Stargazers from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 14 May 2021 03:00:29 -0700 Stargazers from Creators Syndicate 79c75ec8d888cb4c63f84883b435a743 A Lunar Eclipse Sneak Preview for 05/13/2021 Thu, 13 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of May 16-22, 2021</p> <p>Early on the evening of Tuesday, May 25, watch as the sun sets behind the western horizon; then, face the opposite direction and you'll soon spot the moon rising in the east. </p> <p>On that night, the moon's phase will be full, and regular readers of this column know that the full moon does everything opposite of the sun. When the sun sets in the west, the full moon rises in the east. When the sun rises in the east, the full moon sets in the west. <p>Updated: Thu May 13, 2021</p> 4a8407cd7bc6b028503d96b34d50b2eb Why Is the Night Sky Dark? for 05/06/2021 Thu, 06 May 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of May 9-15, 2021</p> <p>If you're out looking for the moon this week, you'll have a tough time finding it. On Tuesday, it lies nearly in the direction of the sun (its "new moon" phase), but by Thursday, it will appear as a thin crescent low in the western sky at dusk. </p> <p>Before the moon begins illuminating our night sky again this coming week, we stargazers have a chance to gaze skyward and ponder a very simple question: Why is the nighttime sky dark? <p>Updated: Thu May 06, 2021</p> 55e74d0977a53f5d355c910e33bdf789 Seeing Halley's Meteors for 04/29/2021 Thu, 29 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of May 2-8, 2021</p> <p>Halley's Comet hasn't appeared in our sky for a quarter-century, but during the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, May 6, stargazers will have a chance to see pieces of this famous celestial visitor. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">On that morning, sky watchers far from city lights will be treated to what astronomers know as the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. </span><p>Updated: Thu Apr 29, 2021</p> 86b5478ef42bfe6f69b98357642d9484 Why Doesn't the Moon Rotate? for 04/22/2021 Thu, 22 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of April 25 - May 1, 2021</p> <p>Here we are, already at the end of April, and with this season comes some beautiful evening weather to help us enjoy our night sky viewing. This week, the full moon illuminates our sky on Monday, April 26, and as the full moon always does, it will rise above the eastern horizon around the time the sun sets below the western horizon. </p> <p>You may sometimes hear the April full moon referred to as the "pink moon," "sprouting grass moon" or even the "egg moon." My favorite of these Native American names, however, is the "fish moon," since it's at this time that the shad swim the Delaware River separating Pennsylvania from New Jersey where I grew up, creating an exciting time for anglers.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 22, 2021</p> 5857f9a37e5fcb411183541a8bc250d0 Star-Hopping From the Big Dipper for 04/15/2021 Thu, 15 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of April 18-24, 2021</p> <p>One of the most common questions I hear under the starry night sky is, "How do I find the North Star?" </p> <p>The North Star, also known as Polaris, is important because it stands directly over the Earth's geographic north pole, so if you face this star, you're looking true north. Don't expect your compass to point that direction, however; it aligns instead with the Earth's magnetic north pole. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 15, 2021</p> d727c15152109a67577d4e3fbc9c222f Mars Perseverance: Why Bother? for 04/08/2021 Thu, 08 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Week of April 11-17, 2021<p>Updated: Sun Apr 11, 2021</p> 87d306953f5e619c493424a453cce634 The Herdsman and the Crown for 04/01/2021 Thu, 01 Apr 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of April 4-10, 2021</p> <p>I always know that springtime has arrived by the stars I see during the early evening hours. One of my favorites is the small but quite beautiful constellation Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. </p> <p>The Northern Crown isn't one of the brighter star groupings, so you'd be better off searching for this one from a dark-sky location when there's no moon in the sky. You can find it easily by locating one brighter star first. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 01, 2021</p> ec3ce7aa3b55e4edfcb1b1f367cb33d9 The Celestial Water Snake for 03/25/2021 Thu, 25 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of March 28 - April 3, 2021</p> <p>Springtime in the Southern California deserts is when the snakes begin to appear. They're beautiful creatures, of course, but considering how much time I spend prowling around after dark, I'm always concerned that I might unknowingly come too close to a sidewinder.</p> <p>T<span class="column--highlighted-text">here is one snake, however, that I don't mind encountering at this time of year, and that's because it lives safely in the sky. We know it as Hydra, the water snake, and it forms the largest of all constellations.</span><p>Updated: Thu Mar 25, 2021</p> 55b5c5f5974f6cdb752ce80698944234 Listen to the Moon for 03/18/2021 Thu, 18 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of March 21-27, 2021</p> <p>There's an old joke that I just love to tell. </p> <p>An elementary school teacher was presenting a lesson about the moon and asked the children which is more important, the sun or the moon, figuring the answer was obvious. After all, the sun's energy makes possible all life on Earth, while the moon is merely a hunk of rock that just reflects sunlight. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 18, 2021</p> 6fcdf5fca7f76835fd6180ad4d9cc430 Star Patterns Made Easy for 03/11/2021 Thu, 11 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Week of March 14-20, 2021</p> <p>I recall many years ago standing under the stars trying to figure out why the starry heavens looked nothing like the elaborate drawings I'd seen in star maps and books. