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OCTOBER 5 IS INTERNATIONAL OBSERVE THE MOON NIGHT! LeadUp high school students will be staffing Hyde Observatory to show you the moon on the best night of the month. JUPITER 2019 (with the latest science from the Juno probe orbiting the solar system’s largest planet, now in our evening sky); RING WORLD (about Saturn, now also in the night sky); EARTH’S NEAREST NEIGHBOR (when the moon is visible); THE AUTUMN CONSTELLATIONS when the moon is not in the sky blotting out all but the brightest stars.
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
OBJECTS IN THE SKY FOR OCTOBER
Solar System Objects
Jupiter is in the sky for most of the evening in October. Saturn is in the constellation Sagittarius and in the southern sky all evening long. It is almost twice as far away from us as Jupiter, so much smaller and dimmer. Both of these gas giants make great objects for the Hyde telescopes. October days don’t heat our atmosphere as much as summer days, so telescope images are much steadier. That helps us view Jupiter and Saturn, which are low in the southern sky. We’re viewing them through more of Earth’s unstable atmosphere than if they were high overhead.
Lunar phases this month: Saturday, October 5 is First Quarter with a sharp terminator (the line between light and darkness) cutting across the disk, making for shadows that help pick out surface features. This is the best Saturday night in October to view the moon, and it’s International Observe the Moon night . October 12th is the day before Full Moon. Lots of visitors are attracted to the observatory during Full Moon, but it is not the best time to look at the moon because the sun is shining directly down on its surface, producing no shadows. Thus, surface features are difficult to distinguish. On October 19, the moon rises after the observatory closes, and it is near its New phase on the 26th, so not visible.
Deep Sky Objects
Deep Sky Objects are those beyond the solar system: galaxies, nebulae and stars. Our visual guides to these objects are the constellations. The autumn constellations are now beginning to dominate the evening sky: the winged horse Perseus and princess Andromeda (containing our sister galaxy, M31) are rising in the east while the summer triangle, the stars Deneb, Altair and Vega slowly slide towards the western horizon. Waiting in the wings, just below the Eastern horizon, are the bright stars and constellations of winter: Orion and the Big Dog, Sirius, which rises just after midnight this month.