The Sun will not be setting until 9.21pm and there will be no end to ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT so technically at this time of the year it does not get completely dark.
The gates open at 7.30pm and this evening is for the 'Over the Moon' pre-booked event.
The phase of the Moon is 2 days before FULL MOON and will already have risen at 7.16pm. It will not set until 4.17am the following morning so will be visible throughout the whole of the evening.
To see the sky chart for the 15th June 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 date of the Open Evening.
While Mars is still in the early evening sky it will be setting about 11pm and is really lost in twilight and too low on the horizon to view it successfully. However, you may see it with the unaided eye very close to a brighter object - Mercury but unfortunately both will be disappearing behind the trees on the western horizon.
If the skies are clear you will definitely be able to see magnificent Jupiter which will be rising at about 8.30pm. By the time the sky is dark enough Jupiter should be high enough to see throug the telescopes even though this year it remains relatively low with a maximum elevation of 16 degrees above the horizon. It is in the CONSTELLATION of Ophiuchus and at MAGNITUDE -2.6, it is very bright. It will have reached OPPOSITION on the 10th June. The four largest moons should be visible with Io and Europa on the western side (Io furthest out) and Callisto far out on the eastern side. Ganymede, the largest of the 4 moons will have emerged from behind Jupiter at about 8pm having gone through an OCCULTATION by Jupiter for almost 3 hours.
Other objects to look out for will be the magnificent GLOBULAR CLUSTER M13 in the constellation Hercules. The cluster is located on the right hand side of the body of Hercules (which looks like a key stone). It appears as a beautiful three dimensional ball of stars through the telescopes. Some DOUBLE STARS will also be visible including Algieba in the CONSTELLATION of Leo.
June 10th - 14th and June 17th - 20th
For 9 working days East Sussex Highways are carrying out patching works on Wartling Road which will be closed to through traffic 7 am – 7 pm, but will be allowing access to both The Observatory Science Centre and Herstmonceux Castle Gardens & Grounds. Evening / night access is unaffected and there will be no weekend working.
The Observatory Science Centre and Herstmonceux Gardens & Grounds will be open as normal and we will provide updates as necessary.