/2014

Scarecrow – Mars Curiosity Style Rover

Scarecrow: Curiosity’s Earthbound Brother Several rovers were in action at the JPL Open House that took place in Pasadena, CA this past October. “Scarecrow”, the earthbound surrogate of Mars Rover Curiosity, was on display and put through its paces for attendees to watch. Named Scarecrow because “it doesn’t have a brain”, this rover is not equipped with all the instruments that Curiosity has. This lack of extra weight gives Scarecrow the equivalent weight of Curiosity, with all its instruments, in the lower gravity of Mars.

To see this rover in action, watch the above video.

By |2017-11-17T21:34:27-04:00November 8th, 2014|Mars, Video|0 Comments

Full Beaver Moon 2014

Full Beaver Moon 2014 For the American colonist and the Algonquin tribes the November Full Moon was know as the Full Beaver Moon. This was the time of year to prepare for the upcoming winter by setting beaver traps before the swamps froze. This would help ensure warm beaver furs to fend off the winter cold. Also, beavers are also very busy this time of year, preparing for winter.   The November Full Moon is also know as Frosty Moon.

Full Beaver Moon arrives at November 6th, 22:23 GMT.

By |2017-11-17T21:34:27-04:00November 4th, 2014|Moon, Sky Events|0 Comments

Happy Halloween from Galileo and Under the Night Sky

Happy Halloween In keeping with the macabre nature of the day, we present Galileo’s Index Finger.

Galileo's Index Finger Bones Galileo’s index finger bones. On display at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. Photo by Edward Dick, Jr.

Now residing in the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy this finger from Galileo’s right hand was removed by historian Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti during a ceremony on March 12, 1737. Galileo’s remains were unearthed and moved to a prominent tomb in the main body of the church of Santa Croce.   A middle finger, a thumb, a tooth and a vertebra were also removed.

This finger, along with the thumb and tooth, disappeared in 1905, only to be rediscovered in 2009.

Full Hunter’s Moon 2014

Full Hunter’s Moon 2014 The crops have been harvested and winter is coming. Time for the Full Hunter’s Moon. Native Americans named this moon as such because it was time to build up their stores for winter and the reaped field and fallen leaves made it easier to see their prey. The Hunter’s Moon, also known as Blood Moon and Sanguine Moon, was considered an important time and was celebrated with feasts by Native American’s and in Western Europe. The hunter hits his mark on October 8th, at 10:51 (GMT).

By |2017-11-17T21:34:27-04:00October 7th, 2014|Moon, Sky Events|0 Comments

Full Harvest Moon 2014

Full Harvest Moon 2014 This year’s Harvest Moon is a special one. In fact, it is SUPER.

The Full Moon that falls closest is closest to the Autumnal Equinox, is known as the Full Harvest Moon. This year the equinox falls on September 22nd and the full moon arrives the night of September 8th, crowning it this year’s Harvest Moon.

Adding to the fun is that this month’s full moon is a supermoon. A supermoon occurs when the moon turns full less than a day after reaching perigee, when the Earth and moon are at their closest for the month.

By |2017-11-17T21:34:27-04:00September 8th, 2014|Moon, Sky Events|0 Comments

Perseid Meteor Shower and a Supermoon

Perseids and a Supermoon One of the best meteor showers of the year takes place this month.  It’s the Perseids, named for the constellation Perseus, where the shooting stars appear to radiate from.  This year the shower is at it’s maximum during the night and morning hours of August 12-13th. During a normal year 60 to 100 shooting stars per hour can be seen at its peak.  This year, though, it could be different.

The moon will be near full during the meteor shower.  On top of that, it will be a supermoon, which will be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than an average full moon.  The light from the moon will wash out the night sky, making many of the dimmer meteors much more difficult to see.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is caused by the debris trail left by the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

By |2017-11-17T21:34:28-04:00August 10th, 2014|Meteor Showers, Moon, Sky Events|0 Comments

Full Sturgeon Moon 2014

Full Sturgeon Moon 2014 Full Sturgeon Moon? Sounds like something fishy is going on!

That is one of the names given to the August Full Moon, which occurs on August 10th at 18:10 Universal Time (UT). The Algonquin tribes of North America gave this month’s full moon this name because it is during this time that sturgeons, a large fish found in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, are most easily caught. Sturgeons were considered the royalty of fishes by the Native people who lived in the Great Lakes region and a delicacy because of their meaty flesh.

The August Full Moon is known by several other names, including Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon and Red Moon.

By |2017-11-17T21:34:28-04:00August 7th, 2014|Celestial History, Moon, Sky Events|0 Comments

Greetings from Under the Night Sky!

Greetings from Under the Night Sky “I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia” ― Ptolemy, Ptolemy’s Almagest

Nothing has fascinated humankind for as long as the night sky.  The heavens are filled with things of beauty and awe.  UnderTheNightSky.com will be your guide to enjoying and understanding them.  With a focus on what you can see with nothing more than your naked-eyes or a pair of binoculars, we will let you know what’s going on and where and when to find it.  We’ll also tell you the stories behind what you see, and show you how the sky works with easy-to-understand explanations.

So come along, stand in the presence of Zeus, and get your fill of ambrosia.

Greetings from Under the Night Sky!

By |2017-11-17T21:34:28-04:00June 21st, 2014|From Under the Night Sky|0 Comments