Sidewalk Astronomy in February and March

On Friday, February 27, we'll be setting up in Farnsworth Park in Altadena. This park is far north on Lake, past New York. The park's on the west side of Lake, with a street called "Mountain Curve" on the north end of the park.

On Saturday, March 7, we'll be setting up in our usual corner in Monrovia, at Myrtle and Lime.

A crescent moon, a crescent Venus and a late-rising Saturn are on tap for the 27th. Saturn will be rising an hour or so earlier by the next week, with Venus setting earlier and a gibbous moon visible all night.

Both nights will start around 6pm. Altadena will wrap up around 8pm. Monrovia will wrap up around 9pm.

Venus and the Moon

Venus and the moon made a nice pair, hanging out high in the west as the sun set on Friday night. With some of our widefield telescopes, we were able to frame the two objects at the same time. It was almost like the moon had a little baby with her, as the phase of Venus and the moon were practically identical.

Both appear crescent shaped for the same reason: At the moment, they're both somewhat between us and the sun, so most of the illuminated portion of both body is facing away from the earth.

We also saw Saturn later in the evening. And, as an extra (but not very spectacular) bonus, we also got a peek at Comet Lulin. As far as comets go, Lulin is pretty bright. But it's nothing compared to Hale-Bopp or Hyukatake of a few years back. Not even as bright as Holmes from a little over a year ago. However, from a dark sky site, Lulin does have a very well-defined tail, so it looks like your classic comet.

From town, it's just a hazy smudge.

Our next public event is next Saturday, March 7 in Old Town Monrovia.

March 7 2009 Sidewalk Astronomy in Monrovia

Subject says it all. That's tomorrow, 6pm-9pm in Old Town Monrovia, corner of Myrtle and Lime. Moon and Venus early; Saturn will be visible later in the evening.