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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!

6 thoughts on “Visiting PMO in September (2016)

    1. Define “accommodations”. The trails around the domes are gravel and there are stairs to negotiate. It is a dark environment, and there are 2 porta potties (no water or flush toilets) you need to bring water and what ever else you might need as the nearest store or motels are in Bend 34 miles distant. Make sure you have at least 1/2 tank of fuel (preferably a full tank) before leaving Bend. Please read our “visiting” page and if you have specific questions then ask.

  1. Hi folks! Just wanted to give you a heads up that I’ve got a group of about 20 people RSVPed who will be coming from the Seattle area. (In reality, I expect there to be some last minute cancellations, so we’re actually probably looking at 11-12.) We’re planning on coming up Saturday, Sept. 3 during the day and arriving well before sunset.

    See y’all on Saturday!


  2. K guys, tech question. If saturn is in the s.w. sky, what is the cluster of heavenly bodies in the n.n,w. about 35-40degrees off the horizine(12:30 am fri ).
    With my bad eyes, Im sure I count 5 difrentt points of light. ( maybe an asteroid cluster going by ?). Could you please clear this confusin up ?
    Thank you much

    1. Are you sure your directions are correct? Sounds like you might be describing the well-known Pleiades star cluster, which would have been in the east (about 40 degrees up) at that time. No to asteroids … they are very rarely visible to the unaided eye, and it would be big news if one did come close enough to the Earth to be easily visible.

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