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Mercury will be the Planet to Observe for the Next Astronomy Night

23 Mar 2017 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation on April 1st this year.  In astronomy, a planet's elongation is the angle between the planet and the Sun as seen from the Earth.  When an inner planet is at its largest angle away from the Sun it is in a prime viewing condition.  Greatest eastern elongation is the phrase to describe when a planet is in this prime viewing condition just after sunset.  

According to the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society president, Katherine Auld, “Our evening at Hobbs State Park will begin with a short lecture explaining more about the greatest elongation for both the inner and outer planets.  Following will be a short explanation of viewing the night sky.  We will then proceed outside to view Mercury and some deep sky objects.  We will also have a basket of books for young people to participate in Reading Under the Stars.”

What to Bring: 

  • Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)
  • Binoculars
  • Folding chair – one per person`
  • Star chart (if you have one)

Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of        the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

When:  Saturday April 1, 2017

  • Classroom instruction – 6:45 p.m.
  • Night viewing about 7:45 p.m.

Cost:  Free – Public is invited:  Great for scout groups and families

 For more information call:  479-789-5000

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