Scheduled time for Public Observing: 9pm – 11pm
Solar System Objects:
The Moon: will be 38° high in the South at 10pm, and 87% illuminated (Waxing Gibbous phase, 11 days old).
Image (c) Virtual Moon Atlas / http://ap-i.net/avl/en/start
Planets: Mars will be 28° high in the South at 9pm, but getting smaller than previous months at 13 arc seconds in diameter. The polar ice caps will still be visible in a telescope. Neptune will be close by the Moon, and Uranus will be well-placed at 42° altitude in the SE by 10pm.
Double Stars: Gamma Delphinius is a pretty double star, 50° high in the SW at 10pm. 101 light years away, it’s yellow components a easily separated by almost any telescope.
Nebula and Star Clusters: Several planetary nebulae will be visible tonight.They are shells of glowing gas ejected by solar-type stars at the end of their lives, and are temporary, lasting only about 10,000 years. From West to East (and top to bottom below), are M57 (the Ring Nebula), NGC 6826 (the Blinking Planetary), and NGC 7662 (the Blue Snowball).
Images above were made with an 8″ telescope and video camera, often set up outside the observatory on public nights showing a “live” image.
The globular star cluster M15 is located not far in the sky from the double star Gamma Delphinius.
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.