Time for another one of the Canberra Astronomical Society’s public telescope viewing nights, in partnership with the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Next to Scope Cafe on top of Mount Stromlo, from 7 to 9pm. No charge.
Yes I know the weather forecast is looking touch and go, but you’d be really surprised what our telescopes can see through. You’ll still be able to see Saturn even when it is barely visible behind cloud.
Saturn isn’t in our night skies for much longer before it will be gone until early next year. And everyone marvels the first time they witness Saturn through a telescope – “Oh my god!” – shortly followed by “It looks like a sticker!”
Plenty of other things should be visible despite the light pollution – we’ll be looking for Omega Centauri, the Jewel Box, Mars, the Carina Nebula, a red carbon star near the Southern Cross, some star clusters in Scorpio called M4, M6 and M7, and whatever else we can pick up. And if the weather goes really bad, then the CAS astronomers who know about it all than me will give talks inside the cafe.
Please don’t bring white torches – red are fine (several layers of red cellophane is the tip). And drop your car lights near the cafe so people’s night vision isn’t spoiled. Preload your iPhones with the Star Walk app and I’d be happy to show you how to use it. (I’ll be the one with the metre-long white scope.) Take it easy going up and down the mountain – there can be roos (and cyclists) around, and the traffic can be pretty serious up on top on these nights.