Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Discovery Center & New Pond Farm Astronomy Program on February 28

The Discovery Center Astronomy Program planned for Saturday, February 28 at New Pond Farm looks to be a very exciting evening. Participants will be able to observe the bright stars of Winter. Among them are brilliant Sirius, Procyon, Aldebaran, Betelguese and Capella. Program participants will learn how to find these beautiful stars within their constellations in the heavens.

A special feature of this program will be two crescents in the same sky. Both the moon and the planet Venus will be in a crescent phase. The crescent moon is visible to the unaided eye, but to observe the crescent phase of Venus requires the telescope. Venus has passed greatest elongation away from the Sun and is now looping back in its path between the earth and the Sun. This is the best time to observe crescent Venus.

Another special feature in the sky will be Comet Lulin, a visitor from the outer solar system. Discovered in 2007, Comet Lulin is not expected to return for over a thousand years. Depending on weather conditions and comet conditions, this object should be visible in the telescope eyepiece and with binoculars.

The program will be held rain or shine. In the event of poor weather an indoor program will feature a digital representation of the night sky projected on a large screen. The program will be held at New Pond Farm Observatory, and is co-sponsored with New Pond Farm. To register for this program or for more info please visit our website.

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