If you haven’t been along to one of the ANU/CAS public viewing nights this year, or if you did but the weather was dodge, this Friday night is your last chance this year. Daylight savings makes it too late for the kids to attend after this month.
Fortunately, the weather forecast this time around is as good as you could hope for…
Straight after nightfall, you’ll have Mercury and Saturn side-by-side immediatelyabove where the sun goes down, and VERY bright Venus about a handspan above them. There’ll be very little Moon light this time – a nice thin crescent and setting fairly early, so the harder sights to see will be more visible too (notwithstanding that the light pollution is really starting to affect viewing on the mountain…).
Uranus will be coming up in the east, so as the night goes on, should be visible. That planet is as close as it gets at the moment. Neptune might also be visible higher up – not massively impressive, but the blue circle should be visible. And of course a range of the deep sky objects.
There’ll be quite a few of the Canberra Astronomical Society members (volunteers) with their telescopes large and small. And there’ll be speakers from the ANU’s Research Mount Stromlo Observatory.
The Sun doesn’t go down until 7:30, so no point coming before then. Even on warm nights, it can get cold on the mountain, so bring appropriate clothes and remember to rug up the kids.