This week let's look at one of the most overlooked stars in the whole sky - Spica. (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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This week let's look at one of the most overlooked stars in the whole sky - Spica.
THE summer weather seems determined to stop us from seeing any good displays of noctilucent cloud, doesn't it? There was a weak display before dawn a week ago, but it looks like we'll have to wait until July for anything spectacular. Cross your fingers!
This week I'm going to help you find one of the most overlooked stars in the whole sky - Spica. On the 27th the low Moon will be shining to the right of Spica, and the following night will have moved to its left. Spica, brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, is actually a double star, and the largest of the pair is a blue giant which dwarves our own Sun. In the far, far future this monster star may explode as a supernova, and will blaze in our sky with a dazzling brightness. Spica is 260 light years away, so the light reaching us from it now set off when Benjamin Franklin was using his kite to attract and study lightning.
Stuart Atkinson Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal