What to see on Open Evenings

Please note: the list of Open Evening Dates for 2018 is on the Open Evenings page.
What to see on Saturday 10th November

6.30pm-11pm


The Sun will already have set at 4.18pm and ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT ends at 6.14pm so it will be completely dark when the Centre re-opens at 6.30pm. The phase of the Moon is 3 days after NEW MOON and will already have set by 6.27pm so will not be visible at all throughout the evening.

To see the sky charts for the 10th 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.

Mars will not be setting until about 11.30pm so will be visible through the telescopes pretty much all evening. It is in the CONSTELLATION Capricornus and at MAGNITUDE -0.5 it is still very bright even though it is now getting further away from Earth. It was at OPPOSITION on the 27th July.

Uranus and Neptune will already have risen and may also be located during the course of the evening. 

With no Moon it will be very dark and therefore easier to see fainter deep sky objects. 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 nght sky. It 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 10th November is just 2 days 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 appear to come from is in the CONSTELLATION Taurus. The Taurids meteors arise from the debris left behind by COMET  Encke.

There will be smaller telescopes of our STEM Ambassador volunteers and members of local Astronomy Societies on the lawns and they welcome you to take a look at the many night sky objects.
What to see on Friday 16th November
6.30pm-11pm

The Sun will already have set at 4.09pm and ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT ends at 6.07pm so it will be completely dark when the Centre re-opens at 6.30pm. The phase of the Moon is 1 day after FIRST QUARTER  and will already have risen at 1.54pm and will be visible all evening.

To see the sky charts for the 16th 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.

Mars will not be setting until about 11.30pm so will be visible through the telescopes pretty much all evening. It is in the CONSTELLATION  Capricornus and at MAGNITUDE -0.3 it is still very bright even though it is now getting further away from Earth. It was at OPPOSITION on the 27th July.

Uranus and Neptune will already have risen and may also be located during the course of the evening.

The phase of the Moon is a waxing gibbous and is a fabulous object to look at. While it will be pretty bright, telescope operators will often use a Moon filter to lessen the glare and you should be able to see craters and the dark maria.

While the Moon tends to wash out fainter deep sky objects you will still get an opportunity to look at some. 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 nght sky. It 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 16th November falls with in the limits of the Taurids meteor shower and within 2 days of 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 but the Moon is quite bright so will obscure fainter streaks. 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.

There will be smaller telescopes of our STEM Ambassador volunteers and members of local Astronomy Societies on the lawns and they welcome you to take a look at the many night sky objects.
What to see on Saturday 8th December 2018 'Christmas Round the Moon'

Time: 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 after NEW MOON and will already have set at 5.04pm before the Centre re-opens for the evening making it very dark all night. You may be wondering if we cannot see the Moon why are we calling this evening Christmas around the Moon? It was 50 years ago this month that Apollo 8 went up into space and orbited the Moon so we could not let that anniversary pass us by! 

Apollo 8 was the second manned spaceflight mission. Launched on December 21, 1968, it became the first manned spacecraft to leave the Earth's orbit, reach the Earth's Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. Join us for a fascinating talk given by Robin Mobbs before heading to the domes to look through the historic telescopes.

To see the sky charts for the 8th 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 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 it will be high enough in the sky 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 8th December is a few days before the peak activity of the Geminids METEOR SHOWER but still falls on the edge of 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.
TELESCOPE CLINIC 24th November
Do you love astronomy? Have you got a telescope that is sitting in a box because you don't know how to use it? Well now is the time to get it out of the box and learn how to use it! Come and join East Sussex Astronomical Society for a late afternoon, early evening course. They will guide you through how to work your telescope and get you on the road to viewing. For more information and how to book go to the Courses page in the Astronomy section. BOOKING ESSENTIAL
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