A reminder to all members that this is the new moon weekend coming up and a great opportunity to observe. This is also the busiest weekend of the year for star parties, and many of our members will be away. At times like this, when a keyholder is unavalable to open the park, there is an alternative observing location for you to use.
The alternative site is located at the west end of the park on Tyneside Road. Directions can be found here:
There is parking just off the road and a small field to set up scopes. The sky is as dark as at the main site in the park, and no key is needed to access this site. This location is open to the public, so remember to be safe, take care of yourself out there and take care of the park.
Enjoy the dark sky and feel free to post any observing you do on this blog to share your experiences with your fellow members!
The Milky Way over Binbrook
Comet Garradd is well placed for evening viewing between the constellations of Delphinus and Sagitta.The comet is currently at magnitude 8.3 and should be visible in binoculars. I haven't observed it yet, but I expect you will need dark skies to see it. Here is a link to an excellent, printable, finder chart: http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/comets/2009_P1.pdf .
This is the best time to look for Vesta, over the next 3 weeks or so.
It's at magnitude 5.8 which means that you can almost see it without binoculars.
Even at 10 PM it's 13 degrees above the horizon.
With binoculars you will be rewarded handsomely.
Vesta is near the south east corner of capricorn now, and it can also be found by drawing a line from Antares in Scorpio, through the center of the teapot, saggitarius, and extending it 1.5 times as far.
You will find that Vesta is steady, and you should be able to discern a disk, and a yellowish tint.
What else can you see?
Magnitude 4 stars of Capricorn surround it. You need a good southern view with no lights below it.
Binbrook Conservation area, or anywhere on the north shore of a lake will do.
Jupiter is rising around midnight. In another month it will be prominent again.
Saturn is setting at 10. Catch it while you can, it will be almost 3 months before we see it in the morning again.
Watch this blog for upcoming celestial events (ie. occultations, transits, supernova sightings, etc.)
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