Highland Road Park Observatory

Calendar of Events 2018 - December

Saturday, 1 December

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Asteroid and Comets☄ Both the asteroids Juno and Comet☄ Wirtanen are in the night sky. Will Cadets see them? What will they look like? [For ages eight to twelve. $5.00 per in-parish Cadet; $6.00 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waning crescent Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Monday 3 December

10:15 am to 1:45 pm: OSIRIS-REx Arrival/Soyuz MS-11 Arrival The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrives at asteroid Bennu; simultaneously, Expedition 58 personnel arrive at the International Space Station! HRPO will show live coverage via NASA-TV. [No admission fee. For all ages. Drinks and refreshments. All merchandise ten percent off for duration of party.]

Wednesday 5 December

6:15 pm to 7:00 pm: Light Pollution Committee Meeting B.R.A.S.’s open house is for all skygazers, homeowners, business owners and other stakeholders in the night sky. This month’s meeting will have instructions on how to prepare private property for viewing the peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower. [No admission fee. For ages eighteen and older.]

Friday 7 December

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Skygazing Binoculars Unlike a telescope, a good binocular for nighttime sky viewing can be gotten at a variety of retailers in town. Whether gift-hunting or searching for oneself, acquiring the right binocular will yield a plethora of celestial beauty. The Earth♁’s Moon alone has at least two dozen features easily accessible with a good binocular. Come learn from longtime amateur Merrill Hess the ins-and-outs of acquiring a handheld device that will work every time! [No admission fee. For ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing crescent Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Saturday, 8 December

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Meteor Showers As a preparation for the Geminids, Cadets will investigate the origins and characteristics of meteors. [For ages eight to twelve. $5.00 per in-parish Cadet; $6.00 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing crescent Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Friday 14 December

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Our Birth Stars What exactly is a “birth star?” It is that star whose light produced around the time your were born is just reaching Earth♁. Of course, as we age the star changes. Introduce yourself to a lifetime of birth stars and learn how to see them! [No admission fee. For ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing crescent Moon will be 47% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 36°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Saturday, 15 December

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Cadet’s Choice We all know the drill. This is the one session of the cycle whose topic is chosen by the Cadets. The votes are cast during the 1 December and 8 December sessions! [For ages eight to twelve. $5.00 per in-parish Cadet; $6.00 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the waxing gibbous Moon will be 56% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 53°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Thursday 20 December and
Friday 21 December

8:00 am to 5:00 pm: Winter Space Exploration Camp The second session of this brand-new Camp (taking the place of Rocket Camps) will focus on computing. Explorers will look at how computers are used in the space program, and launch the Spaceloft and Alpha III chemical rockets. They will also receive instructions on viewing next month's Quadrantid Meteor Shower. [For ages nine to thirteen. $57.00 per in-parish Explorers; $68.40 per out-of-parish Explorers.]

Friday 21 December

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Apollo 8 Fiftieth Anniversary For the first time, people would be launched from Earth♁ atop the enormous Saturn V. And for the first time, people would travel around the Moon. HRPO Center Supervisor Tom Northrop recounts the thrilling challenge and the exploits of the brave crew—Borman, Lovell and Anders—for the historic anniversary of a historic flight. [No admission fee. For ages fourteen and older.]
8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the Moon will reach a maximum altitude of 73°, and become Full right at closing time! Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Saturday, 22 December

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Dwarf Planets It is a new category, but it still requires respect. Cadets will learn the members of the category and what lets them qualify. [For ages eight to twelve. $5.00 per in-parish Cadet; $6.00 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm: Solar Viewing Weather permitting, safe viewing of the Sun☉ in three different manners will occur. During this time the Sun☉ will be in the constellation Sagittarius♐ at a maximum altitude of 36°. [No admission fee. For all ages. Solar viewers available for $2.00; limit four per adult purchaser.]
7:30 pm to 10:00 pm: Evening Sky Viewing Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. During this time the Full Moon will be 100% illuminated at a maximum altitude of 54°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Friday 28 December

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm: HRPO 2019 Preview Party The fiftieth anniversary of the Moon landing, a lunar eclipse, a transit of Mercury☿, the largest International Astronomy Day in HRPO history, brand-new invitation-only programs for adolescents, a doubling of the number of rental binoculars on site and two new telescopes in use. 2019 will be absolutely amazing! [No admission fee. For all ages. Binocular recommended.]

Please also check the HRPO front page or the B.R.A.S. Forum for special celestial events or live broadcasts that could not be confirmed for publication time.

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Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 05:14 PM.