September 22: Dusty Mars

On Saturday September 22 at 7 pm our telescopes will focus on the red planet to witness the atmospheric effects of an ongoing dust storm. Covering all of Mars, the planet-wide storm sends dust particles high into the thin atmosphere — blocking sunlight from hitting the surface — and obscuring our view as well. The bright reflection from Mars will be dwarfed, however, by the nearly full moon.

Not to be forgotten, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will make appearances as well. Though light from the moon will dampen our chances of seeing many deep space objects, if skies are otherwise clear we guarantee you’ll see many constellations including the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia, and that crazy swan, Cygnus.


Our astronomy experts will be your guide to the night sky at Penn Dixie. You may bring along your own telescope or are welcome to use one of the telescopes provided for the evening. Admission to these evening events is $4; Penn Dixie members attend for free.

Please note that we will provide updates on social media should this program be canceled due to weather.


September 22 2018

Sun & Moon:
Sunset will be at 7:05 PM
The nearly (96%) Full Moon will be visible for the entire program

Planets:
Venus sets at 8:06 pm
Mars rises at 5:10 pm
Jupiter sets at 9:16 pm
Saturn sets at 11:50 pm

Constellations/Asterisms:
The Summer Triangle  – Meridian (Vega, Deneb, & Altair)
The Big Dipper –NW
Cassiopeia – NE
Ophiucus – Meridian
Lyra –Meridian
Cygnus/Northern Cross – Meridian
Aquilla -Meridian
Sagittarius – S
Hercules – W
Pegasus – E
Andromeda – NE

DSOs/Stars:
M57 Ring Nebula
M13 The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules
NGC457 ET Cluster
M31 Andromeda Galaxy
Arcturus
Albireo
Alcor & Mizar

Image Credit: NASA JPL

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