The Demon Star Dims, and Morning Mars meets the Moon and Vesta — and its Stellar Sister, Too!

(This animation uses a series of 55 images taken with the CHARA interferometer at Mount Wilson observatory, using the infrared part of the spectrum. It shows a dimmer companion star orbiting Algol and passing in front of it — a classic eclipsing binary star system. A labelled zero value indicates the start of the orbit. Dr. Fabien Baron, Dept. of Astronomy, University of Michigan)
(Above: For 10 hours, every 2 days and 20 hours, and 49 minutes, the naked-eye star Algol, which represents the severed head of the gorgon Medusa in the constellation of Perseus, drops in brightness to equal the nearby star Gorgonea Tertia. If you observe it at its minimum brightness, and check it over the next five hours, you’ll see it brighten to its normal intensity. The star is near the zenith (green cross) in early February evenings. Night Sky Chart made via Star Walk 2 iOS and Android.)
(Above: The broad wedge of light in the western post-dusk sky is the Zodiacal Light, which becomes most visible on moonless periods when the Ecliptic (orange line) is angled upright. The Milky Way sits off to the right. Night Sky Chart made via Star Walk 2 iOS and Android.)
(Above: This week, the waning crescent moon journeys through the string of planets in the southeastern pre-dawn sky. On February 9, the moon will aid you in finding the large asteroid (4) Vesta. Sky shown at 6 am local time. Night Sky Chart made via Star Walk 2 iOS and Android.)
(Above: In the southeastern morning sky on the days around Saturday, February 10, Mars’ eastward orbital motion will bring it close to its “twin”, the reddish star Antares in Scorpius. sky shown at 3:30 am local time. Night Sky Chart made via Star Walk 2 iOS and Android.)

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