"A Giant Red Star for Valentine's Day, and How To Find It"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Feb 04-10

On Valentine's Day evening, a beautiful 2-days-past-New Moon will be visible in the western sky.  The dark portion of the Moon should be faintly visible due to "Earthshine," sunlight reflected from the Earth to the Moon.
(Inset shows a magnified view of the Moon.)

Betelgeuse, the brightest red star as seen from Earth, reaches its highest point in the nighttime sky at about 8:15pm on Valentine's Day (February 14).

Betelgeuse is an extremely large star, pulsating in size between about the equivalent of Mars' orbit, to that of Jupiter's!

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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