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February Night Sky

Join us for Gateway to the Stars February 1 at 6:45 p.m. in the Hansen Dome Theatre.  Tickets cost $2 and can be purchased online here.

Gateway to the Stars is our monthly tour through the noteworthy night sky sights. We'll look at what's up this month, with plenty of opportunity for conversation and questions as we explore the stars.

For those stalwart stargazers willing to brave the cold, this time in winter has some great sights for telescopes, binoculars, and eyeballs alike. In the early evenings, the mighty, bright Orion is high overhead. The area all around him, sometimes called the Winter Circle or Winter Hexagon, holds many of the brightest stars in the sky. Among them are also some fascinating and easily-appreciated nebulae which are both a great sight and also illustrate an important astronomical discovery: The grand recycling of stars and solar systems from which we ourselves emerged. And hanging almost directly above us is the great galaxy in Andromeda, our Milky Way's nearest neighbor, and the record-holder for the most distant object visible without a telescope.

We'll also explore the news, from the ever-shifting dance of the Moon and planets; to the ongoing adventure of SpaceX's and Boeing's competition to carry our next generations of astronauts; the dramatic variability of the supergiant Betelgeuse; the discovery of new exoplanet systems, some exciting for their strangeness and some thrilling for their familiarity.

Please join us for an evening under the digital stars. We'll admit it is marginally smaller than the actual visible universe; however, we can turn off the inversion!