Winter is one of best times for stargazing: Morgan Paskert

Monday, 13 November 2017, 02:48:19 AM. Guest columnist Morgan Paskert, of the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, writes that some of the best stargazing can take place in winter.
Morgan Paskert is on staff at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.Morgan Paskert  Guest columnist Morgan Paskert is on staff at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Winter is known for its cold temperatures and snowy skies, but did you know winter happens to be one of the best times of the year to go stargazing? When winter skies are clear, they are crystal clear and hold some of the brightest stars in the night sky. The winter solstice on Dec. 21 will mark the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year, as the sun will set at 5:01 p.m. Katy Downing, Planetarium Specialist at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, shares her favorite constellations to spot this winter. Orion the Hunter Orion the Hunter, one of the most popular constellations, happens to be one of the easiest to find in the winter night sky. Look south in search of three stars crossing diagonally through a large rectangle. The three stars create Orion's Belt, while the four stars of the rectangle represent Orion's shoulders and knees. On a clear night, grab your binoculars and look for the Orion Nebula (a formation of gases and dust) within the constellation. Fun fact: The Orion Nebula is the middle "star" in Orion's sword, which hangs off of Orion's Belt. Canis Major, the Great Dog Follow the diagonal stars of Orion's Belt southward and it will point you to one of the winter sky's most prominent constellations, Canis Major. In Greek mythology, it is said that Canis Major, along with Canis...Read more
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