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Visiting PMO in September (2017)

Note: No additional tours for Labor Day weekend; Friday and Saturday (Sept. 1-2) only. Also PMO will be closed the last weekend in September (Sept. 29-30).

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, 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 1-2 – brightening moon will interfere with “deep sky” viewing, but still a good opportunity to see the moon itself; Sept 8-9 – bright moon (just after full) rises early (9 to 9:30 p.m.) and will interfere with “deep sky” viewing; Sept 15-16 – moon doesn’t rise until well after midnight, won’t interfere with public viewing; Sept 22-23 – just after new moon, no interference; Sept 29-30 – PMO CLOSED.

Planets: Besides Saturn, Uranus and Neptune will be visible later (by about 10 p.m.). Asteroids: Asteroid Florence will make a close fly-by of Earth (4.4 million miles away) on September 1. We should be able to watch it in the 24-inch telescope that evening, weather permitting, and possibly on September 2 as well.

After September 23, 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!

4 thoughts on “Visiting PMO in September (2017)

  1. How is the visibility regarding forest fire smoke currently? We plan to visit Sept 22-23, but are curious about conditions now.

    1. Yes we will be open tonight….In regard to not getting your phone call answered.
      We are Astronomers and work till dawn so calling in the early afternoon would improve
      your chances of getting someone on the line.

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