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February 20, 2024

Radio: Today’s Episode

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Radio: Yesterday’s Episode

Stargazing

  • Moon and Pollux

    Pollux, the brightest star of Gemini, perches quite near the Moon this evening. Its “twin,” the star Castor, is a good bit farther from the Moon. Pollux has expanded to about nine times the diameter of the Sun — a beach ball to the Sun’s golf ball.


  • Venus and Mars

    Venus and Mars will huddle close together the next few mornings, quite low in the east-southeast during the waxing twilight.


  • Snake’s Head

    Hydra, the water snake, spans more than 100 degrees — almost a third of the way around the sky — so it takes a long time to climb into view. Tonight, for example, its head is in the east-southeast at nightfall, but its tail won’t rise until about midnight.


Moon Phases

At the new Moon phase, the Moon is so close to the Sun in the sky that none of the side facing Earth is illuminated (position 1 in illustration). In other words, the Moon is between Earth and Sun. At first quarter, the half-lit Moon is highest in the sky at sunset, then sets about six hours later (3). At full Moon, the Moon is behind Earth in space with respect to the Sun. As the Sun sets, the Moon rises with the side that faces Earth fully exposed to sunlight (5).

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