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February, 2019 Programs
Open every Saturday evening in February: 2, 9, 16, 23. Always check this site, our telephone 402-441-7094, and social media for last-minute changes due to weather. These programs will run, depending on what can best be captured in the telescopes on a given night.
THE SUN AND THE STARS — a new program on our star and its more common and exotic siblings. Running time: 20 minutes.
THE WINTER CONSTELLATIONS — science and mythology of the night sky above Lincoln right now. Running time 20 minutes.
EARTH’S NEAREST NEIGHBOR — (runs on nights when the moon is brightest, instead of Winter Constellations). Running time: 20 minutes.
ASTRO NEWS — What’s Up in February and short stories on the latest discoveries in Astronomy. Running 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 are looking at through the observatory’s telescopes in February
Solar System Objects
The only planet visible in the evening sky without using a telescope this month is Mars which is in the southwest sky after sunset and sets after the observatory closes at 10 p.m. However, it has shrunk to about 1/4 the size it was last summer — so small that telescopes show no surface detail — and Mars is growing even smaller as Earth continues to move away from it. Jupiter, Venus and Saturn are all in the pre-dawn sky, not visible in the evening. Venus is the very bright “star” high in the southeast morning sky, rising about 2-1/2 hours before the sun during February, but it has begun to dive towards the sun so it rises a little later each day. As the month progresses, Jupiter will rise before Venus. Saturn gets very close to Venus (technically, a “conjunction”) on the morning of February 18. After that, it rises before Venus and appears to its right.
On Saturday public nights this month: February 2 — Two nights before New Moon (February 4), not visible; February 9 — Three days before First Quarter, the moon is in the sky during observatory hours, with a clearly-defined terminator (boundary between light and dark), an excellent night for moon viewing; February 16 — Three days before Full phase, the moon will be bright and washing out most other objects in the sky, but the terminator will be close to the moon’s edge yielding fair lunar viewing; February 23 – Approaching Last Quarter, the moon rises after the observatory closes at 10 p.m.
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 February 2 and 23, when the moon will not be blotting out faint objects in the sky). The bright constellations of winter dominate the sky now: Orion the Hunter and his dogs, Canis Major with the brightest star in the northern sky, Sirius, and Canis Minor and its bright star Procyon.