Visiting PMO in July (2016)
Reminder – No extra tours for the July 4 holiday weekend (Friday/Saturday only).
PMO remains open for Friday and Saturday night tours, and with the start of July, we’re entering the “prime” of the tour season. Sunsets remain late (8:30 to 8:45 p.m. or so), so you should plan on staying until at least 11:00 p.m. (weather permitting) to have a good observing experience including “deep sky” objects such as star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Tours will not end until midnight this time of year, if the sky remains clear (with the possible exception of full moon weekend). Please arrive early (by about sunset), and check in at the greeting center next to the parking lot.
The planet Jupiter continues to be visible in July, but will sink lower into the west in the evening twilight. Mars and Saturn also remain visible, roughly due south near the zodiac constellation of Scorpius at 10 p.m. Saturn has the most favorable ring angle in many years, and is very impressive on a good night.
Moon viewing information: July 1-2 – new moon (not visible, excellent for deep sky observing); July 8-9 – crescent moon nearing first quarter, good opportunity to see during tours; July 15-16 – moon nearing full, resulting in bright sky; July 22-23 – moon waning but still bright and rises before 11 p.m., interfering with deep sky viewing; July 29-30 – moon doesn’t rise until late at night.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at PMO!