Look for giant star Arcturus on October evenings - Tucson News Now

Look for giant star Arcturus on October evenings

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Look for the red giant star, Arcturus, around dusk or nightfall throughout the month of October.  


Arcturus shouldn't be too hard to find if you use the "Big Dipper" (AKA Ursa Major) to help locate it, according to Earthsky.com.  Look to the northwest after dark and try to spot the "Big Dipper," as seen in the image above.  Note that Arcturus will become visible before the Big Dipper, which is much fainter.  The arc of the Big Dipper's handle will always point towards Arcturus.  

Arcturus, in the constellation Bootes the Herdsman, is one of a few stars that flashes colors in the evening sky.  This is due to its low position in the sky.  When a star sits low in the sky, you are seeing it through much more of the atmosphere than when it is directly overhead.  For this reason, the atmosphere will refract the incoming light, which causes the star to flash in the colors of a rainbow.  

A few facts about Arcturus:

It is one of the brightest stars in our night sky and is much larger than our sun, as can be seen in the picture below.

Credit: Windows to the Universe

Arcturus is approximately 36 light years away from our sun.

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