Scheduled time for Public Observing: 9pm – 11pm
Please note: We will be using the 16″ Meade telescope in the smaller dome on top of the Observatory above the left entrance. More information about this telescope and accessibility can be found here. At least one other telescope will also be set up outside. As always, please check the sky conditions before heading out. If cancellation is necessary, it will be posted on this website.
Solar System Objects:
The Moon: will be 58° high in the SW at 10pm, and 64% illuminated (Waxing Gibbous phase, 8.8 days old). The major maria, or “seas”, are labeled below. For a sense of scale, Mare Crisium is 345 miles across, roughly the size of New Mexico.
Image (c) Virtual Moon Atlas / http://ap-i.net/avl/en/start
The crater Copernicus is located on the terminator tonight. It’s a relatively young crater 56 miles in diameter with a prominent ray system and central peaks. Compare it to the crater Plato farther to the north, which is 61 miles in diameter. It’s interior was flooded with lava at some point, leaving a flat and smooth surface.
Planets: there will not be any planets visible tonight.
If the sky has good transparency, some deep-sky objects will be observable. One brighter example is the globular cluster M3 in the constellation Canes Venatici.
Also, there are always a few double or multiple stars that could be viewed.
Star Charts and other Information:
A very useful monthly star chart can be downloaded here from SkyMaps.com, giving information on objects visible with the unaided eye, binoculars, or telescope.
For current astronomical events see Sky and Telescope Magazine’s “This Week’s Sky at a Glance”.