Friday, 23/6/2017 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

CTAS public star parties set for Saturday night

Special to the HHES

The Central Texas Astronomical Society will host free public star parties on Saturday, June 17th, from 8:30pm to 11:30pm at Overlook Park near Belton and the Hubbard City Lakes Park in Hubbard.  Sunset is at 8:36pm.  CTAS members will provide telescopes to view the visible planets and a selection of star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies.

The Sombrero Galaxy (M104) is a beautiful spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo, located 28 million light years distant.  The planet Jupiter, also in Virgo this month, is only 33 light minutes away.  Because of the vast distances, all celestial objects appear to be equally far away.  There is a lot of space in space.  Messier 4 is a globular cluster in the constellation Scorpius.  M4 is very easy to locate, being very near the bright star Antares.

Saturn reaches opposition this month and best visibility for the year.  Jupiter‘s Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system, larger than the planet Mercury.  Callisto is about the same size as Mercury.  Io is slightly larger than the Earth’s moon, while Europa is slightly smaller.

We will look at these and many other celestial objects this month.  Please check our web site, http://www.centexastronomy.org, for more information and directions to the site closest to you.  In the event of cloudy weather, a cancellation notice will be posted on the CTAS website homepage by 6:00pm.

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