A Night at The Pattonville Observatory
The Pattonville Observatory and Planetarium Public Viewing Session
195 Fee Fee Road (behind Heights)
Friday, February 14, 2020 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Information hotline: 314-213-8034
The Moon is in the last quarter phase for this evening, so it will not be visible for our session.
Neptune is near Mercury, low in the west, so it is likely not to be a target. If you get there right at 7 pm, there is a chance you could see them. Venus will be bright in the west and will be visible for the entire session. It is in a gibbous phase and we will talk about the importance of the discovery of the phases of Venus by Galileo. Uranus is also in the west and we will get a look at the blue disk. All of the other visible planets are below the horizon for our session.
The “Celestial Six-Pack” of winter constellations consisting of Auriga, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Taurus, Orion and Gemini are in great position and will be with us for the next couple of months. They are marked by the stars Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Caster and Capella as well as Betelgeuse, Rigel and Aldebaran. Leo, with it’s bright star Regulus is now joining the group in the East.
We will look at the Pleiades or M45 in Taurus, M36, M37 and M38 in Auriga, M42 the Orion Nebula in Orion, M44 the Beehive Cluster in Cancer, and M35 in Gemini. 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.