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Darkraven
September 29th, 2005, 02:59 PM
Well i was watching the stars the other night and i saw that mars was behind the red giant named seriuos i belive that the star is the heart of ursa minor or at least it was that night.

Fluffmeister
September 29th, 2005, 03:13 PM
Well i was watching the stars the other night and i saw that mars was behind the red giant named seriuos i belive that the star is the heart of ursa minor or at least it was that night.

The red star was probably Aldebaran, which is the "bull's eye" in the constellation of Taurus. Sirius is just about visible in the sky now, but would be much, much lower than Mars.

Incidentally, Ursa Minor is very high up in the sky - the Pole star is the "tail" star of Ursa Minor, so that's a very long way from Mars. I think the constellation would have been the bull (Taurus), not the bear (Ursa).

I've attached a shot of the night sky - this is really the view "looking up" if you were lying on the ground, and would be the view in the early hours of the morning. I've highlighted Mars, Sirius, Aldebaran and Ursa Minor in green.

ValD
October 2nd, 2005, 10:10 AM
Well i was watching the stars the other night and i saw that mars was behind the red giant named seriuos i belive that the star is the heart of ursa minor or at least it was that night.
Mars can't be "behind" any star - it's in our solar system. It's very bright at night at this time, as it's relatively close to us. You can see it in the Eastern sky in the late evenings - it's a bright orangey/red colour. So you were almost certainly looking at Mars itself.
It's not too difficult tell the difference between a planet and a star - a star is a point of light, but a planet has a disc, if you look hard enough. Sirus is a white/blue star - on cold, clear winter nights, it can appear to sparkle like a diamond. At the moment, it doesn't rise until the early hours.

Darkraven
October 12th, 2005, 01:31 PM
well for some reason there was a bright red light in front of mars and it wasn't moving i watched for about 3/4 of an hour

ValD
October 12th, 2005, 02:49 PM
Since Mars viewed with the naked eye is is just a brightly shining orangey dot, even at this time when it's closest to us, I don't see how you can see a light "in front" of it.
And planets don't move all that quickly. Mars would probably move no more than a degree across the sky in 45 minutes - a degree is about the width of your finger when viewed at arm's length. You would only notice that sort of movement if you were standing in exactly the same spot all the time and there was some object like a building very close to whatever you were looking at.

WitchCraftWeaver
October 12th, 2005, 03:22 PM
Well i was watching the stars the other night and i saw that mars was behind the red giant named seriuos i belive that the star is the heart of ursa minor or at least it was that night.

I believe the star you're referring to is Sirius, the Dog Star, which is well behind Mars at this time. Sirius follows on the Heals of Orion the Hunter, who is coming up after Mars in the South East Sky.

As I recall, Mars actually comes up before Aldebaran right now. Its coming up between Aries and Taurus with the Pleiades (M45) near to Mars. All in All VERY lovely this time of year. However, with winter coming my Favorite objects are about to make a return visit. YEAH!!!!!

ValD
October 13th, 2005, 07:32 AM
I believe the star you're referring to is Sirius, the Dog Star, which is well behind Mars at this time. Ah, I see what Darkraven is talking about now - "behind" as in "trailing behind" and not as in "placed behind"! D'oh! (Is there a Homer Simpsons smiley?)
Sorry for the misunderstanding, DR. However, Sirius isn't red, but blue-white. That red giant is very likely Aldebaran.

Fluffmeister
October 13th, 2005, 12:54 PM
That's what I said :D

See attached pic above, DR - is that what it looked like vaguely?