Tonight's weather is calling for increasingly cloudy skies with a chance of showers. The super thin crescent moon will set at 8:36 leaving, what would have been, very dark skies for a great night of observation. We will attempt to open the observatory at 8:30 if skies permit. We could have a small window of observing opportunity before clouds set in. Follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/FrostyDrewOBSY) for updates on sky conditions from the observatory.
Yesterday evening (EDT) the “Ring of Fire” annular solar eclipse took place over Australia and the South Pacific. Sky watchers in Australia witnessed the new moon pass in between Earth and the Sun at a distance of 245,000 miles from Earth. At this distance the Moon does not completely eclipse the Sun leaving a striking “Ring of Fire” visible in the sky. Visit the Coca-Cola Space Science Center to view archived footage of yesterdays annular eclipse at.
Last Friday we had spectacular skies at Frosty Drew Observatory. May marks the start of the best viewing season we have at Frosty Drew which will last until late July. During this time the Sagittarius arm and galactic center of the Milky Way Galaxy are strikingly visible over the observatory on clear dark nights. Sadly, over the past few years we have had significant increases in light pollution creeping into Ninigret Park and this year we have had a neighbor or two add new SUPER bright, totally dark-sky-UNfriendly lights. This type of lighting is detrimental to the skies over Ninigret Park and significantly increases the threat of losing what little bit of dark skies that remain in Rhode Island. The International Dark Sky Association has put together a fantastic collection of resources to educate the public on responsible lighting and dark sky preservation. I challenge everybody reading this to educate themselves a bit about dark sky compliant lighting and how to take part in bringing back the beautifully inspiring view of the cosmos that we have from planet Earth.