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Spring Constellations — The mythology and science behind star patterns in the Spring sky above Lincoln. Run time: approximately 20 minutes.
Earth’s Nearest Neighbor — A new program about the moon, runs on evenings when the moon is visible. Run time: 21 minutes.
Jupiter — The latest science from the Juno Mission to the Solar System’s largest planet, which moves into our evening sky this month. Run time: 20 minutes.
Your Window on the Universe
Featuring views of the night skies through our 3 Telescopes!
Presentations & Programs
Astronomy Presentations every Saturday Night!
It's all FREE
There is NO ADMISSION CHARGE
We’re open every Saturday year-round.
Hyde may be closed if Saturday falls on or very near a major holiday. If in doubt call first: (402) 441-7094.
March 15-August 31
Sundown to 11 PM
8 PM to 11 PM
October 1-March 14
7 PM to 10 PM
What we’re looking at through the observatory’s telescopes in April:
Venus is slowly climbing in the western sky after sunset. By the end of May, it stays up high enough for our telescopes to view almost until closing time at 11:00 p.m. At magnitude -3.9, it is easily the brightest object in the evening sky except for the moon. Venus exhibits phases like our moon, and right now it looks like a tiny gibbous moon in a telescope. It shows virtually no detail in its thick cloudy atmosphere. On the opposite side of the sky, in the east, Jupiter is on view all evening long. With its constantly changing cloud belts, the Great Red Spot, and 4 Galilean moons, the solar system’s largest planet is a fascinating spectacle in the Hyde telescopes. Saturn will rise in the east just before closing time at the end of the month. Then, Mars will join the show in late June.
On Saturday public nights this month: May 5 — the moon is approaching Last Quarter and rises too late to be observed. May 12 — Just before New Moon, it’s a crescent just before sunrise, out of view during the evening. May 19 — Approaching First Quarter. This will be an excellent night to look at the moon through the observatory’s telescopes because it will be in the sky all evening, and the terminator (boundary between light and dark) will provide stark contrast for lunar surface features. May 26 — Full Moon is on the 29th, 3 days away, so on this night the moon is a fat gibbous, very bright. Still, the terminator is visible so this will be a middling-good night for lunar viewing.
Deep Sky Objects
Galaxies, Nebulae, globular star clusters and other objects will be targets for the Hyde telescopes throughout the month, depending upon sky conditions (best seen on May 5 and 12 when the moon will not be blotting out faint objects in the sky). Three bright stars herald the Spring constellations: Regulus the heart of Leo the lion, Arcturus in Bootes the Herdsman, and Spica in Virgo the virgin. They will guide us in our quest for objects that lie far beyond our solar system.