On this date in 1930 Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto. The New Horizons mission visited Pluto in 2015 and is now less than one year away from its second target. This target is a Kuiper Belt object named 2014 MU69.
The planet Venus takes 225 Earth days to orbit the Sun. A day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days. On Venus one day is longer than its year.
Looking south at 8pm you will find the constellation Orion. He is easily distinguished by the three bright stars in a straight line. If you look below his belt with binoculars the nebula M42 will be found.
Today a partial solar eclipse will occur however it is not visible from St. Louis. Solar eclipses are a type of syzygy that occur when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth.
If you look east around 7pm tonight you will find a backwards question mark shape of stars. This is the head of the constellation Leo the Lion.
This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Tuesday, February 13, 2018. All times are given as local St. Louis time (Central Standard Time). For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text. Information updated weekly or as needed. Join us for our next… Continue reading
When viewed through a telescope or binocular, the planet Venus will appear phased like the Moon. This is because it is closer to the Sun than Earth. Mercury also exhibits phases.
On this date in 2001 NEAR-Shoemaker became the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid. NEAR transmitted 69 close-up images of Eros and then soft-landed on the asteroid.
As the Moon reaches its farthest point from Earth today it will be exhibiting a waning crescent phase. Moonset occurs at roughly 2pm so it can be seen during the day. Just make sure you do not look at the Sun!
The surface temperature of Venus reaches nearly 900° F. The atmospheric pressure at the surface is 90 times that of Earth. On top of this its atmosphere contains clouds of sulfuric acid.