Astronomy Nights '19
at Robbins Farm
Arlington Astronomy Nights will hopefully return in 2021. As soon as
it is safe to crowd around a telescope, we'll be back!
This summer there will be a series of Astronomy Nights at Robbins Farm
Park. Each night we'll have at least one telescope out to view objects in
the night sky. There'll be plenty to see -- the sky is the limit!
The events are totally informal and fun for all ages. Weather permitting,
the dates are as follows:
- June 15 (8:00pm): A nearly full moon rises at dusk and will be
followed by Jupiter a bit later. See the lunar mare (dark regions on the
surface) and learn to identify some of them. Jupiter is just five days
past "opposition" - the time it is directly opposite us from the Sun,
meaning it is as close as it gets each year. This will give us the
largest view. The Great Storm on Jupiter will be facing us this
evening. Can you make it out?
- August 3 (8:45pm) Cancelled (Overcast): Jupiter is now high in the southern sky at sundown
and Saturn is well up in the South-East, displaying its rings in
increasing clarity as it rises higher in the sky. A small sliver of the
Moon is setting at dusk, What does this tell us about where the Moon is
relative to the Sun?
- August 31 (8:15pm) Cancelled (Overcast): Saturn has now taken over Jupiter's place of
prominence in the Southern sky, ascending as the sky darkens. As
the Earth moves further away from Jupiter, we see it moving more to the
West, towards the setting Sun. The Moon has set with the Sun tonight
leaving a dark sky, and a chance to spot a star cluster or two.
- Sept 7 (7:30pm): Just one week later, the sky that was moonless before
is now lit by a beautiful Moon that is now half-full and high up at
sundown. Light from the Sun illuminates the peaks around the craters on
the Moon, helping us to see the moon not as a flat surface, but as the
heavily cratered ground that it is.
- Oct 5 (6:45pm) Just added! : The
first quarter Moon lights the Southern sky as as dusk settles in tonight.
With the Moon half full, the areas on the edge between light and dark are lit
from the side, giving a sense of the depth of the craters and the peaks of
the rims. Saturn appears close beside the moon tonight, with Jupiter still
the brightest point in the South-West sky.
Download the poster
to print a reminder.
Each Astronomy Night will start when the stars come out and usually lasts
a couple hours. To add the schedule to your own calendar, import the
file. If it is overcast we'll have to cancel and hope for
clear weather the follow night, but as long as there are some stars
visible we'll give it a shot. For reminders and weather decisions,
consider joining my announcement
mailing list. Weather decisions for questionable nights will
also be posted on this site. Rain dates are the following night for
each date. We set up the telescopes on the observation area of Robbins
Farm Park that overlooks Boston.
Please note: it
will be dark in the park! Bring a flashlight, but please keep it
aimed at the ground while you're in the park. Parents, please help your
children remember this rule. It takes your eyes a while to adjust to the
dark, and you'll see more in the sky once your night vision is working.
Keeping your flashlight pointed at the ground helps everybody keep their
eyes adjusted to the dark. Red light doesn't hurt night vision as much so
a red flashlight or red cellophane over a flashlight helps a lot! Consider
using bug spray too.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me at jeff [at]
arlingtonastronomy [dot] org