The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, April 05, 2017, Page 16, Image 16

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
Stars over Sisters
By Delsie McCrystal/Ramsey Shar
As the month of April
comes around, there are new
things you can see in the
night sky. Two of the more
prominent constellations
you can see this month are
Leo and Hydra. The head
of Hydra is visible between
January and May while Leo
is best viewed during the
evening hours of spring.
The one we will focus on
in this article is Hydra, also
known as the sea serpent.
It’s the largest constellation
of the 88 and covers 1,303
square degrees in the sky.
Of the constellations that
border Hydra, the northern-
most is Cancer, Centaurus
to the south, Libra to the
east, and Canis Minor and
Monoceros to the west.
Look for the celestial ser-
pent around 9 p.m. during
the month of April.
One curious deep-sky
object in Hydra is a spiral
galaxy called NGC 4980.
NGC 4980 has a slightly
deformed shape, which usu-
ally means it’s interacting
with another galaxy nearby.
But there seem to be no gal-
axies near this spiral, which
is fairly odd.
Another interesting
object in Hydra is a star
called TW Hydrae. This star
is waterlogged, meaning
there is a frigid water-vapor
disk forming around it. The
researchers at NASA believe
it could potentially form
into a solar system. The star,
having water vapor, sug-
gests that planets covered
in water like Earth could be
more common in the uni-
verse than astronomers first
The constellation Hydra,
in Greek mythology, is
related to Hercules and his
second labor. Hydra was
a giant creature with nine
heads, one of which was
immortal. The constellation
is depicted has having only
one head, supposedly the
immortal one.
During the battle, every
time Hercules would destroy
one of Hydra’s heads, two
more would appear. As they
were fighting, Hercules
was distracted by a crab
that attacked his foot. Once
he killed it, Hera (wife of
Zeus) put it among the stars,
creating the constellation
Hercules was finally able
to gain the upper hand in his
struggle with Hydra by burn-
ing the stump of a severed
head so they couldn’t keep
growing back. Eventually,
he cut off the immortal head
and trapped it under a rock,
defeating the monster.
On April 1, Mercury
reached its greatest eastern
elongation from the sun.
You can see it in the western
sky right after sunset.
When April 7 comes
An artist’s impression of a waterlogged accretion disk about the star TW Hydrae, suggesting that water-rich
worlds may be forming there. The star is 175 light-years away in the constellation of Hydra.
around, Jupiter will be at
opposition. This means that
the giant planet will be seen
throughout the entire night.
It will also be closest to the
earth on that date — an ideal
time to make observations.
With some simple equip-
ment like binoculars, four
of Jupiter’s largest moons
(Europa, Io, Ganymede and
Callisto) can be seen.
On April 10, the sun and
the moon will be located on
opposite sides of the earth,
resulting in the Full Pink
Finally, mark your calen-
dars for Saturday, April 29.
It’s International Astronomy
Day. Celebrate by star-
gazing with the Sisters
Astronomy Club as it holds
its first Stars over Sisters
starwatch of the 2017 sea-
son. After a brief presenta-
tion in the Sisters Park &
Recreation District build-
ing, local amateur astrono-
mers will guide observers
through the wonders of the
night sky. The event will
take place in the southwest
parking lot at Sisters High
School and will begin at
8:30 p.m.
Smoked In-House Easter Ham
Brined & cured in-house, too.
It may be the best Easter ham you’ve ever had!
Quantities are limited. Reserve yours by calling us today.
Excellent meat case!
Beer & wine, too!
Run Club
starts Thurs.,
April 6. All
ladies, all paces
(including walkers)
welcome. Meet at
HOPE Aesthetics &
Wellness at 5:45 pm to get
moving at 6 pm. Followed by
Happy Hour at The Open Door.
110 S. Spruce St.
Open 9 AM -7 PM Every Day
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