Tag Archives: Astronomy

Telescopes checked out from the library will let you explore the starry skies | The salt lake tribune

The Salt Lake County Library system has several items available to borrow for free in its Library of Things.

By Kolbie Peterson  | July 24, 2021, 5:00 a.m.

Zach Schierl | National Park Service) In 2017, the night sky is filled with thousands of stars, as seen from Utah’s Cedar Breaks National Monument, an officially designated dark sky park. Telescopes are available to check out from the Salt Lake County Library system for free.

Stars may be very, very far from Earth, but obtaining a telescope to get a good look at them only takes a trip to your local public library — and a library card.

And with the Delta Aquariids hitting their meteor-viewing peak later this week, it’s a perfect time to go stargazing here in Utah.

The Salt Lake County Library system has 48 telescopes available for adult patrons to check out. These sturdy, beginner-friendly models are part of the county library’s growing collection of equipment called the Library of Things, which also includes internet hot spots, Chromebooks, tablets and a variety of other items, all free to borrow.

Spearheaded by Joan Carman with the Salt Lake Astronomical Society, the library system’s telescope program provides access to an instrument that usually costs at least $100 and up to $1,000 or more.

Source: Telescopes checked out from the library will let you explore the starry skies

Perseid meteor shower 2021 on now: How to watch the celestial fireworks | CNET

“The best meteor shower of the year” is just getting warmed up as the Perseids build toward a mid-August peak.

By Amanda Kooser, July 14, 2021 8:53 a.m. PT

A Perseid meteor crosses the sky in 2016. NASA/Bill Ingalls

One of the best shows in the solar system is kicking into gear as the annual Perseid meteor shower lights up the night sky for 2021.

We can thank large comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle for the little pieces of space debris that hit Earth’s atmosphere and turn into the distinctive “shooting stars” of the meteor shower.

According to NASA, the Perseids will be active from July 14 through Aug. 24 with the peak coming in mid-August. The space agency says it’s “considered the best meteor shower of the year.”

Source: Perseid meteor shower 2021 on now: How to watch the celestial fireworks – CNET

In the Sky This Month | StarDate Online

Screenshot…

In the Sky This Month

Orion, Taurus, and Auriga, constellations that rep- resent autumn and winter, vanish in the western evening twilight this month.

Hercules is well up in the east-northeast by then, with Ophiuchus just climbing into view in the east.

Pairs of planets bracket the sky for much of the month: Jupiter and Saturn before dawn, and Venus and Mercury just after sunset.

Source: In the Sky This Month | StarDate Online

The world needs dark skies more than ever. Here’s why. | Popular Science

Dark Sky Places help us imagine a world where we can all see the night sky.

By Nikita Amir, April 16, 2021

From article…

Most people on planet Earth right now don’t live under truly dark night skies. Though you might be aware that you can’t see the stars in Tokyo or New York City, you might not realize that there’s some degree of light pollution in most of the places humans live today. Light pollution is any form of excessive or obtrusive light that interferes with the natural starlight in the night sky. 

Currently, light pollution is growing at two percent every year—that’s twice the rate of population growth.

Rapid industrialization and booming cities have made artificial lighting ubiquitous. However, the effects of this aren’t just limited to starless skies. Several studies link light pollution to deteriorating health of wildlife, humans, and the planet.

Artificial light interferes with our circadian rhythms by messing with melatonin production, and interrupts natural processes like breeding and migrating in everything from sea turtles to birds. There is even evidence to suggest that bright lighting is responsible for the accelerated decline of biodiversity amongst insects (a.k.a. the insect apocalypse).

Source: The world needs dark skies more than ever. Here’s why. | Popular Science

In the Sky This Month | StarDate Online

Photo by Sam Kolder on Pexels.com

The stars of winter are marching toward the end of their annual evening run.

Orion is in the southwest at nightfall as April begins, for example, but is quite low in the west as the Sun begins to set by month’s end.

Sirius, the Dog Star, is to the lower left of Orion.

It’s the brightest true star in the entire night sky, so even though it’s quite low, it sparkles beautifully as it drops from view in the evening for another year.

Source: In the Sky This Month | StarDate Online

Full worm moon will rise Sunday evening; but is it a supermoon?

By Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

Getty Images

The moon will look most spectacular just as it appears above the eastern horizon early Sunday evening.

Other names for this month’s full moon include the crow, crust, sap, and sugar moon.

By some definitions, it’s a supermoon, meaning that it’s a bit closer to the Earth than during an average full moon.

Get ready for the full “worm” moon, which will rise Sunday evening, March 28, in the eastern sky.The name likely refers to the earthworms that appear in the soil as the weather gets warmer, inviting hungry birds to feed on them.

Source: Full worm moon will rise Sunday evening; but is it a supermoon?