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Stardate:

April 20, 2024

Radio: Today’s Episode

  • Kochab

    Putting a giant star on the scales

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Radio: Yesterday’s Episode

Stargazing

  • Kochab

    The Little Dipper is famous for the star at the tip of its handle: Polaris, the North Star. Its second-brightest star is Kochab, at the lip of the bowl. It’s to the right of Polaris at nightfall, and rotates directly above it in the wee hours of the morning.


  • Lyrid Meteors

    The Lyrid meteor shower is building toward its peak, on Sunday night. Unfortunately, the Moon will be almost full then, so its glare will wash out all but the brightest of the “shooting stars.”


  • Time Bombs

    Several time bombs are in view this evening. The list includes most of the bright stars of Orion, which is low in the west, plus Spica, the brightest star of Virgo, in the southeast. All of these stars are destined to explode as supernovas.


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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Stardate Magazine

Current Issue: MaY/JUNE 2024

The Return of IGRINS

by Emily Howard

This issue highlights the return of an instrument that studies the infrared universe, and after a decade, it’s about to come home to the McDonald Observatory in Texas. We’ll also have all the latest astronomy news, a comprehensive two-month stargazing guide for the months of May and June, detailed skycharts, and answers to your astronomy questions from our science guru Merlin.

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Fun Factoid

Star Teachers

  • Stars and Galaxies

    Galaxies contain billions of stars. Do galaxies collide? Do the stars within them collide?

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