Visiting PMO in September (2016)
Note: No additional tours for Labor Day weekend; Friday and Saturday (Sept. 2-3) only.
Sunsets at PMO continue to rapidly become earlier in September – from about 7:40 p.m. at the outset to before 7:00 p.m. at the end. Please arrive early (by sunset), especially if you want to see Saturn, which is sinking lower in the southwestern sky, and will only be observable in PMO’s 24-inch telescope during evening twilight. Also, keep in mind that temperatures may dip into the 30s or 40s at night in September, even if it’s relatively warm in town during the day. Check the PMO weather page before heading out. Public viewing may conclude by 11 p.m. (or sooner if the weather is poor), although if we experience a good night near new moon at the end of September, we may re-open around 3 a.m. for viewing of the Orion Nebula. (Don’t count on this – ask if you’re camping at PMO.)
Moon information: Sept 2-3 – new moon, no interference; Sept 9-10 – good opportunity to see the moon, doesn’t set until after midnight (will interfere somewhat with “deep sky” viewing); Sept 16-17 – moon full and bright! (avoid for “deep sky” viewing); Sept 23-24 – moon doesn’t rise until after midnight, won’t interfere with normal public viewing; Sept 30-Oct 1 – new moon, no interference.
Planets: Besides Saturn, Venus will be visible low in the western sky shortly after sunset, Mars will remain visible (but not very interesting as its distance from Earth continues to increase), and Uranus and Neptune will be visible later on (by about 10 p.m.).
After September (and also Saturday October 1, weather permitting), we’re done with tours for the season, so don’t delay, or you’ll have to wait until next May. Thank you for your interest in PMO!