Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mercury and the Moon

For the next week, Mercury makes an appearance in the morning sky 40 minutes before sunrise. Look to the east at 6:50 a.m. for a starlike object hovering low above the horizon. This is Mercury. On October 26, the moon is to its upper right and above the moon shines Saturn. (One morning earlier the moon sat to the right of Saturn.) This is the year's best opportunity to see little Mercury since it is so close to the sun most of the time.

Such is our view from Earth ...

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Great World Wide Star Count

If you ever think about light pollution and how it affects your area, there is an event beginning today which will help map the light pollution problem. The Great World Wide Star Count is an effort to measure the darkness of the skies around the world by comparing the stars that you see with those on designated star charts.

The activity is simple:
1. Observe the constellation Cygnus, which appears nearly overhead this time of year around 9 pm.
2. Compare the stars that you see with the stars on a series of maps. Choose the map that most accurately represents the stars in Cygnus.
3. Report your observations to the GWWSC headquarters.

All the information you need can be found at

This a great stargazing activity that anyone, from ages 8 to 80, can do anyplace, in the city or country.

Such is our view from Earth ...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mercury revealed

Of the five bright planets, Mercury is the most elusive because it never strays far from the sun When it can be seen, it is found in the bright twilight, either before sunrise or after sunset. For the next ten mornings, this little world rises high enough by 6:45 a.m. that it can be easily seen — if the sky is clear and the horizon is unobstructed. Look directly east for a starlike object above the horizon — that's Mercury. To its left, in the east northeast, shines the star Arcturus. About an equal distance away from Mercury, but above it, lies Saturn.

Follow Mercury over the next 10 mornings and you'll quickly notice that it does move with respect to the background stars. It should because it takes only 90 days to make one complete revolution around the sun.

Such is our view from Earth ...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Special Observing at Williamson Rd Library

See the Moon and Planets!

Join us to discover the wonders in the sky! See the craters on the Moon, the clouds of brilliant Venus, and the moons of mighty Jupiter.

Members of the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society will provide telescopes for you to look at these amazing sights.

Everyone of all ages is invited to this FREE event!

Monday October 6, 7:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. on the lawn of the Williamson Road Public Library. If it's cloudy or raining, the event will be October 8.

¡Vean la Luna y los Planetas!

Juntémosnos para descubrir las maravillas del cielo!  Observemos los cráteres de la Luna, el brillante planeta Venus y las lunas del imponente Júpiter. Miembros de la RVAS (Sociedad Astronómica del Valle de Roanoke) tendrán sus telescopios.

  ¡Todos están invitados al evento gratuito!   Lunes, el 6 de octubre, a las 19h00 hasta las 20h00 en el césped de la biblioteca Williamson Road Public Library. Si está nublado o llueve, el evento será miércoles, el 8 de octubre.

Quan sát Mặt Trăng và các Hành Tinh!
Xin mời cùng chúng tôi khám phá những kỳ quan trên
không gian! Xem những hố trũng trên Mặt Trăng, những
vầng mây của hành tinh Vệ Nữ sáng chói, và các mặt trăng
của Mộc Tinh vĩ đại.
Những hội viên của Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society
sẽ cung cấp viễn vọng kính để các bạn xem các quang cảnh
gây sửng sốt này.
Xin mời các bạn không giới hạn tuổi tác đến tham dự buổ i
quan sát MIỄN PHÍ này!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Moon approaches Jupiter

As our moon orbits the Earth, it passes all the planets, at least as viewed from Earth. Tonight, it appeared to the left of Venus. On October 6th, it hangs just below Jupiter.

Such is our view from Earth ...