Friday, September 2, 2011

Great Weekend For Observing!

By Tammy Plotner

What an awesome weekend to have a small telescope or a pair of binoculars! There's lots of great things to observe and one of the best right now is Comet Garradd. You'll catch the bright - yet small - traveller cruising its way west out of Cygnus, not far from Beta. While you. As a matter of fact, why not stop at Albireo and enjoy this lovely binary's red and blue colors?! Head about 4 degrees south/south west and pick up another gem - Collinder 399 - better known as the "Coathanger" cluster. It will appear as an upside down "2" to a wide field view. Just check out the interaction with the comet that happened on August 1!

Need more? Then this is your chance to take in a supernova event, too. Let's give a listen to Dr.Peter Nugent, an astrophysicist from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs as he explains just how to find this star that exploded about 21 million light years away.

Still not enough? How about an occultation? On the evening of Saturday, September 3rd, the dark edge of the Moon will cover the 2.3-magnitude star Delta Scorpii from the eastern and southern U.S. Check with IOTA for specific times and locations.

So what are you waiting for? Get thee into the dark and enjoy!

Many thanks to John Chumack for the image of the "Comet and the Coathanger"!

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