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Stardate:March 4, 2024
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Structuring the stars/RSS Feed
A sprinkling of faint stars stands in the east a few hours after sunset, to the upper right of Arcturus, the brightest star in that part of the sky. The stars are the main features of Coma Berenices, which represents the golden hair of Queen Berenice II of Egypt.
The two closest and most prominent star clusters are high in the western sky at nightfall. The Hyades looks like a downward-pointing letter V with a bright orange star at one point. The dipper-shaped Pleiades is to the right of the Hyades.
The Moon and the star Antares, the heart of the scorpion, huddle especially close before dawn tomorrow. In fact, from some parts of the eastern United States, there won’t be any separation at all: The Moon will cover the star for a while, hiding it from view.
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).
Current Issue: March/April 2024
The Great North American Eclipse
by Damond Benningfield
This issue answers all of your questions about the upcoming Great North American Eclipse on April 8th, 2024! This is our guide to one of nature’s most beautiful and astounding events: a total solar eclipse. We’ll also have all the latest astronomy news, a comprehensive two-month stargazing guide for the months of March and April, detailed skycharts, and answers to your astronomy questions from our science guru Merlin.