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December Astronomy - A Comet? and/or Meteors?

Date: December 15, 2018
Time: 6:30 pm
Location New Pond Farm Observatory, West Redding
Member Price: $4.00
Non-Member Price: $6.00
Summary:
High overhead will be the First Quarter Moon. If we are lucky a comet may be visible, along with some shooting stars!
Detailed Description:

During this program, we will cross our fingers and hope to see Comet Wirtanen and some meteors from the Geminid meteor shower which peaked on the 14th. Wirtanen will be the closest to the Earth on Dec. 16th at 7,260,000 miles.  How bright it will be, is to be seen.  It was discovered by Carl A. Wirtanen on January 17, 1948 and has about a 5.4 year orbital period.  The Geminid meteor shower has been observed for nearly 200 years and is getting stronger each time.  Its source is the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.  It is best seen at about 2AM but hopefully still will be active as early as 9-10pm.  We will also focus on the Moon.  Seven days after the new moon is the first quarter moon.  It is 50% illuminated and appears directly overhead at sunset.  It occurs when the moon is one quarter of the way through its orbit around the earth, hence its name!  It is a one day event and in the days that follow it enters a Waxing Gibbous phase, growing into a full moon on December 22.

At 6:00PM, there will be an optional mini-lesson for participants, especially children, to better understand what they will be viewing. This will take place in the classroom and is included in the price of the program.  Viewing will begin on Astronomy Hill at 630PM.

All Ages Welcome - Registration Required  - is button below!

What to bring:  Please dress for the weather.  Bring a flashlight, as the walk to/from the observatory is dark. If you have them, lawn chairs and binoculars are welcome, insect repellent is recommended. For those with smartphones, there is a possibility that photos off the telescopes can be taken during the program. 

Program Fees:  Members to NPF and the Discovery Center: $4 per person with a $16 maximum for a family
                           Non-Members: $6 per person with $24 maximum for a family

Location:  New Pond Farm is located at 101 Marchant Road, West Redding, CT 06896.  Please park by the Learning Center and walk out to the hill. For Directions: Click Here

If it looks cloudy on the day of this program, check this web site after 4 PM for an update.

This program is co-sponsored by New Pond Farm

Search:
Join Our Community:
Watch for these Programs:
  • Astronomy Series
  • Birding Series
  • More 'Ghosts' in October
  • Snowshoe events when it snows!
  • Animal Encounter Series
  • 'CT Trail Day' Hike in June