Arcturus and Spica

First locate the Big Dipper asterism in the northeastern sky. Then draw an imaginary line following the curve in the Dipper’s handle until you come to a bright orange star. This star is Arcturus in the constellation Bootes, known in skylore as the ‘bear guard.’

Arcturus is a giant star with an estimated distance of 37 light-years. It’s special because it’s not moving with the general stream of stars, in the flat disk of the Milky Way galaxy. Instead, Arcturus is cutting perpendicularly through the galaxy’s disk at a tremendous rate of speed . . . some 150 kilometers per second. Millions of years from now this star will be lost from the view of any future inhabitants of Earth, or at least those who are earthbound and looking with the eye alone.

EARTHSKY.ORG (fabulous website)!

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About orionandconstellations

I have a hot tub that I love to sit in almost every night. I have always loved the stars and the night sky, but really had no idea how beautiful it is. One night I learned about Orion's belt. It was so easy to find in the Northern Hemisphere in the night sky. It was beautiful and it was there every night. I love Orion. Once I could find Orion I started using that as a guide to find other constellations. So far this has only been in the winter sky- and because of where our hot tub is in relation to the house- much of the Northern sky is blocked and so I haven't learned the north sky as well. But I will...

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