#1 — THE AUTUMN CONSTELLATIONS
Locate the mythical figures in the autumn sky above Lincoln, and learn their legends. Then, take a guided tour of the sky on the terrace behind the observatory with one of our volunteers who will show you how to locate the important stars and objects in the current night sky. Running time: 21 minutes.
#2 — THE NIGHT THE STARS FELL
November 18 is the height of the Leonids, a regular meteor shower that has produced historic “storms” of meteors. That’s not expected this year, but the Leonids are highly variable and unpredictable. This program explains how meteor showers develop, their history, and what to look for. Running time: about 20 minutes.
November Objects in the Hyde Telescopes
Planets: The only planets in the evening sky are Uranus and Neptune, both below the threshold of naked-eye visibility. Uranus will appear like a small green marble, and Neptune a smaller blue one in the telescopes. Saturn is buried in the sun’s glare. Mars, Venus and Jupiter continue their intricate dance in the predawn sky this month, joined by the waning crescent moon November 7 – 10. But that show begins around 3:00 a.m., when the observatory isn’t open — but worth getting up a bit early to see from your own backyard.
The Moon will be seen best in telescopes after its New phase on the 11th. The optimum time to view the moon in the Hyde telescopes this month will be on the nights of November 14 and 21, the Saturday nights between new and full moon. Earth’s only natural satellite reaches its full phase on the 25th.
Deep sky objects (stars, galaxies and nebulae) will be on full display in November. We’ll view the Great Nebula in Andromeda, a galaxy larger than the Milky Way that is headed in our direction. Don’t worry, it’s over 2 million light years away, and at the speed that it and our galaxy are traveling, we have about 4 billion years before they collide! Another favorite object is Albireo, a double star 430 light years distant. To the naked eye, it appears as a single star. A telescope reveals two stars of distinctively different colors. But, what colors exactly? Technically, one is blue and the other yellow, but not everyone sees them that way. What will your eyes tell you about Albireo?
NOTE: THE OBSERVATORY WILL BE CLOSED ON THANKSGIVING WEEKEND, Saturday November 28.
Open all other Saturday nights in November.