Astronomy

Telescopes are out on the patio every night! Astronomers are on hand to assist with viewing and taking photos.

Where else in the galaxy can you get solar powered drinks and take pictures of the Orion Nebula?!?
Expanding your mind and eye to the universe can bring an amazing awakening.

Spring Astronomy Hours
Sun – Wed 7pm – 10pm
Thurs 7pm – 11pm
Fri – Sat 7pm – Midnight

February 19 – Full Moon, Supermoon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 15:53 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult. This is also the second of three supermoons for 2019. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

February 27 – Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation

The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 18.1 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.

March 20 – March Equinox

The March equinox occurs at 21:58 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.

March 21 – Full Moon, Supermoon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 01:43 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because this was the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and the earthworms would reappear. This moon has also been known as the Full Crow Moon, the Full Crust Moon, the Full Sap Moon, and the Lenten Moon. This is also the last of three supermoons for 2019. The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

April 19 – Full Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 11:12 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers. This moon has also been known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Growing Moon, and the Egg Moon. Many coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

April 22, 23 – Lyrids Meteor Shower

The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861. The shower runs annually from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The waning gibbous moon will block out many of the fainter meteors this year, but if you are patient you should still be able to catch a few of the brightest ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

These images were taken from our own telescopes: 8″ Celestron Nexstar with Hyperstar lense and Starlight Express CCD imager, White DOB, 12″ Meade dobsonion reflector, 14″ Meade lx 200 autostar with ACF (advanced coma free) coatings.