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read more » 31st Aug 2017 11:28
The Observatory Science Centre
Herstmonceux
Hailsham
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

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What to see on Open Evenings

Please note: the list of Open Evening Dates is on the Open Evenings page.
What to see on Saturday 11th November
6.30pm-11pm

The Sun will already have set at 4.16pm and ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT ends at 6.12pm so it will be completely dark when the Centre re-opens at 6.30pm. The phase of the Moon is 1 day after LAST QUARTER and will already have set at 1.45pm so not visible at all throughout the evening.

To see the sky charts for the 11th November visit Heavens Above. You will need to alter the times and dates in the boxes below the current chart to find out what is in the night sky on the dates of the open evenings.

Uranus and Neptune will already have risen and may also be located during the course of the evening along with deeper sky objects which are much easier to see when there is no Moon. These include the ANDROMEDA GALAXY and some ineresting double stars. Objects to look out for without having to use a telescope include the Pleiades cluster in Taurus, which should be nice and high in the ight sky. This is a beautiful knot of stars also known as the 7 sisters. On a very clear evening and with good eyesight you should be able to spot about 7 of the hundreds of stars in this OPEN CLUSTER. The Pleiades cluster is far too big to look at through the telescopes and it is better to view it through a pair of binoculars. Another object to look out for with binoculars is the double cluster in the CONSTELLATION of Perseus. As we get close to the winter months you will see the CONSTELLATION of Orion appearing over the eastern horizon with the beautiful ORION NEBULA. Lovely to look at through binoculars but stunning through a telescope.

You should also watch for shooting stars, the fleeting bright streaks of light left behind as meteors enter the Earth's atmosphere. The 11th November is just 1 day before the peak activity of the Taurids METEOR SHOWER. The normal limits for seeing the Taurids is between 20th October and 30th November so quite a long time. These meteors are a bit slower than others but are often accompanied by more bright events and even fireballs. There are usually about 10 per hour at the peak and the radiant where the shooting stars appera to come from is in the CONSTELLATION Taurus. The Taurids meteors arise from the debris left behind by comet Encke.
What to see on Friday 17th November
6.30pm-11pm

The Sun will already have set at 4.08pm and ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT ends at 6.05pm so it will be completely dark when the Centre re-opens at 6.30pm. The phase of the Moon is 1 day before NEW MOON and will already have risen at 5.49am and set at 4.12pm so will not be visible at all during the evening.

To see the sky charts for the 17th November visit Heavens Above. You will need to alter the times and dates in the boxes below the current chart to find out what is in the night sky on the dates of the open evenings.

Uranus and Neptune will already have risen and may also be located during the course of the evening along with deeper sky objects which are much easier to see when there is no Moon. These include the ANDROMEDA GALAXY and some ineresting double stars.

Objects to look out for without having to use a telescope include the Pleiades cluster in Taurus, which should be nice and high in the ight sky. This is a beautiful knot of stars also known as the 7 sisters. On a very clear evening and with good eyesight you should be able to spot about 7 of the hundreds of stars in this OPEN CLUSTER. The Pleiades cluster is far too big to look at through the telescopes and it is better to view it through a pair of binoculars. Another object to look out for with binoculars is the double cluster in the CONSTELLATION of Perseus. As we get close to the winter months you will see the CONSTELLATION of Orion appearing over the eastern horizon with the beautiful ORION NEBULA. Lovely to look at through binoculars but stunning through a telescope.

You should also watch for shooting stars, the fleeting bright streaks of light left behind as meteors enter the Earth's atmosphere. The 17th November falls with in the limits of the Taurids meteor shower and the peak of the Leonids METEOR SHOWER. The normal limits for seeing the Taurids is between 20th October and 30th November so quite a long time. These meteors are a bit slower and are often accompanied by more bright events. There are usually about 10 per hour at the peak. The Leonids METEOR SHOWER has a much shorter duration; 15th - 20th November so fingers crossed you may see some coming from a northerly direction. These are very fast meteors often leaving persistent trails. There are usually about 20 or so per hour at the peak and with no Moon to brighten the sky the chances of seeing these meteors is very favourable this year. The Leonids radiant is in the CONSTELLATION Leo (see below; image courtesy of stardate.org) and the meteors are associated with the debris trail left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle.


What to see on Saturday 9th December
6.30pm-11pm

The Sun will already have set at 3.51pm and ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT ends at 5.54pm so it will be completely dark when the Centre re-opens at 6.30pm. The phase of the Moon is 1 day before LAST QUARTER and will not be rising until 11.05pm and will therefore not be visible at all throughout the evening.

To see the sky charts for the 9th December visit Heavens Above. You will need to alter the times and dates in the boxes below the current chart to find out what is in the night sky on the dates of the open evenings.

Uranus and Neptune will already have risen and may also be located during the course of the evening along with deeper sky objects which are much easier to see when there is no Moon. These include the ANDROMEDA GALAXY and some ineresting double stars. As we descend into winter you will see the CONSTELLATION of Orion appearing over the eastern horizon and should reach a high enough elevation to view the beautiful ORION NEBULA. Lovely to look at through binoculars but stunning through a telescope!

Objects to look out for without having to use a telescope include the Pleiades cluster in Taurus, which should be nice and high in the night sky. This is a beautiful knot of stars also known as the 7 sisters. On a very clear evening and with good eyesight you should be able to spot about 7 of the hundreds of stars in this OPEN CLUSTER. The Pleiades cluster is far too big to look at through the telescopes and it is better to view it through a pair of binoculars. Another object to look out for with binoculars is the double cluster in the CONSTELLATION of Perseus. 

You should also watch for shooting stars, the fleeting bright streaks of light left behind as meteors enter the Earth's atmosphere. The 9th December is a few days before the peak activity of the Geminids METEOR SHOWER but still falls within the normal limits of activity which is 8th - 17th December. The Geminids occur as the Earth passes through the debris left behind by the ASTEROID 3200 PHAETON and the radiant, where the meteors appear to come from is in the CONSTELLATION Gemini (see below; image courtesy of stardate.org). These meteors are slow moving with a good proportion of bright events. There are usually about 100 per hour at the peak. You need to look towards the CONSTELLATION Gemini in the east to try and spot these shooting stars and with no Moon to spoil the party spotting them is very favourable this year. This is the richest of all the annual showers.
INT 50th Anniversary
Friday 1st December 2017 will be the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) by the Queen. Come and join us and some of the people who worked and still work with the telescope to celebrate this momentous occasion. The Centre will open at 7.30pm, and following an introduction by Professor Paul Murdin, there will be a small number of short talks from former RGO astronomers and the Director of the current Isaac Newton Group on La Palma. The evening will end, weather permitting, with viewing through the historic telescopes of the Equatorial Group. The Centre opens at 7.30pm and tickets cost just £10 per person. Booking essential please call the Centre on 01323 832731.
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CHRISTMAS SONGS BY STARLIGHT
On Saturday the 2nd December the Centre will be hosting the wonderful 'Christmas Songs by Starlight' with the Zoe Pennington Dance Studio Musical Theatre choir. This will be a fabulous evening of festive singing and Christmas cheer. The evening will start at 5.30pm and finish at 9pm and will include a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie (alternatives available for the children) plus viewing through the historic telescopes (weather permitting). Booking is essential.
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