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Family Astronomy Night

December 12, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST


NOTE: In case of clouds or bad weather, we will offer a short (< 1 hour), indoor presentation on the history of human exploration of Mars. There have been many successful visits to this fourth planet, and many more failures! These serve to add to the mystique of the Red Planet.

Did you know that this is a great time to see our neighboring planets without having to wait until late into the night? The Moon, Mars, and the distant planet, Uranus, are visible in the early evening sky this month. Come see them from the MSU St. Andrews Center in Midland, and take advantage of the earlier darkness that fall brings!

Families are invited to a fun evening of astronomy and observing. There will be a number of different types of telescopes available for visitors to use and look through. The evening will begin with a short discussion describing the telescopes, and some fun information on astronomy in general.

We will begin the observing session with the moon, which will be well-placed for viewing.  If you’ve never seen the moon through a telescope, this will be a special treat, as the Moon will be in a crescent phase. At this phase, the eastern lunar “seas” will be visible, and several mountain ranges will be catching the sun just right for good viewing from Earth.  The southern crater fields will also have good contrast.

Mars, in the south, is coming off of its best opposition in over a decade, and is still in a good position for viewing.  Mars is much brighter than most stars and can also be seen with the unaided eye.

Many stars and constellations will also be visible from our St. Andrews site. We can help you learn to identify the brighter stars by name, as well as the brighter constellations.  The distant planet Uranus will also be visible on this night; we can show you where to look for that as well (for Uranus, bring binoculars!). It all depends on what interests our attendees the most!



December 12, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
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MSU St. Andrews
1910 West St. Andrews
Midland, MI United States
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