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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

A Red and Green Star?!

A Red and Green Star?!

Sometimes as you gaze at the night sky, you may see colors other than white. Are these stars, satellites, or just your mind playing tricks on you?

If you see a red or green sparkle in the sky, it may just be a star – perhaps Sirius, Capella, or Arcturus.

These stars are among the top five brightest stars in the sky. When they appear low to the horizon and are shining through a thicker layer of haze, they can sometimes appear to splinter into different colors (called the scintillation effect). Thus, these normally white stars could appear red or green.

You can see Arcturus low on the northwest horizon around 10 p.m. Capella appears low in the northeast around the same time, while Sirius, the brightest of all stars, emerges in the southeast around 3 a.m.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.