Did you know that there are many objects you can see in the night sky that are neither stars nor planets? Were you aware that many clusters or clouds of glowing deep-space gas can be seen with your unaided eye, and dozens more are visible with simple binoculars? Have you heard that some deep-sky objects are so large and bright that we can see them even though they are thousands of light-years away, up to halfway across the galaxy? And that there are even other galaxies that we can see with our unaided eye? And what are the planets and constellations doing in our skies in October? Join us by Zoom to learn more!
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We will describe some of the basic types of deep-sky objects: open clusters, globular clusters, emission nebulae, planetary nebulae, and galaxies. We will also describe how each of them is formed, how they create the light that we see, and how long they typically last. And, we will show you how to find some of them in the sky!
No presentation on the beauties of the deep sky is complete without mentioning light pollution, so we will describe that and show how it affects our abilities to see such wonderful objects.
Finally, for our technology update, the recent launch of Landsat 9 prompts us to highlight the Landsat program, its long and storied history, and how it has been helping scientists, governments, and businesses worldwide for almost 50 years—and all for free!
And, as always, we will show you how to find the planets and other cool things that are in the sky this month and into early November. Did you know that right now is probably the easiest chance to find Capricorn for the next many years? Have you noticed the Summer Triangle high in the sky? Have you learned how to use it to find other seasonal stars and constellations, like Cygnus the swan, Sagitta the arrow, and Delphinus the dolphin? Can you recognize the bright “W” of Cassiopeia the queen? Are you aware that Pegasus, now rising in the east, can be used as a pointer to help you find many other constellations? Plus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus are all visible, and Mercury makes a fine (but brief) appearance before dawn. We will help you find all of these things for yourself.
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Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodation for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting (517) 432-4499 by Wednesday, September 29, 2021. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.
Programming is made possible through the support of several local organizations: the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.