Tonight if you look south around 8pm you will find the Moon exhibiting a waxing gibbous phase. North of the Moon you will find the bright yellow star Capella which is the 6th brightest star we can see.
First quarter moon occurs today. As the Sun sets look for the Moon high in the southern skies near the V-shaped star cluster called the Hyades.
If you look southeast at 3am tomorrow morning you will find the planets Jupiter and Mars. Jupiter will be higher in the sky and Mars will have a red color.
Like all planets Venus orbits the Sun in a counter-clockwise direction. However its axial rotation is opposite that of the other planets. Because of this on Venus the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east.
On this date in 1947 the first animals in space were launched aboard a V-2 rocket. The animals aboard were two fruit flies who were recovered alive after they reached an altitude of 68 miles.
This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Tuesday, February 20, 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
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.