Astronomy: The Week Ahead – Sun 15 Mar to Sat 21 Mar 2015

Crash Course

sun

Sunday March 15

Aquila “the Eagle” is a summer constellation that can currently be seen in the southeast before sunrise. It is dominated by its brightest star, magnitude 0.75 Altair, which is 17 light years from us. The distinctive diamond shape of Aquila defines the eagle’s wings, as it flies along the Milky Way. Aquila is sometimes called “the graveyard of stars” as it contains many planetary nebulae, stars at the ends of their lives. Out in front of Aquila are several smaller constellations, created to fill empty spaces in the sky.

mon

Monday March 16

Two famous constellations in the morning sky currently are Sagittarius and Scorpius. Scorpius, on the right, is the very familiar shape of a scorpion. Sagittarius though is rarely seen as the constellation, but rather, an “asterism” known as The Teapot. An asterism is a shape made from stars that is not a constellation. Here you…

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