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Autumn Constellations — The mythology and science behind star patterns in the Fall sky above Lincoln. [Plays when the sky is clear and there is no moon.] Run time: approximately 20 minutes.
Earth’s Nearest Neighbor — A program about the moon, runs only on evenings when the moon is visible. Run time: 21 minutes.
Cassini’s View of Saturn — The last science from the Cassini spacecraft that crashed into Saturn last year. Run time: 22 minutes.
Explore Mars 2018 — A new program on the Red Planet, which is now prominent in our evening sky, and closer to Earth than it has been in 15 years. Run time: 23 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 October:
Saturn is low in the Southwest through most October evenings, but it gets too far down to the horizon for our telescopes to pick up around 10 p.m. closing time at the end of the month, so best get to the observatory around opening time at 7 to see it. Mars is bright orange in the southern sky all month. Dust from the planet wide dust storm is still settling out, but surface features are becoming more visible. At the same time, however, the distance between Earth and Mars is increasing as the Earth speeds away from the Red Planet in its orbit. During October, Mars is very nearly double the distance it was at close approach in August, so it is growing smaller and dimmer by the day in telescopes.
On Saturday public nights this month: October 6 — between Last Quarter and New Moon in the morning sky, it is not visible during observatory hours; October 13 — the moon is a 5 day-old crescent that sets just as the observatory closes at 10 p.m., an excellent lunar viewing night; October 20 — 3 days after First Quarter, the terminator (boundary between light and dark) will provide excellent contrast for surface features — another good night to see the moon through our telescopes; October 27 — Three days past Full, the Moon rises about an hour before the observatory closes and the terminator is close to the limb so viewing surface features is limited, making this only a fair night to look at the moon.
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 October 6, when the moon will not be blotting out faint objects in the sky). In the East when the sky has darkened after sunset, look for a prominent large square made up of 4 stars. They are not the brightest stars in the sky right now, but they are in a relatively uncluttered area, and they make up the “Square of Pegasus”, part of the constellation the Winged Horse. (It takes some imagination to see a horse!) The rise of Pegasus heralds full-on astronomical Autumn. With the passing of the Equinox on September 23, when day and night were roughly equal in length, now we see a new set of constellations in the sky which we’ll trace on these lengthening dark nights and explain in the Autumn Constellations program.