The News Site of Alliance High School.


The News Site of Alliance High School.


The News Site of Alliance High School.


Look Up this February


This month’s sky is full of both new and familiar yet still astonishing sights. Throughout February, the night sky will be riddled with constellations, planet formations and many other exciting things to see. 


On February 2 Mercury, the closest planet to the sun, will be at the furthest point from the sun in its 88-day orbit. This point in a planet’s orbit is called aphelion. This will affect Mercury’s orbit, slowing it down for the next few rotations of the planet. Unfortunately, there will be little to no effect on how we see it in the night sky. 


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On February 7 around 10:40 pm, CST Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, will repair from behind the planet and be visible in our night sky again. This moon’s name Ganymede came from a Greek tale of a cupbearer of the gods, albeit mostly for Zues. This moon received its name because of this boy, according to most mythology, being the Greek equivalent of Jupiter in Roman mythology. When compared to Earth, Ganymede is only 2.4 times smaller. 


This month there will be two comets that will be visible with bare eyes. The Comet 144P/Kushida will be visible in the northern hemisphere this early February. The comet will head towards the Hyades in Taurus by the end of its viewing from Earth. Its orbit is about 7.6 years, meaning this comet hasn’t been seen since July of 2016. The second one to see this month is the C/2021 S3 (PANSTARRS) comet. It’ll be visible from February 14 till early March this year. Both of these comets will be best viewed through a telescope, however medium-sized binoculars may work as well. The later in the month, the more visible these stellar objects will be. 


Constellations that are most visible this month are the Lynx, Ursa Major, and the Gemini. The Lynx, this is most visible in the north celestial hemisphere, was introduced in the late 17th century. This constellation got its name because of how dim it is in the night sky that those only with “the eyes of a lynx” could see it. Ursa Major, also known as The Great Bear, is the third largest constellation of the 88 modern constellations. The mythology behind this great star formation is about Callisto and her son, a child of the Greek god Zeus. Callisto had been turned into a bear by the Greek goddess Hera once she found out about Callisto’s child with Zeus. While hunting, Callisto’s son shot her not realizing who she was. To save them, Zues had thrown them both into the sky where they remained. As for the Gemini constellation, residing in the southwest part of the northern hemisphere, it is composed of about 85 different stars. The constellation is believed to be the twins Castor and Pollux, who were seen as minor gods. When they were moral, however, Castor had died. Pollux begged Zeus to grant him immortality. Zeus united the twins in the stars. 


Finally, this month’s meteor shower is going to be Alpha Centaurids (ACE) from February 3 to the 20th. Every year this meteor shower comes around early February. Its peak is about 3 meteorites every hour and has been observed since 1969. This stellar event takes place in the southern sky in the constellation of Centaurus. 


This month is full of breathtaking events that only come around once in a long while. Look up this February and see the beauty it has to offer in its star-riddled night sky. The stars are ever-changing like life itself, so don’t miss these opportunities and take a break to watch these February celestial events!

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About the Contributor
Samuel Wood
Samuel Wood, Staff Writer
     Born at the Regional West Medical Center in 2008, Samuel is 15. Although he was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska he has always lived in Alliance. His family loved Alliance and believed it was a good environment to raise a kid. His family consists of two brothers and one sister, with him being the youngest. His favorite color is red which coordinates with his favorite teenage mutant ninja turtle. Since 2012, Sam has been obsessed with the turtles loving their personalities and their sibling dynamic.      With a hobby of reading Samuel has developed a love for the book/television series Good Omens; Crowley being his favorite character. He says that “the story is a very interesting take on the bible and brings him comfort”. Currently he is a sophomore with a goal to attend an art school in Denver where the beautiful rocky  mountains are. While keeping up his good grades and being a part of the Spanish club; he still finds time to create art commissions; personal and business. Art is a major part of his life. Another hobby of his is astronomy. He enjoys going to the overpass late at night and looking at the stars. Having a love for stargazing brings him peace.       Samuels best friend’s are Jocelyn Vergil, Emilia Jones, Skylar Reeves, and Melanie Tadlock. Samuel is a very artistic person with a love for creativity and can’t wait to embark on journalism's new creations. He is looking forward to writing about personal interest and community topics. He can’t wait to write for the SPUD this year!

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