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Clearer Skies Bring Opportunities For Stargazing

With fewer people are on the roads right now due to COVID-19, there’s an upside: Air pollution levels have gone down and the sky has become a little clearer. You can definitely see it if you’re going on a socially-distanced hike right now.

One thing you can do during this time of clearer skies is stargaze.

Dark sky advocate Mike Weasner explained to The Show that because there is less air pollution, there are less particulates reflecting things like house lights and car lights that create light pollution. The less light pollution in the air, the easier it is to see things from your own backyard.

Don’t know what to look for? Weasner has some tips.

“What they can see right now, about an hour after sunset if they look to the Western sky, they’ll see a very bright object. That’s the planet Venus, and it’s some 40 million miles away from us right now.” Weasner said.

Just to the left of Venus is the constellation Orion with his belt and sword. Weasner had some advice about this particular constellation.

“If you look very closely, if you’ve got good eyesight or use a pair of binoculars, if you look at the middle star in the sword it’s actually going to look fuzzy. That’s actually a nebula.” Weasner said.

Weasner said it’s actually one of the brightest nebulas you can see with the naked eye, but if you think you need a little more help, you can see almost all of these with a pair of binoculars or even a small telescope.

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Amanda Luberto was born in California but considers herself a native to the Valley of the Sun. She started as a producer at KJZZ in October 2017, but also interned in the newsroom as a student. She is a proud alumna of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.She has been interested in radio since starting school in 2013. She spent two years as the music director for ASU’s college station, Blaze Radio, and one year as station manager. She spent time as a music programming intern in Washington, D.C., at Sirius XM and as a tech broadcaster for Cronkite News on Arizona PBS. Luberto is dedicated and passionate about quality local storytelling and original content broadcasting.Luberto also spent years as the co-founder and chapter leader of Arizona State University’s chapter of I Am That Girl, an international women’s empowerment organization focused on the collaboration of women and building self-love. She believes in the strength of women supporting women.Her favorite podcast episode is This American Life’s “Fermi’s Paradox,” and she highly suggests you listen to it. Off air, you can find Luberto adding to her list of concerts attended, sipping at a local coffee shop or cheering on the Arizona Coyotes.