Saturday, June 3, 2017

June / July Starmap

The starmap for June and July is here: MCAO June / July Starmap.

I create these maps using the wonderful website and Stellarium software. (Stellarium is a free planetarium software program. If you'd like to know what's up in the sky, I highly recommend it!)

Observing Log for 2 June 2017

Skies were clear and beautiful last night! We observed the following objects:

  • Jupiter (planet) : Jupiter was easy to find between the Moon and the bright star Spica. It will be even closer to the Moon tonight (Saturday 3 June). We were able to make out cloud bands on the planet and the four Galilean satellites- Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
  • M13, (the Hercules cluster): We also looked at the globular cluster, M13. M13 can be found in the constellation of Hercules and is about 25,000 light-years from Earth.
  • M57 (the Ring Nebula): Next up was M57, a planetary nebula. M57 can be found in the constellation of Lyra and is located about 2,300 light-years from Earth. Planetary nebulae are the remnants of lower mass stars after they've used up their nuclear fuel. The Ring Nebula is a particularly beautiful example.
  • M3 (globular cluster) : We also looked at a second globular cluster, M3. This cluster can be found in the constellation Canes Venatici (the hunting dogs), and is about 33,900 light-years from Earth.
  • Mizar (double star) : With the smaller telescope, we split the double star Mizar in the constellation Ursa Major.
  • ε Lyrae (double star) : We also looked at the "double double" star in the constellation Lyra.
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Thank you everyone for attending the event last night, and for your interest in the Montgomery College Observatory.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Observatory Night for Friday 2-Jun-2017 is on!

For folks who have reservations for the observatory night this evening, we are a go! Both and Clear Sky Chart are predicting good conditions for astronomy tonight.

We'll get started at 9 PM on the fourth floor of the Science Center in room SC 406. Signs will be posted directing you. We'll go up to the observatory together, see what we can see, and finish up at 10 PM.

I'm looking forward to seeing folks this evening, or at another event. Thank you so much for your interest in astronomy and our observatory!