Fun astronomy facts to impress your friends with!

February 2015

26th – Looking to the east around 7 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like a backwards question. This group of stars forms the head of Leo the Lion. 

27th – Guion Bluford Jr. became the first African American in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger on August 30, 1983. Guion flew on three other space shuttle missions 

28th – The sky tells us spring is almost here. Looking to the southeast around 11 o’clock tonight you will see 4 stars that form the spring diamond.

March 2015

1st – Blue and white stars are hotter than yellow stars. Looking to the south around 8 o’clock tonight you will see the blue-white star Sirius. 

2nd – Looking to the northeast around 8 o’clock tonight you will see the Big Dipper. These stars are part of the constellation Ursa Major the Great Bear. 

3rd – Looking to the northwest around 8 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like a letter “w” turned sideways. This is the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen. 

4th –Looking to the west around 7 o’clock tonight you will see Venus above Mars. Look below Venus and above Mars with binoculars or telescopes and you may see Uranus! 

5th – Looking to the east around 9 o’clock tonight you will see the full moon in the southeast. The March full moon is known as the full Worm Moon. 

6th – Public telescope viewing will be held the James S. McDonnell Planetarium tonight with the St. Louis Astronomical Society. For more information visit www.slsc.org 

7th – Looking to the west around 9 o’clock tonight you will see the bright red star Aldebaran. This star is part of the constellation Taurus the Bull! 

8th – Daylight saving time begins tomorrow so set your clocks forward 1 hour tonight. As you spring forward you will see the spring constellation Leo in the east around 8 o’clock tonight. 

9th – Looking to the southwest around 10 o’clock tonight you will see six bright stars that form the winter circle. 

10th – Looking to the west around 8 o’clock you will see Mars below Venus.  Looking to the left of Mars with telescopes or binoculars you may see blue star like object which is Uranus. 

11th –Looking to the south around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see the waning moon. Look to the right of the moon to see Saturn. 

12th – Looking to the south around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see a group of stars that look like the letter “J”. This is the summer constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. 

13th – William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus on this date in 1781. Originally Herschel wanted to call this planet Georgian Sidus, “George’s star” in honor of England’s King George III. 

14th – Celebrate Pi day by finding the circumference of Uranus! You can find the circumference by multiplying the diameter of Uranus (31,518 miles) by Pi (3.14159). 

15th – Looking to the southwest around 9 o’clock tonight you will see Orion the Hunter. Look below the 3 stars that form his belt and you will see the Orion nebula! 

16th – Looking to the west around 9 o’clock tonight you will see a group of 7 stars close together. This is a star cluster known as the Seven Sisters or the Pleiades and it contains hundreds of stars! 

17th – Looking to the east around 11 o’clock tonight you will see a bright orange star called Arcturus. This star is part of the constellation Boötes the Herdsman. 

18th –On this date in 1965 cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first human to walk in space. On June 3rd of the same year Ed White became the first American to spacewalk. 

19th – Looking to the east around 10 o’clock tonight you will see the stars: Arcturus, Spica, Denebola, and Cor Caroli. Together these stars form the spring diamond. 

20th –Today is the Vernal Equinox which is the first official day of spring.  On this day we will have equal amount of daylight and equal amount of nighttime! 

21st – Looking to the southeast around 9 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like a backwards question mark. This is the head of Leo the Lion. 

22nd – Looking to the west around 8 o’clock tonight you will see the crescent moon. Looking to the right of moon is Venus and below Venus you will see Mars. 

23rd – Looking to the south around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see a red star called Antares. This star is around 600 light years away! 

24th –Every star you see in the sky is part of the Milky Way Galaxy! 

25th – On this date in 1928 James Arthur Lovell Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He flew aboard Gemini 7 and Apollo 8. He is most noted for his role as commander of Apollo 13. 

26th – Looking to the west around midnight you will see the red star Betelgeuse. This star will explode as a supernova and is predicted to be bright enough to be seen in daylight for a short time. 

27th – On this date in 1972 the Russian robotic spacecraft Venera 8 was launched. This spacecraft was equipped to study the temperature and air pressure of Venus. 

28th –Looking near the center of the sky around 9 o’clock tonight you will see the moon. Looking to the left of the moon is Jupiter. This planet is so large you could fit 44 of our moons across Jupiter’s diameter! 

29th – On this date in 1807 the asteroid, 4 Vesta was discovered by Heinrich Olbers. Vesta lies within the asteroid belt and was visited by the Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2012! 

30th – Looking to the west around 11 o’clock tonight you will see the bright star Pollox. To the right of this star is Castor. Both stars are part of the constellation Gemini the Twins. 

31st – Looking to the east around 5 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see 3 bright stars that form the summer triangle. You will see this pattern in the evening sky all summer!