Friday, May 1, 2009

Astronomy Day May 2nd

I just wanted to give you a heads up that Astronomy Day is May 2nd. The Racine Astronomical Society is having events at their observatory all day Saturday. Solar observing (with appropriate solar filters of course) takes place Saturday from 2 to 5pm and night observing is from 8 to 11pm at the Modine-Bensted Observatory. All events are free (although donations are accepted...no pressure. You might even miss the donation bin unless you are looking for it!)

They really have a great facility out there. The large dome houses a 16inch reflector and the smaller dome a 14 inch reflector (both of different optical designs, but I won't bore you with technical details!) Several telescopes will be set up oustide the domes as well.

The Moon will be a day past first quarter which is an excellent time to observe the Moon. Craters along the terminator (the day-night dividing line) have long shadows providing high contrast and excellent views. Saturn is still well positioned for viewing early in the evening. It's rings are nearly edge on. This happens once every 15 years giving the planet a distinct appearance. I can't give a list of other objects they will feature (although I know what I would show you!) but they will feature other star clusters, double stars and galaxies throughout the night.

7 comments:

Beejay said...

Hale, you seem to know everything...is there an observatory in Sarasota?

hale-bopp said...

You can try the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers will be in Lakewood Ranch near Bradenton. The Ft. Myers and Naples astronomy clubs don't list anything on their sites for events.

Anonymous Mom said...

That sounds cool. I live sort of near the Palomar Observatory, have you heard of that one? I need to make a trip up there again one of these days.

drewzepmeister said...

I might take my son there this weekend!

hale-bopp said...

I visited Palomar when I was 16...would love to go back again since I know some people that work there now and I am sure I would get a MUCH better tour!

SER said...

There's nothing like shoot'in the moon....with a camera Beejay!

drewzepmeister said...

Just got back from from the observatory. Had a good time! To my surprise, my son was AMAZED! not only we got up close with the moon, we saw the rings of Saturn!