipper with the reddish star Arcturus and the bluish-white star Spica. On the way from Arcturus to Spica you will pass above Saturn.

“Follow the arc to Arcturus and then speed to Spica.”

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.