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C. E. S. College
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Florida Atlantic


Link to the IAU's International Year of Astronomy at www.astronomy2009.org

Florida Atlantic University
Astronomical Observatory

Facebook image link to Florida Atlantic University Astronomical Observatory's Facebook page


The Sun Today:

Image of the current Sun, provided by ESA's & NASA's SDO space telescope and link to sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov
Visual Sun
is provided by

Image of the current Sun in H-alpha light is provided by the National Solar Observatory/AURA/NSF and link to www.nso.edu
Hα Sun is
provided by

Solar X-rays:
Geomag. Field:
Solar X-ray Status from www.n3kl.org/sun/images/status.gif
Geomagnetic Field Status from www.n3kl.org/sun/images/kpstatus.gif

From www.n3kl.org

To NOAA's Space
Weather Scales for
Geomagnetic Storms

The National Academies Press: Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report (2008)

The National
Academies Press
Severe Space
Weather Events--
Societal and
Economic Impacts:
A Workshop
Report (2008)

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional .

main col hack

FAU Astronomical Observatory -- Front Page

Welcome to the Observatory's Front Page. Included here are some of the latest news and articles that may be of interest to our visitors. General observatory information, such as location and maps, viewing schedules, Events Calendar, contact information, student class credits, parking and other general information, can be found on the "About the Observatory" page.

We also have a growing coverage about the issue of light pollution, what it is, what it does to the environment, to ourselves, to our wallets and resources, to our security and safety, to the majestic wonders of the night sky and what YOU can do about it. This is a man made problem that is prepetuated by a lack of awareness and is something that we all can correct.

The Front Page

The Front Page currently covers:

General Sky Conditions

Solar conditions, atmospheric phenomena and news are reported by www.SpaceWeather.com.

The current sky conditions of Boca Raton are found via the Clear Sky Clock: Shortened
timeblock gif of sky conditions.
And some details as to what this means is mentioned in the Visiting Tips section of the About the Observatory page.

Basic weather conditions for our area are at www.wunderground.com forecast for Boca Raton, while our astronomically important current cloud cover conditions can be found at www.wunderground.com for Boca Raton.

To the Space Telescope Science Inst's Sky Tonight movie. Check out:
the Space Telescope Science Institute's Sky Tonight movie at Amazing Space
or to
Sky & Telescope's This Week's Sky at a Glance page.
To the Sky & Telescope's <q>This Week's Sky at a Glance</q> article by Alan M. MacRobert.

APOD's Banner image that links to Astronomy Pictures of the Day site.

The Seoul, South Korean 11th Year Anniversary Light Pollution UCC & Photo Contest

Banner image for the Light Pollution contest from the Lighting Museum in Seoul, South Korea.The FAU Astronomical Observatory is pleased to help support and applaud the Feelux Lighting Museum in Seoul, South Korea, who has partnered with the Seoul Metropolitan Government, for the 11th anniversary of their Light Pollution Photography and Videography Contest for 2015. The purpose of the contest, held annually since 2005, is to increase the global awareness of light pollution and to pursue healthier uses of light that is more harmonious with the environment.

The images/videos submitted to this year's contest should feature either examples of light pollution or examples of natural lights sources that promote coexistence between nature and people in healthier lifestyles. Details of the contest, its guidelines for submissions, and the prizes that can be won are found on the Museum's website at:

The Museum's webpages or our own webpages has more examples and information about light pollution, what it is, what its effects are on the environment, our own health, our energy resources and our safety. Your images can help raise the global awareness of this unnatural, exponentially growing pollutant!

What's Up in the Sky


Section updated: May 29th, 2015.

The Sun currently appears in the constellation of Taurus the bull. It will pass by Mars on June the 14th and enter Gemini on June 22nd, just after reaching the solstice.

Lunar Phases:

FULL MoonJune 2nd
LAST QuarterJune 9th
NEW MoonJune 16th
FIRST QuarterJune 24th
FULL MoonJuly 1st
LAST QuarterJuly 8th
NEW MoonJuly 15th
FIRST QuarterJuly 23rd
FULL MoonJuly 31st

Meteor Showers:
Note: compare shower dates with Moon for favorable viewing conditions; the fuller the Moon, the harder it will be to see the meteors!

