Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Winter brights - by Lorri Centineo

constellation of Leo
Layers of black polar fleece haven't been enough cover to get me out viewing the winter sky. These past few weeks have been much too cold for more than a few minutes of star gazing. But now even a few degrees warmer and I'm drawn to the night time flickerings. Earlier this evening I watched Venus set in the west, following the sun to its rest. Orion stands tall between Venus' steady gaze and Brightest Sirius' scintillating presence at the base of the array of bright stars of the Winter Hexagon...the winter star wall. And here come the spring stars...Leo leads them in. It's the same every year...same stars, same times, same places. there is comfort in that predictability. Is that so for you? There are more than enough surprises elsewhere, like the disappearance of my black polar fleece neck-up. Brrr.

illustrations: Leo in spring sky, northern hemisphere from BYU Idaho; starmap and old engraving from UCAR.
See also Google sky.

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