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 11, 2021</p> ec5088e1969c1789347aa93849069dc9 Seeking the Zodiacal Light for 03/04/2021 Thu, 04 Mar 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of March 7-13, 2021</p> <p>Stargazers who spend time in rural locations get to experience celestial sights that are invisible, and sometimes completely unknown, to those living near the bright lights of a city. </p> <p>For example, the number of stars scattered across the clear, dark skies over the mountains or deserts is easily in the thousands. How many folks regularly get to enjoy such a sight? Then there's the Milky Way, the starry band of light that marks the central plane of our galaxy; and the distant star clusters, nebulae and galaxies known to astronomers as "deep-sky objects." Many of these are visible to the naked eye as hazy patches of light when viewing far from the devastating effects of light pollution. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 04, 2021</p> 371d7c57ae2ecd4dc67ff24b301e8827 Sneak Peek at the Summer Sky for 02/25/2021 Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Feb. 28 - March 6, 2021</p> <p>If you're like I am, you long for summertime, not only for its warm weather and abundant growth but also because its nighttime sky is among the richest of the year. So, it's usually around late February that I begin wandering outdoors before dawn to sneak a peek at the stars that will appear in the evening sky just a few months down the road. </p> <p>There's no great mystery about why the early morning sky appears different than that of the evening; our planet rotates on its axis once every day, and as we spin with it, we face outward in different directions at different times. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 25, 2021</p> 0ca03bcabc0ad4ef12197e68ff66b36f Seeing History ... in Real Time for 02/18/2021 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Feb. 21-27, 2021</p> <p>It's been said that most of our knowledge of the universe comes to us in the form of light. But just what is light? </p> <p>Well, that's a question that scientists have pondered for ages, and the answer seems quite peculiar. We now know that light is a vibrating electromagnetic field, but it can behave as both a wave and a stream of particles called photons. Pretty strange stuff! <p>Updated: Thu Feb 18, 2021</p> 9c0a5c80e65dde9ca22bc0816890dcde Seeing the Sun at Night (Well, Sort Of) for 02/11/2021 Thu, 11 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Feb. 14-20, 2021</p> <p>Stars are not all alike. If they were, we could determine their relative distances just from how bright they appear.</p> <p>They do share one important similarity, however: Each is a thermonuclear furnace. In most cases, the cores of the stars are packed with hydrogen atoms that, under unimaginably high temperatures and pressures, slam into one another and fuse to create helium atoms. In this process, they release a tremendous amount of energy &#8212; some of which prevents the star from collapsing upon itself, and some of which pours outward as light and heat. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 11, 2021</p> 87d88b62e4ae1a3d0fa5069d59c53a9d Hare-y Tales of the Winter Sky for 02/04/2021 Thu, 04 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Feb. 7-13, 2021</p> <p>If you haven't been out to enjoy a dark night sky this winter, you'll be happy to learn that few activities can keep you more socially distanced than stargazing. </p> <p>The stars are so brilliant right now not because of the frosty night air (a myth that many believe) but because, at this time of year, we on Earth are looking outward toward some of the brightest and nearest stars visible along our annual journey around the sun. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 04, 2021</p> 9433ae22e58043329a6394892ebef1fb The Return of the Big Dipper for 01/28/2021 Thu, 28 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2021</p> <p>Scientists tell us that our sense of smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers. Get a whiff of a freshly mown lawn or a turkey roasting in the oven and I'll bet you agree. </p> <p>For me, there's another memory trigger that seems to work equally well: spotting the Big Dipper in the nighttime sky of February. <p>Updated: Thu Jan 28, 2021</p> 7886d684da034c974108a8debb17b9f8 How Far South Can You See? for 01/21/2021 Thu, 21 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Jan. 24-30, 2021</p> <p>This week I spotted the star Canopus for the first time since last winter, and I was reminded of an interesting fact. Quite a few folks still believe the Earth is flat. </p> <p>Hard to believe, I know. Many of these people belong to the Flat Earth Society, a group which describes itself as "a place for free thinkers and the intellectual exchange of ideas" &#8212; as long as those ideas don't involve any actual science or common sense, I suppose.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 21, 2021</p> edff85f8ae14a2b55afe22246ed2c601 Our Cosmic Ancestors for 01/14/2021 Thu, 14 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Jan. 17-23, 2021</p> <p>We are made of star stuff. </p> <p>How often, over the years, have we encountered this phrase but never stopped to consider its true significance? <p>Updated: Thu Jan 14, 2021</p> 443d676f265b6b3aedb7a50f1d561928 The 'Linking' Star for 01/07/2021 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Jan. 10-16, 2021</p> <p>Many folks believe that constellations are celestial pictures and are disappointed when they can't see these fanciful images from ancient times. That's because constellations are not pictures but areas of the sky. </p> <p>Astronomers have divided the heavens into 88 such areas, some large and some small. And as you might expect, each star we see is part of its own constellation. <p>Updated: Thu Jan 07, 2021</p> a2a2887718022e538ddee53d0a325df2 2021: A Year of Celestial Wonder for 12/31/2020 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Week of Jan. 3-9, 2021</p> <p>The beginning of each new year is filled with hope and optimism. This year will be no exception, especially after the gut-punch we received from 2020. And with the new year comes a list of resolutions we swear we'll follow. How many times can we possibly say, "And this year, I mean it!"</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">There is one resolution, however, that can easily carry us through the entire year: keeping watch on the heavens. And believe me, 2021 will be, without question, quite good for sky watchers! </span><p>Updated: Thu Dec 31, 2020</p>