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91.5 KRCC's Looking Up

Colorado Public Radio

Each week Hal Bidlack from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society alerts Southern Colorado listeners what to watch for in our night skies.

Each week Hal Bidlack from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society alerts Southern Colorado listeners what to watch for in our night skies.
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Location:

Colorado Springs, CO

Description:

Each week Hal Bidlack from the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society alerts Southern Colorado listeners what to watch for in our night skies.

Language:

English


Episodes

Looking Up: Tilt The Season

9/17/2018
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This week on Looking Up we learn the astronomical reason for the seasonal changes. I have breaking news from the world of astronomy. The Earth has seasons! Ok, so maybe you already knew that. But do you know why? Ok, you probably do. You know that the Earth is tilted off being straight up and down in space by about 23 ½ degrees. But do you know why? Well, it’s because, we think, not too long after the Earth was formed, it got smacked by a massive collision with a protoplanet perhaps the size...

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Vanishing Point

9/10/2018
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Sometimes when a thing becomes hidden, something else is revealed. Hal reveals an upcoming occultation in this week's episode of Looking Up. One of the great things about astronomy is that there are so many different things you can look at. Some astronomers are fascinated with planets, while others study entire galaxies. And there are some dedicated amateur astronomers that are all about asteroids – those hunks of material left over from the formation of our solar system.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: C'mon Back Neptune

9/3/2018
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When a planet appears to reverse course and move 'backwards' in the night sky it's said to be in retrograde motion. You may have heard about Mercury doing that but other planets do, as well. This week on Looking Up we learn of Neptune's impending retro action. Lots of things are going retro – fashion, TV shows, and giant balls of gas. That last one refers to the giant gas planet Neptune, the most distant planet in the solar system.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Here Comes The Sun...

8/27/2018
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This week on Looking Up Bruce Bookout illuminates us on the historic and cultural aspects of that special star nearest to us. The most obvious celestial object and most influential is the Sun. Every ancient culture around the world saw the Sun as some form of deity. There are over a hundred difference names of the Sun, as either a god or goddess, in the various cultures of the world. Consider how many song lyrics speak of the Sun.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: One More Time...

8/20/2018
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On this week's Looking Up Hal points out the meteoric rise of GZ (short for comet Giacobini-Zinner) a celestial visitor visible in the Colorado sky this month. Comets, you recall, are often called dirty snowballs in space. They are made up of the original materials from the formation of the solar system, and thus are some of the oldest things out there. Trillions of comets slowly circle the Sun way, way out there, many times farther than Pluto, in a cloud of comets known as the Oort Cloud....

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: A Big Baby Begs For Attention

8/13/2018
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When you're No. 2 you have to shine a little harder. This week on Looking Up we learn of the 2nd brightest, but much lesser known star in the constellation Aquila. If you’ve listened to Looking Up for the past three years or so, you may have noticed that sometimes I talk about really obvious things, like, say, the Moon or the Sun, or Jupiter or Saturn. And other times, I tell you about very obscure things that you likely have never heard of. I do the latter for two reasons. First, I think...

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Cosmic Debris

8/6/2018
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The Perseid Meteor Shower is back and the 2018 edition could be a banner event as we learn on Looking Up this week.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: The God Of War Is Getting Rusty

7/30/2018
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This week Mars will be as big as the full moon (as long as it's viewed through a telescope at about 100x magnification). There’s a rusty planet up on the Southern Colorado sky right now that is definitely worth taking a look at, because you’ll won’t see it this well again until 2035. I’m talking about Mars, and as it turns out, the orbits of Mars and the Earth are such that right now, Mars is about as close as it ever gets to Earth. In more “normal” years, so to speak, Mars is still a pretty...

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: There May Be Snow On The Roof...

7/23/2018
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But there's still fire, or some mysterious heat source, deep in the belly of Pluto, as we learn on Looking Up this week. OK, I admit it, I’m a sucker for Pluto. The diminutive dwarf planet has always fascinated me, and I still clearly remember a few years ago when I was able to actually observe the tiny speck of light that is Pluto through my own telescope.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: 8 Days A Week Was Not Enough...

