St. George UT Astronomy Group Sky Events
The St. George UT Astronomy Group sky events are a popular and free event for everyone who enjoys astronomy. The City of Toquerville will be hosting the free public star party on Friday, June 12, 2013 and is inviting everyone to attend. You will get a chance to view the stars and sun through a variety of telescopes starting just before dusk.
The first St. George UT Astronomy Group sky event will be held at the Toquerville City Park at 250 W Center St. at the end of the parking lot on the far side. Come at 7:00 pm or earlier to get the ultimate experience. The event will last three hours. All telescopes will be provided so you don’t need to bring your own. There will also be expert astrologers there to help explain what you are looking for and at.
For the first hour the St. George UT Astronomy Group will observe the sun with special solar telescopes. As the sun sets and the skies darken, the telescopes will turn to the planets of Saturn, Venus and Jupiter. When it gets really dark, you will be able to see star clusters, double stars and distant galaxies. The astronomers will be there to show you major constellations via laser pointer.
The St. George Astronomy Group has two great mission in their advocacy program. The reach out to the public via free star parties and other public events, and they help to preserve the dark skies over all Southern Utah. The group is always ready to welcome new members.
St. George Astronomy Group Upcoming sky events
June 16 – New moon. The moon will be located on the same side of the Earth as the sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
June 21 – Summer solstice. The North Pole of the Earth will be tilted toward the sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is the first day of summer, the summer solstice, in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of winter, the winter solstice, in the Southern Hemisphere.
June 24 – Mercury viewing. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 22.5 degrees from the sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
July 1 – Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. A spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky. The two bright planets will be extremely close, appearing only 0.3 degrees apart, or close enough to cover the pair with just your pinky finger held at arm’s length. Look for this impressive pairing in the western sky just after sunset.
July 2 – Full moon. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Full Thunder Moon and the Full Hay Moon.
If the weather is cloudy, the event will be canceled.
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