Astronomy Minute

Back to the Pleiades – Mars will be sliding past the “tiny dipper” during the first week of March. The red planet will have its closest conjunction with the Pleiades on March 3. Look for it as soon as it gets really dark. Don’t worry if we miss it due to bad weather; the show will be repeated February 4, 2038.

Back to Orion – Find the three stars of his belt and look downward to see a grouping of fainter stars, which look like a hanging sword. About halfway down the sword is a fuzzy area. Try binoculars! It’s the Orion Nebula. Gas and dust are coming together to create new stars. There are lots of nebulae in our galaxy, but this is the easiest to see. Good luck!

By Russ Hanson