Autumn is a time for change

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for this heat to end already.

If you're going to give us the heat, at least give us a light steady breeze at night while stargazing. Something to keep the mosquitoes and gnats from gathering.

It's September once again, and you know what that means. Not just the promise of fall weather ... we hope ... but also a changing night sky.

Gone are the nights of Scorpius, the bleeding heart of Antares fading out of our view, ready to return once more with the sweltering nights of future summers. Autumn, at least from my point of view, is a time for renewal. Some see the changing of the season as the beginning of the end ... a fading out of life until its return in about six months. However, I see autumn as a time of beginning: of radiant colors, new smells, the comfort of home and family. It's almost a feeling of spiritual awakening.

We are seeing new colors in the sky, too. The garnet glow of Antares and the orange orb of Arcturus give way to the blues and golds of Deneb and Vega, as well as Altair. I have talked many times of the Summer Triangle, and as we see it straight up in the sky during these September nights, we know autumn is near.

I don't know why, but I definitely feel like there are more orange and red stars during the summer, while the blues and whites dominate the skies of winter. You would think red = hot and blue = cool, but actually the reverse is the case; the cooler stars are red and the much hotter stars are blue. Our sun, of course, is somewhere in the middle.

See if you notice the changing colors in the sky, not just tonight, but throughout the next several months. Do certain stars stand out to you more than others?

Contact Joe Malan, astronomy writer for the Enid News & Eagle, at

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Malan is entertainment editor and astronomy columnist for the News & Eagle.

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Entertainment Editor | Copy Editor | Astronomy Writer

Hi, I'm Joe. I've been with the Enid News & Eagle since June 2009. I design many of the pages you see each week in your newspaper. I love writing and talking about space, and I love listening to and writing about music as well.

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