Peak NightName Radiant's
Source Zero
Description Conditions
~June 7 Arietids near Hamal or
α Arietis
ast. Icarus?
dead comet?
0-1 42 km/s dawn-daytime
radio shower
pre-dawn to
due to Sun
~June 11 Gamma
γ Delphius ? unknown 55 km/s? Decent skies
to observe in.
~June 16 June Lyrids South of
? down to 0? found in
1966, last
seen in 1996?
~June 27 Bootids northern
comet 7P
18 km/s very SLOW,
bright meteors
Go for it
gib. Moon
July 27-28Alpha
north of α
5 23 km/s slow,
bright meteors
Can be done
gib. Moon
~July 28 Piscis
? 5 35 km/s seen best in the south Can be done
gib. Moon
July 28-29Delta
δ Aquarius comet 96P
16 41 km/s faint
Can be done
gib. Moon

More details about meteors, showers or to report your own fireball observation should be done via http://amsmeteors.org.

Solar System Planets:

Mercury currently is located in the direction of the Hyades open cluster in the constellation of Taurus, but we can't see it as it is lost in the glare of the Sun as the swift messenger planet approaches its solar conjunction on May 30th. It won't stay there for long for after which it will appear on the flip side on the night when it returns to the morning skies.

Venus is in the boundaries of Gemini and that very brillant object in the west-northwestern sky in the evening, appearing mv = -4.19. It will exit the Twin's realm and enter Cancer the crab's boundaries on June the 3rd. It will continue on and appear next to M44, the Beehive Cluster, at a 0.5° away. This will be a good view for small telescopes. Better still is when it will appear brighter still at mv = -4.44 and only 1/3° away from Jupiter on June the 30th! Don't miss that sight! And by July the 11th it will reach its maximal brightness of mv = -4.47! Its brightness has many people noticing it lately and asking me about.

Mars is in Taurus the bull near the Hyades open cluster and barely noticealbe at all as it is lost in the solar gleare. The old warrior occupys the far side of the solar system from us, at almost 2.54 A.U. away. The Sun will pass him during their superior conjunction on June 14th. Afterwards, expect to see him on the flip side of the night in the eastern morning hours.

Jupiter appears in Cancer the crab, rising around 1132 EDT. Jupiter will reenter Leo on June the 8th and on June the 20th will appear in a nice triangle with a cresent Moon and Venus. Then, on June the 30th look for Jupiter and Venus to appear about 1/3° apart from each other! A sight that is not to be missed! For not only will the two planets appear so near to each other, but from 2000 EDT until 2200 EDT, Jupiters Great Red Spot will transit the planet and from 2115 to 2120 EDT you can observe its moon Io partially occult its moon Europa! The movements of the moons shows orbital mechanics in action, right before your eyes!

Saturn currently rises after 1924 EDT, with a brightness at mv = 0.05. It currently appears in Libra.

Uranus is slowly advancing through Pisces. Uranus will appear with the fish until Apr. 28th, 2018! Its opposition will occur on Oct. 12th.

Neptune is currently just under 2° north and east of Sigma Aquarii in the morning skies. It will get as close as 2° to λ Aquarii when it starts its retrograde, reaching opposition on Sept. 1st. It will reside in Aquarius until 2022.

Can You Identify This Image?

The image at the right shows locations of:

  1. southeast U.S. cities seen at night from space.
  2. inefficiently used energy resources and tax dollars continuously squandered by local city planners.
  3. local populations who are losing their humbling sense of wonder and awe of the night sky's majesty.
  4. increased, widespread disruptions to the local natural environment.
  5. projected increases of health problems in the local populations.
  6. all of the above.
Lights at night in Florida, Dec. 2010, taken by Exp. 26 on the ISS.
Image Credit: NASA, ISS Expedition 26, Dec. 2010.

Department of Physics
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
E-mail: vandernoot at sci dot fau dot edu
Phone: 561 297 STAR (7827)

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