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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, directions, 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:
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.
The Sun will enter Virgo's realm on Sep. the 17th.
Viewing Tips: Find a decent location away from obstructive lights in night, especially
avoid bluish-white lights that so impact your nightvision capabilities
which you'll need to see the fainter meteors! The meteors are generally heaviest in the
Additional details about meteors, showers or to REPORT your own fireball observations should be done via http://amsmeteors.org.
Mercury appears south of Virgo and is in retrograde. It'll reach a maximum of 4° south of the ecliptic
(the apparent path that the planets and the Sun follows in their travels about the sky) on the 18th of Sept. It'll
go back across the Sun reaching inferior conjunction on Sept. 29th. After then, it'll soon appear in the morning skies
with Jupiter, Venus and Mars. On the morning of Oct. the 8th, Mercury crosses the ecliptic northwards. On the morning
of the 11th, Mercury will appear just a little over 1° away from the waning sliver of a crescent Moon, around which
date it will resume prograde motion and travel, this time, almost through the middle of Virgo. Being the busy
Venus is in Cancer, but will soon enter Leo the lion on Sept. 24th, which she'll share with Mars
and Jupiter. The three put on quite a show in the October and November morning skies.
Mars appears with Leo the lion. It will appear 48 arcminutes from Regulus on Sept. 25th.
>>> On the morning of Oct. 9th, Mars will appear with Jupiter, Venus, Regulus AND a waning cresent Moon, all
within 12° of the sky! <<< Look for Mars to appear less than 0.5° away from Jupiter on Oct. 16th and
17th and pass Jupiter by on Oct. the 18th. It will enter Virgo's realm on Nov. the 2nd and
Jupiter appears in the morning skies in Leo the lion.
Oh, did I mention that >>> on the morning of Oct. 9th, Jupiter will appear with Mars,
Venus, Regulus AND a waning cresent Moon, all within 12° of the sky! <<< On Oct. 11th, its moons
Ganymede and Io will both transit across the planet. And look for it to appear less than 0.5° away from Mars on
Oct. 16th and 17th. On Oct. the 18
Saturn currently appears in Libra with a brightness at mv = 0.28. It will enter Scorpio on Oct. the 16th. On Nov. 7th, it will appear 2 arcminutes away from ν Scorpii. Expect to lose it in the solar glare by the Thanksgiving holiday.
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 in retrograde at just over 2° away from λ Aquarii appearing after midnight in July. It will reach opposition on Sept. 1st and reside in Aquarius until 2022.
dwarf planet Pluto is retrograde and appears nearly between between ξ1 and
ξ2 Sagittii. ξ2 is the star that makes the front
Can You Identify This Image?
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
E-mail: vandernoot at sci dot fau dot edu
Phone: 561 297 STAR (7827)
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