Note: In case of clouds or bad weather, come anyway! We will still be offering the presentation on Saturn, Halloween, the meteor shower, and what’s in the sky this month. Plus, we will try to answer any general astronomy questions you bring. If skies are clear, we will follow the presentation with observing until about 9:00 PM.
Did you know that this is the best time to see the planet Saturn in the evening sky for the rest of the year? And that Jupiter is probably making its last appearance in the evening for the year as well? Are you aware that Halloween is fundamentally an astronomical holiday? Are you ready for the meteor shower that peaks this night? Come to MSU St. Andrews in Midland to learn more!
Families with school-age and older children are invited to an evening of astronomy and observing. The session will begin with a short (~ 1 hr) presentation focused on the planet Saturn. We will cover the history of the planet, how our understanding of it has grown over the years, and more recent discoveries. We will also talk about how the date of Halloween came about. And, as always, we will show you how to find the planets and other bright objects (like the meteor shower) that are currently in the sky this month.
Plus, if the clouds stay away, we will follow with an observing session using our fine collection of telescopes. Saturn is visible after sunset this month until about 11 PM, both by eye and by telescope. Jupiter will be in the early evening sky as well, giving us a special opportunity to see the two largest planets in our solar system at the same time. By telescope, four of Jupiter’s moons should be visible, and one of Saturn’s, plus (of course) Saturn’s beautiful rings. Jupiter’s moons look good in binoculars too, so we encourage you to bring your own pair.
There are always other options to see on Astronomy and Telescope Night. This month is a good time to view the Great Andromeda Galaxy—the furthest object visible with the naked eye. Many stars and constellations will also be visible from our St. Andrews site. e can help you learn to identify the brighter stars by name, as well as the brighter constellations. Also, there will be double stars, clusters, and other galaxies visible by binoculars or telescope. It all depends on what interests our attendees the most!