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Highland Road Park Observatory

Calendar of Events 2020 - February

Saturday 1 February

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Earth Orbit Trips II/Electrical Behavior II With a variety of household and more exotic items, Cadets will investigate how electric current flows. They will also receive instructions for how to spot functioning and dead satellites passing over their homes! (Previous enrollment in Part I is not required, but those who did enroll in Part I will receive an extra door prize ticket.) [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 First Quarter Moon will be at a maximum altitude of 62°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Wednesday 5 February

6:00 pm to 7:00 pm: Light Pollution Committee Meeting BRASopen house is for all skygazers, homeowners, business owners and other stakeholders in a natural-contrast night sky. This meeting (open to the public) is a sounding board for real-life solutions to the light pollution problem. [No admission fee. For ages fourteen and older. Agenda begins at 6:15 pm.]

Friday 7 February

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Astrophotography for Youth Judah Santiago has attended several programs at HRPO. He was inspired to image the sky any way he knew how, and now he’s imparting that information to the audience in this special lecture aimed at adolescents. [No admission fee. For ages eleven to twenty.]
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 gibbous Moon will be at a maximum altitude of 70°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Saturday 8 February

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Power in the House III The third and final session of this series concludes Cadets’ focus on how the motion of water can be transformed into energy for families and businesses! Previous enrollment in Part I or Part II is not required. [For ages eight to twelve. $5.00 per in-parish Cadet; $6.00 per out-of-parish Cadet.]
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm: Plus Night: “The Full Moon” Weather permitting, viewing through one or more telescopes will take place. Additionally, there will be a marshmallow roast, physical science demos and a sky tour. During this time the Full Moon will be at a maximum altitude of 56°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Monday 10 February

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm: Mercurian Elongation Periodically Mercury☿ reaches its greatest angular separation in the sky (elongation) from the Sun☉. This is the safest way to view Mercury☿ by amateurs. Come join us at the Burbank Soccer Complex! The planet will appear as a “half-Mercury☿.’ Venus♀ will also be seen. [No admission fee. For all ages.]
7:15 pm to 9:15 pm: Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Meeting For thirty-five years BRAS has educated countless numbers of citizens in the joys of planetary and deep-sky gazing, the perils of light pollution and factors to consider when buying a pair of binoculars or a telescope. Over the years BRAS members have published in “Astronomy,” “Sky & Telescope” and “Scientific American;” constructed their own telescopes and photographic platforms; been interviewed by local media and the National Geographic Society; and entered robotics competitions, imaged comets, earned observing certificates and discovered asteroids. Anyone interested in learning more about BRAS is invited to attend. [No admission fee. For ages for ages fourteen and older. Begins fifteen minutes later due to Mercurian Elongation.]

Friday 14 February

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: The Current State of Betelgeuse The “fainting” of the great supergiant Betelgeuse (usually one of the fifteen brightest stars in the sky) is a major topic of discussion within the professional and amateur ranks. Betelgeuse has dimmed to a pathetic (for it) magnitude not seen in recent skygazing history. We will explain the type of regular variability Betelgeuse has, how this current dimming deviates from that, and what to expect in the future. [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 waning gibbous Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Saturday 15 February

10:00 am to 12:00 pm: Mercury☿ Cadets will learn how the features on Mercury☿ are named, when we last visited and what future trips we have planned. [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 Capricornus♑ at a maximum altitude of 46°. [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 Last Quarter Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Tuesday 18 February

4:15 am to 6:15 am: Lunar Occultation of Mars♂ The first attempted viewing of Mars♂ at HRPO is this extremely rare event of the Moon passing in front of the Red Planet. Fair warning: the sky will be brightening, and the Moon and Mars♂ will be very low. A clear view of the occultation cannot be guaranteed. [No admission fee. For all ages. Binoculars strongly recommended.]

Friday 21 February

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: Hurricanes BREC Center Supervisor Jordan Cobbs shows it never too early in the calendar year to start preparing! How do hurricanes form and how accurate are the current prediction models? [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 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.]

Saturday 22 February

3:30 pm to 7:30 pm: STEM Expansion This program offers advanced topics, topic extensions and all-new games and activities to an older crowd. Certificates will be earned, and a section of archived experiments, some not seen in over fifteen years (and some never performed on site) take place. [For ages twelve to sixteen. $15.00 per in-parish registration; $18.00 per out-of-parish registration.]
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 New Moon will be below the horizon. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Friday 28 February

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm: The Saga of Daylight Time From intriguing beginnings this bizarre policy has been with us throughout our entire lives. Now we are asked serious questions. What does Daylight Time do for modern society? Is Daylight Time no longer needed? We’ll hear from members of the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society—and you. [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 at a maximum altitude of 24°. Please keep headlights off while parking and leaving, and drive slowly! [No admission fee. For all ages.]

Please also check the HRPO front page or the BRAS Forum for special celestial events or live broadcasts that could not be confirmed for this page’s publication time.

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Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Thursday, January 30, 2020, 01:17 PM.

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