Stargazing under the night sky: Excursion led by Art Harvey from the Observatory – DRB
22 February, 7:15 pm-10:00 pm
A naked-eye tour of the Southern Night Sky in February 2020, led by Art Harvey an experienced Observatory guide.
Art will use a powerful laser pointer to direct attention to each object we see. Venus will be dipping towards the western horizon early in the evening. To the north along the ecliptic plane, we will see the zodiacal constellations Taurus and Gemini. Above them, ‘stands’ the hunter Orion with his dog, Canis Major nearby. Two red giant stars should be easily spotted and keen eyes will see the nebula in Orion. Later in the evening Leo rises with its bright star Regulus right on the ecliptic.
To the south we will see the Southern Cross and, later in the evening, the Pointers will rise. The bright stars Canopus and Achernar will also point the way to the South Celestial Pole. With good viewing conditions the Magellanic Clouds should be visible and, once again, keen eyes may spot the fuzzy ‘star’ of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. The Milky Way will arch above us showing us the plane of our galaxy.
The moon will not be visible from 7.30pm to midnight and the Oval lights will be turned off so viewing of the night sky will be optimal. Art has advised that it would be helpful if people had torches covered in red cellophane so as to maximise night vision.
Art has been interested in astronomy since 1957 when, as a 7 year old, he saw the Russian sputnik traverse the night sky. For over a decade he has been a volunteer at the Perth Observatory and he regularly speaks with the public during night sky tours, school day tours & indeed, all of the Observatory’s outreach activities. He spoke at the DRB in 2019 on the night sky and had people riveted and wanting more. This excursion is as a result of everyone’s enthusiasm to learn more about the topic and from Art.
Venue and facilities:
- The Maida Vale Recreation Reserve on Ridge Hill Road, MaidaVale.
- Plus we have hired the Maida Vale Hall from 7pm-1-pm so toilets and tea and coffee are available all evening.
- Arrive at 7pm tea and coffee on arrival (at the hall)
- Book in by 7.17pm.
- Tour starts at 7.30pm (on the reserve).
- Finishes at 9.30pm.
- Tea and coffee and refreshments available throughout & until 10pm at the Maida Vale Hall.
What to bring:
People are welcome to bring telescopes, binoculars & cameras (although, of course, this is intended to be a ‘naked-eye’ event).
Costs and bookings
As the DRB Nats are paying to book the reserve and paying to hire the hall we are incurring significant costs in running the event, so all visitors are invited to give a donation to the club for help with running costs. Suggested donation is $5 per adult visitor and $1 per child visitor.