Public Observation Night
- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Friday August 24, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
- Free! Donations Appreciated.
Today started off with a very favorable forecast for tonight. Then as the day pushed on the forecast changed to the usual mostly cloudy skies with one source calling for fog. We will attempt to open the 16" telescope tonight at 8:00 if the skies will permit. We will have the 52% waxing gibbous Moon overhead until 11:40p.m. after which deep sky observation will become much more brilliant. If we can at least see the Moon through the clouds we will open the telescope for lunar observation. Follow Frosty Drew Observatory on Twitter (@FrostyDrewOBSY) for updates from the observatory on our availability and status.With the summer season quickly coming to a close, change is in the air. The days are growing shorter with the Sun setting earlier every night, Rhode Island public schools are back in session this coming week, and the numerous colleges that Rhode Island plays host to will soon be bustling with minds eager for another semester of quality education. Amidst all this bustle, we can expect some changes in the sky as well. Saturn, the sixth planet from the sun, most notable for its beautiful rings has put on quite a stunning show this year and now has started to set during the twilight hours. This will make clear, sharp views of Saturn near impossible for us at Frosty Drew. With Saturn's viewable season coming to a halt, we have an old friend rising earlier every night. Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in our solar system will rise tonight just before midnight. Keep an eye to the East around the midnight hour this week to spot the bright planet Jupiter.The Autumn Equinox this year falls on Saturday, September 22nd at 10:49 a.m. EDT. Be sure to mark that Saturday on your calendars because many things are happening in Ninigret Park. The Charlestown Community Garden is celebrating the harvest with a full day of activities at The Harvest Festival in Ninigret Park starting at 10:00 a.m. Visit the Charlestown Community Garden website for more information (http://www.charlestowncommunitygarden.com/p/harvest-festival_13.html). During The Harvest Festival, Frosty Drew Observatory will be showcasing real Moon rocks and meteorites on loan from NASA. Be sure to stop in and view these objects from space. As the events of the day wind down, head over to Frosty Drew. Starting at 6:30 p.m. Frosty Drew Observatory will be hosting one of many events taking place across our planet for International Observe the Moon Night. We will have presentations about the Moon in the Sky Theatre along side the Moon rocks and meteors on display. In the Observatory we will have our telescopes pointed at the our closest neighbor, the Moon. Make plans now to spend your first day of Autumn in the fresh air and under the beautiful dark skies of Ninigret Park.Ninigret Park has the darkest skies in all of Rhode Island. A special thanks to all who have supported the preservation of this fantastic natural asset in Charlestown.-Scott MacNeill