The Year of the Comets
Comets, primarily composed of ice and dust, are typically brightest and most active around the time they are closest to the sun when solar heating causes the ice to vaporize releasing dust which heats to form the long classic comet tail.
During 2013 we will have the opportunity to view the newly discovered Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) throughout the month of March as well as Comet C20012 S1 (ISON), which may turn out to be bright enough to be seen in daylight, near the beginning of November, 2013.
National Astronomy/Arbor Day Celebration
The Friends of Eaton County Parks invite everyone to join them at Fox Park Saturday, May 4, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for a free National Astronomy Day/Arbor Day Celebration. Click here for details.
|Telescope Tips &
Saturday, May 4
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Have an old telescope lying around or received a new one for Christmas? Bring it out to the Observatory Saturday, May 4, and work with our experienced volunteer astronomers on getting the most out of your scope to get it up and running before public viewing begins. Program fee is $5 per telescope.
Solar Viewing Exploration
Sunday, June 9
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Come out to Observatory on Sunday, June 9, to view our closet star - the Sun. Participants will have the opportunity to safely view the Sun’s surface, spying spots and solar flares, thanks in part to the Friends of Eaton County Parks’ generous donation of a new solar scope and solar filters. Program fee is $2 per person or $5 per family.
Bring your camera and work with experienced photographers to capture photos of our beautiful night sky on the Saturday nights listed below:
April 13, 8:30 p.m.—Midnight
Getting started in Astrophotography
May 18, 9:00 p.m.—Midnight
Basic Lunar Photography
June 8, 9:00 p.m.—Midnight
The next step: Scopes and Mounts
If cloud cover does not permit sky viewing, theme based work sessions and PowerPoint presentations will be held instead. Program fee is $5 per person. For more information and program registration, please e-mail Jason Blaschka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Viewing Nights
March 23 and 30, 8:00 p.m.—11:00 p.m.
Jupiter and the Winter Milky Way set in the west as Saturn and the spring galaxies rise in the east.
April 20 and 27, 8:30 p.m.—11:00 p.m.
Jupiter and the Moon show off with Saturn joining them as the night progresses.
May 4, 9:00 p.m.—Midnight
Spring galaxies and globular clusters fill the sky as Jupiter sets in the west and Saturn rises in the east.
June 1, 15, 22, and 29, 9:00 p.m.—Midnight
Saturn, spring galaxies, globular clusters, and the moon will be featured.
Observation nights will not be held on nights with more than 30% cloud cover. Program fee is $2 per person or $5 per family. You may call the Observatory at 517-645-6666 during public viewing hours to check sky conditions.