Public stargazing night this Friday on Mt Stromlo

Gungahlin Al 23 August 2012 3

Probably your last chance to see Saturn this year at the ANU and Canberra Astronomical Society’s August public viewing night this Friday from 7pm on Mt Stromlo.

The CAS amateur astronomers (including me) will be up there with telescopes ranging from 6″ to 16″.

The weather forecast has the showers clearing by the afternoon. If there is some cloud around it can still be worth coming up. The scopes can actually see brighter objects like Saturn right through moderate cloud, and there will be pro astronomers there giving talks even if it rains. The Scope Cafe will also be open for hot drinks and eats.

Last month I had about 500 people look through our scope at Saturn and they were all amazed at how clear the rings and moons were. We could even see colour banding on the planet and the divisions in the rings. “Oh my god it’s so clear – it looks like a sticker” was the very common response. We’ll have a new moon too this time.

Remember no white light torches and please keep your lights low up the top to preserve everyone’s night vision. It’s hard enough to see up there with the light pollution, without headlights too. And rug up the little ones.

See you there.

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3 Responses to Public stargazing night this Friday on Mt Stromlo
Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:50 am 25 Aug 12

Far from ideal conditions last night you could say. However, about 120 brave folk came up the mountain, and about half got to see Saturn and the Moon up close, before the clouds shut it down completely. Then most people went inside for warm drinks and two talks by astronomers.

Bill from CAS tells me that, while this was the last co-operative effort with ANU for the year, CAS will probably hold one more session in late September. After that, daylight saving makes the night sky far too late for holding workable public viewings and especially for little children.

Remember that membership of CAS is only $30pa, and you get to use the society’s 14″ telescope up on Stromlo for free.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 8:25 pm 23 Aug 12

Yes that can happen.
I was going as quickly as possible, but everyone wants to see Saturn.
I’ve done up a sheet of links and tips this time so I might get out the other end still with a voice…
Fingers crossed (in a totally scientific way) for a break in the weather.
It already ruined the beautiful conjunction last night of the moon, Spica, Saturn and Mars before I could get a photo. 🙁

birder birder 1:51 pm 23 Aug 12

We went last month and the lines to see through the telescopes were super long. We’ll be back this Friday night, right at 7 pm or earlier!

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