A Night at The Pattonville Observatory
The Pattonville Observatory and Planetarium Public Viewing Session
195 Fee Fee Road (behind Heights)
Friday, January 10, 2019 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Information hotline: 314-213-8034
The Moon will be full and will be a prime target for the evening! It will make it hard to view many of the dimmer objects for the evening.
Venus will be dominant in the west and will show as a gibbous phase. We’ll talk about the role Venus played in convincing Galileo that the Sun lies at the center, not the Earth. Neptune will be visible in the western skies and Uranus will also be visible a little higher. Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Mercury will all be below the horizon during our session.
Tonight is a good night to talk about the “Celestial Six-Pack” of winter constellations consisting of Auriga, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Taurus, Orion and Gemini. They are marked by the stars Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Caster and Capella as well as Betelgeuse, Rigel and Aldebaran.
Taurus and Auriga are well placed in the East and the Pleiades or M45 are visible along with some of the open clusters in Auriga such as M36, M37 and M38. The Orion Nebula or M42 will be well placed in the eastern sky and the spectacular cluster known as the Beehive Cluster or M44 will be rising in the east.
The Summer Triangle, Vega, Deneb and Altair, is setting in the west. Albireo, a magnificent blue and gold double will be visible, and M15 (early), M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest neighbor and the Double Cluster will also be targets.
Come spend the evening viewing the cosmos with your family, residents and non-residents are welcome! Students, who are accompanied by their parents, are especially welcome! Please take note that the dome is not heated or cooled, so pay attention to the weather and dress in a manner that is appropriate for the evening temperature conditions. If it is raining or cloudy, a planetarium program will be presented instead.