Stars in the Milky Way tend to revolve around the center of the galaxy, bobbing slightly above and below the galactic plane as if in a perpetual cosmic merry-go-round. But sometimes a star gets catapulted across the sky by a close gravitational interaction with another star. One of the best-known “runaway stars” lies in the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer. Known as AE Aurigae, this blazing star is passing by chance through a cold cloud of interstellar gas. The result is ‘accidental’ emission nebula cataloged as IC 405, but more commonly called the Flaming Star Nebula [Read more…] about The Flaming Star NebulaShare This:
Recent Astronomy Articles at Cosmic Pursuits
The brilliant planet Venus is just over 2° from the Pleiades star cluster, while the V-shaped Hyades star cluster, which makes up much of the constellation Taurus, is to the left of Venus in this image. The constellation Orion is at extreme left. This image taken after sunset over the Ottawa River on a pleasant spring night on April 12, 2015.
Shining at magnitude -4.1 for most of the month, Venus is easy to find high above the western horizon as the Sun goes down. It outshines every object in the sky except for the Sun and Moon. The planet moves a little higher each night until early June.Share This:
“Always avoid the neighborhood of any bright light. Electric lights in particular are an abomination to stargazers.” So wrote the American astronomy popularizer Garrett Serviss, in 1890, in his excellent book Astronomy with an Opera Glass.
Serviss would likely be appalled at the grey fog of light pollution over most cities, where most people now live. Under such conditions, the faint stars and others sights of the deep sky are much harder to see, and many city dwellers have never seen the faint band of the Milky Way.
Which is why many argue the best days for amateur astronomy are behind us. But take heart, fellow stargazer, because in this article, you discover why this is the best time in history to enjoy the night sky… [Read more…] about Why Now is the Best Time to be a StargazerShare This: