At 9:00pm tonight you will find two bright red objects, one in the east and one in the west. If you look west, you will see the bright star Arcturus preparing to set. Rising In the east you will find the bright red planet Mars.
In 1935 on this date, Konstantin E. Tsiolkovskiy died. Tskiolkovskiy was the chief Soviet theorist of spaceflight, developed mathematics of rocketry and space travel, and identified basic rocket and spacecraft designs. A concise biography of Tsiolkovskiy may be found at Encyclopedia Britannica’s website here.
This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Friday, September 18, 2020. Information updated weekly or as needed. Times given as local St. Louis time (CDT). For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text. Public Telescope Viewings Star parties at the Saint Louis… Continue reading
For those willing to wake up around 4:00am, you will be treated to a familiar sight: the constellation Orion. This is a reminder that winter is coming. The bright object north of Orion, by the way, is the planet Venus.
On this date in 1930, two future astronauts were born: Edgar Mitchell and Tom Stafford. You can read their official NASA biographies at these two links: Biography of Edgar Mitchell. Biography of Thomas Stafford.
Tonight around 9pm, you can find a smile-shape of stars in the southeast that is called Capricornus, the Sea Goat. The first record of this constellation first appears about 4,000 years ago, when it was called Suhurmašu, or “The Goat Fish.” This is one of the oldest constellations we still use.
In this activity, you will observe crater formation and identify the distinctive features of impact sites. The Perseverance Spacecraft will land at Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021. Jezero crater is the only known location on Mars where carbonates (a type of rock) are found in close proximity to features indicating the past presence of… Continue reading
In 1966 on this date, Gemini XI, carrying astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, splashed down in the Pacific Ocean after almost three days in orbit around the Earth.
Scientists may be getting warmer in the search for life in the cosmos. Research released on September 14, 2020 in the journal of Nature Astronomy suggests the discovery of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus – a possible signature of microbial life on our planetary neighbor. While an exciting discovery, much is still unknown about… Continue reading
Looking south tonight at 9 pm, the two brightest objects are the planets Jupiter and Saturn. All through 2020, we have been watching this pair of planets as they creep closer together. Roughly every 20 years, these two planets reach conjunction. This event, called the Great Conjunction, will occur on December 21, 2020.