Astronomy Nights '16
at Robbins Farm
This summer there will be a series of Astronomy Nights at Robbins Farm
Park. Each night we'll have at least one telescope out to view objects in
the night sky. This summer we'll have a great display of planets all
summer long. There'll be plenty to see -- the sky is the limit!
The events are totally informal and fun for all ages. Weather permitting,
the dates are as follows:
If we get bad weather, the rain dates will be the following Sunday
- June 4 (8:30pm): Jupiter is high in the sky, and Mars and Saturn
are starting to make their ascent as the Sun sets and stars come
out. See Jupiter shining bright at dusk and stick around to watch
daylight fade to reveal the night sky.
- July 9 (8:45pm) (Canceled): The planets continue their ride across the sky that
will last most of the summer. Jupiter has moved further West,
tonight right beside a waxing crescent Moon and Mars and Saturn move
into a place of prominence in the South.
- August 20 (8:30pm): The Moon is below the horizon at dusk, keeping the
sky as dark as we get in Arlington. We'll look for some "deep sky"
objects like star clusters, galaxies, and nebulas if we can spot
them. Jupiter is now setting at dusk, and Saturn and Mars have
moved to the West, heading towards the same fate as the Earth continues
its path around the Sun towards Autumn.
- Sept 10 (8:00pm): With the moon partially lit, it is a great time to
see the craters and rough terrain of the Moon in a telescope or even
through binoculars. Look for spots around the light/dark line
(called the terminator) where you can see shadows cast by peaks on the
lunar surface. Saturn and Mars are still up in the early evening, and
Saturn appears to take the lead, now visible to the West of Mars, rather
than the East.
Download the poster
to print a reminder. Watch ACMI's
story on Astronomy Night!
Each Astronomy Night will start when the stars come out and usually lasts
a couple hours. To add the schedule to your own calendar, import the
file. If it is overcast we'll have to cancel and hope for
clear weather the follow night, but as long as there are some stars
visible we'll give it a shot. For reminders and weather decisions,
consider joining my announcement
mailing list. Weather decisions for questionable nights will
also be posted on this site. Rain dates are the following night for
each date. We set up the telescopes on the observation area of Robbins
Farm Park that overlooks Boston.
Please note: it
will be dark in the park! Bring a flashlight, but please keep it
aimed at the ground while you're in the park. Parents, please help your
children remember this rule. It takes your eyes a while to adjust to the
dark, and you'll see more in the sky once your night vision is working.
Keeping your flashlight pointed at the ground helps everybody keep their
eyes adjusted to the dark. Red light doesn't hurt night vision as much so
a red flashlight or red cellophane over a flashlight helps a lot! Consider
using bug spray too.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me at jeff [at]
arlingtonastronomy [dot] org