December 1, 2022

The Christmas night sky: A 2021 Yuletide stargazing guide

Plainly positioned extremely low in the southwest sky, after sundown, is the fantastic world Venus, typically referred to as the “Shepherds Star” by the famous French astronomer Nicolas Camille Flammarion (1842-1925). Unique groupings of stars forming part of the recognized constellation describes, or lying within their borders, are understood as asterisms and the brightest 6 stars of Cygnus compose an asterism more commonly called the Northern Cross. Albereo, at the foot of the Cross, is really a set of stars of perfectly contrasting colors: a third-magnitude orange star and its fifth-magnitude blue companion are plainly visible in even a low power telescope.

(Image credit: SkySafari app)Christmas Star: 2021Our current evening sky is specifically rewarding. Prominently positioned really low in the southwest sky, after sundown, is the dazzling world Venus, typically referred to as the “Shepherds Star” by the legendary French astronomer Nicolas Camille Flammarion (1842-1925). Distinct groupings of stars forming part of the recognized constellation describes, or lying within their limits, are understood as asterisms and the brightest 6 stars of Cygnus compose an asterism more popularly called the Northern Cross. Albereo, at the foot of the Cross, is truly a pair of stars of perfectly contrasting colors: a third-magnitude orange star and its fifth-magnitude blue companion are clearly visible in even a low power telescope. If you have binoculars, sweep throughout the region of the sky roughly midway between the brilliant stars Regulus (in Leo) and Pollux (in Gemini).

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