Scheduled time for Public Observing: 8pm – 10pm
Solar System Objects:
The Moon: will be 38° high in the SW at 8pm, and 55% illuminated (First Quarter phase, 8 days old).
Image (c) Virtual Moon Atlas / http://ap-i.net/avl/en/start
Planets: Mars will be 32° up in the SW, with Neptune nearby at 28°. Mars will appear rather small at 8.3 arc seconds apparent diameter. Uranus will be observable at 56° altitude in the South at 9pm.
Double (and multiple) Stars:
Iota Cassopiea, in the eyepiece, is a triple star. The main components have a small separation, but should be easily resolved in the 20″ refractor, and along with the third component make for a very pretty star system. The main star and the third are actually double stars, unresolvable in the telescope, but bringing the total to 5 stars. Not to mention any planets, asteroids, comets, etc…
Nebula and Star Clusters:
Open clusters are “young” star clusters concentrated within the spiral arms of the Milky Way, and they can be very attractive in the eyepiece.
A famous example is M45, the Pleiades, visible to the naked eye in the East. Binoculars or a small telescope give the best view because of their wide field of view.
M45 courtesy Joe Roberts, an ASGH member. See also Joe’s website.
Another popular open cluster is NGC 457 in Cassiopeia, known as the ET or Owl cluster. Once you see it, you won’t forget it.
International Space Station (ISS): Any visible flyovers will be added closer to the observing date.
Iridium Satellites: These satellites can produce bright flares (brighter than Venus) from their antenna arrays. Any visible flares will be added closer to the observing date, as prediction accuracy improves.