Archive for June, 2011

SAS Astronomical Chronicle For June 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Greetings fellow astrophile!

The June 2011 newsletter has been posted in advance of the next Public Viewing Session that occurs over the long 4th of July weekend. We roll the roof back during the Summer to find Sagittarius and Scorpius right at our eyepiece. As Saturn disappears earlier in the evening, the center of the Milky Way and a great wealth of intragalactic Messier Objects receive our nighttime focus. The long 4th of July weekend also gives all an excuse to spend a few extra hours outside to use all of the New Moon weekend.

Check the website for more information on Friday at 5:00 p.m. We hope you can join us!


Darling Hill Plans To OPEN Tonight (June 8) For Lunar Viewing, Saturn, And Possible Aurora

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

NOTE 2 (8:25 p.m.): We Will Be Opening The Observatory. There is a bit of cloud cover around CNY that is expected to clear around 10:00 p.m. The observatory should be open and populated by 9:30 p.m.

NOTE: Check Back Here At 8:30 p.m.
Tonight for a Final Update

With the recent solar flare now approaching a grazing blow to the planet’s magnetosphere (see, for instance, the fantastic movies at Bad Astronomy – blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/06/07/the-sun-lets-loose-a-huge-explosion/), it is possible there will be aurora activity tonight after midnight, just in time for the Moon to set below our Western Horizon. In the meantime, there is plenty to observe, including Saturn and the Moon itself.

We tentatively plan on opening the observatory tonight but will likely not do so until 9 p.m. Furthermore, we will announce back on this page at approximately 8:30 p.m. with a final decision. It is predicted to be in the high 60’s in Vesper tonight, so dress accordingly despite the considerable heat at present.

Darling Hill Will Be OPEN For Public Viewing Tonight, 8:30 p.m. (Friday, June 3)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

We’re not even waiting until 5:00 p.m. to announce this one. Tonight looks fantastic for observing, so Darling Hill will be opening. There are no “reasonable” ISS fly-overs tonight (3 a.m. and beyond), but two Iridium Flares are predicted for tonight (shown below, from heavens-above.com).

Date Local
Distance to
flare centre
Intensity at
flare centre
03 Jun 22:33:10 -4 18° 273° (W ) 35.8 km (E) -6 Iridium 52
03 Jun 23:49:54 -2 37° 228° (SW ) 31.3 km (E) -8 Iridium 43