7/16/2018
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This week on Looking Up Bruce Bookout takes time to explain calender reformation. We again mark a calendar to help us break up our revolution around the sun into smaller more manageable portions. Calendars are funny things in that keeping them and naming their parts lends to strange things.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: A Spot That's Hard To Spot

7/9/2018
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It's a good week to try and find the closest planet to our sun. Often times, the brightest objects in the sky are our fellow planets. Jupiter, Saturn, and especially Venus blaze in the night sky. But the most elusive of all the planets to see might well be one that isn't farthest from the Sun, but rather is closest, the remarkable planet Mercury.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: At The Shadow The Time Will Be...

6/25/2018
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This week on Looking Up Bruce Bookout sheds some light and some shadow on the origins of the sundial. As we have discussed before, timekeeping is an essential part of Astronomy. The ancients relied on very low tech for many methods to tell time. One effective method divides the day into relevant parts. Let’s shine a little light on the Sundial.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Miss Beehiven

6/18/2018
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This week on Looking Up Venus entertains the Beehive Cluster in a celestial gathering of lovely and luminous objects. Have you been wondering what that really bright star-like thing is in the western sky after sundown? Well, it’s the planet Venus, the third brightest thing in our sky, after the Sun and the Moon.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Objects In (Telescope) Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear

6/11/2018
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This week on Looking Up we are introduced to Barnard's Star. There is a lovely constellation in the Southern Colorado sky right now, with the awkward name of Ophiuchus. And in Ophiuchus is a remarkable star with the unusually possessive name of Barnard’s Star.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Will Work For Helium

6/4/2018
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This week on Looking Up we comb through Leo the Lion's mane and discover a star by the name of Algenubi. We’ve talked before about constellations that really don’t look like what they’re named after, and some that do. The constellation Leo falls into that second group, as the bright star Regulus anchors the neck, so to speak, of the lion, with five stars above making what looks like a backwards question mark, or more correctly, the head and mane of the lion. And the very last star in that...

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: The Ethos Of...

5/28/2018
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This week on Looking Up Bruce Bookout enlightens us as to what the study of archaeoastronomy actually is. One of the newer disciplines in science is the field of Archaeoastronomy. We have been speaking to this subject during my tenure on “Looking Up”, but have never actually defined it. Archaeoastronomy is the study of astronomical practices, celestial lore, mythologies, religions and world-views of ancient cultures. In many ways it is an “Anthropology of Astronomy”.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Big Little Ceres

5/21/2018
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This week on Looking Up we check in on one of our solar system neighbors... Ceres. Can we talk Ceres for a minute? Or, more precisely, 90 seconds? You see, Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Solar System, is particularly well positioned to observe this week, and you should take a look – Ceres-ously!

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: In The Court Of The Planet King

5/14/2018
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This week on Looking Up we learn about the second biggest object in our solar system - Jupiter. May is a great month in the southern Colorado sky if you like things that are really big. What's the biggest thing in our neck of the woods? I'll give you a hint, it's the Sun, which contains 99.98% of all the mass of the entire Solar System - planets, asteroids, comets, dust, the works.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Zub A Dub Dub, 3 Stars In A...

5/7/2018
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This week on Looking Up we learn about an interesting star system, and also how to pronounce Zubenelgenubi. There is a very interesting star to see in the southern Colorado sky right now, and it’s pretty easy to find this month. Why? Because it has a giant ball of gas nearby as a marker. That’s right, the massive planet Jupiter, the brightest thing in our sky after the Moon and Venus is just below the difficult to pronounce star that is in the constellation of Libra.

Duration:00:01:29

Looking Up: Thunderbird Fly Into The Light Of The Dark Black Night

4/30/2018
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On Looking Up this week, Bruce Bookout speaks about the mythical Thunderbird and the thunderous Navajo legend behind it. The mythology of the thunderbird is wide and various across America and Canada. Navajo legend holds that the Thunderbird carries all the clouds in its tail and rain under its wings. Thus when the Thunderbird constellation is shining brightly in the spring sky, the rainy season has arrived.

Duration:00:01:29