August Programs

#1 — RING WORLD: The Story of Cassini  

The Cassini probe is still doing spectacular science in the Saturn system of rings and moons.  This is the story of Cassini’s mission, showing some of the most significant images from Saturn space.  See Ring World before or after you look at Saturn through the Hyde telescopes.   Running time:  23 minutes.

#2 — THE SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS

Locate the mythical figures in the summer 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 summer night sky.  Running time:  21 minutes.

#3 — THE YEAR OF PLUTO

This program was produced by NASA/JPL for the run-up to New Horizon’s flyby of Pluto last month.  It is the story of the mission, but contains none of the images or data sent back the by space craft.  We will add on some of that as it becomes available.  (Note:  We don’t expect any more data from New Horizons until about the middle of September.)

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                                                                   August Objects in the Hyde Telescopes

Saturn all evening.  Its rings are tilted open almost maximum.  Our main attraction this month!

Jupiter and Venus, which provided a nice show in the west after sunset for most of the summer will vanish from the evening sky this month.  Venus pops out as a morning star in September.  Jupiter dips behind the sun by the end of the month, but early in August it plays tag with Mercury a few degrees above the western horizon just after sunset.  Good in binoculars, but too low in the sky for the Hyde telescopes to pick up.

The Moon is not best seen when it is full, which occurs just before the month begins, and again on the 29th of August.  Best time to see the moon in the evening sky is after New Moon (August 14th) when mountains and craters cast shadows and the moon is not blindingly bright in a telescope.

Deep sky objects (stars, galaxies and nebulae), which are best seen around New Moon when the sky is darkest.