Tulare Astronomical Association invites you to see Venus and Jupiter ‘collide’ in celestial light show – Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare…

For Choices Published 2:47 p.m. PT Nov. 20, 2019 | Updated 2:47 p.m. PT Nov. 20, 2019

A specialStar Partywill take placeat theArthur Pursell Observatory sevenmilessouthwest of Tulare.

Jupiter and Venus "colliding" is just one of the many exciting celestial phenomena you can observe duringthe Tulare Astronomical Associations public viewing eventonSaturday, Nov. 23.(Photo: Ron Holman/Times Delta)

Shortly after sunset onNov. 23, Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets, put on a thrilling show by appearing like they are headed for a collision (although Jupiter is actually four times farther away).

This dramatic twilight pairing called "aconjunction"places them merely 1.5 degrees apart just a fingers width at arms length.

This is just one of the many exciting celestial phenomena you can observe duringthe Tulare Astronomical Associations public viewing eventonSaturday, Nov. 23.

This specialStar Partywill take placeat theArthur Pursell Observatory sevenmilessouthwest of Tulare.

(Photo: News-Press)

BecauseVenusandJupiterwill sink below the horizon shortly after 6 p.m., this unique eventwill beginpromptly at5:30 p.m.(please be on time) and officiallyend at 9 p.m.Thecost is $5 for those 12 and older.

BeforeJupiterslides below the horizon, we will probably be able to observe three of itsGalilean moons(Io, Europa, & Callisto) through a telescope as well as therings and possibly some moons of Saturn.During this 5:30 -6 p.m. period of viewing, the Venus-Jupiter conjunction,feel free to eat any picnic dinner or snacks that you brought; a table and trash cans will be provided, but please bring your own chair.

As the sky darkens and stars appear, we will congregate for a short tour of theconstellationsandbright starsvisible in the night sky. Visitors will then be able to look through theTAAs 12.5 Cave Astrola (Newtonian) Telescopein theobserving domeas well as through about 6 TAAmembers' personal telescopes.

Each telescope will feature a different celestial object. Featured telescopic objects will includeUranuswith itsblue-greenish hue,as well as blue-grayNeptune,the farthest planet from the Sun;incredibly,we may see a total of 6 of the 8 planets(if you include the Earth).

Displays, pictures and telescopes are all around the lecture room at the Arthur Pursell Observatory, home of the Tulare Astronomical Association.(Photo: Ron Holman)

Viewing conditions are forecasted to be excellent, dark, moonless, and clear, perfect for stargazing; ideal for viewing more challenging targets likePlanetary Nebulasincluding theBlue Snowball Nebula(NGC 7662),theDumbbell Nebula(M 27,NGC 6853), theLittle Dumbbell Nebula(M76, NGC 650, NGC 651), theRing Nebula(M57), TheCat's Eye Nebula(NGC 6543), and theBlinking Planetary Nebula(NGC 6826), as well as several spiral galaxies likeNGC 891, theSculptor Galaxy(NGC 253),and theGreat Andromeda Galaxy(M31).

M31 is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way; being2.5 million light-years from Earth,it is the farthest object that can be seen with your naked eye! This spiral galaxycontains an estimatedone trillion stars, about twice the number found in our Milky Way.

Telescopes will also be used to separate severalDouble StarsincludingPolaris(theNorth Star),Sigma Cassiopeiae,Eta Cassiopeiae,as well as the colorfulAlberio, known asthe most beautiful double star.

If you havebinoculars, bring them; they provide excellent viewing ofopen clusterslike thePleiades (M45)known as the Seven Sisters, theOwl Cluster(NGC 457)- which contains 2 bright star that look like owl eyes,Messier 52 (NGC 7654), the famousDouble Cluster(NGC 869, NGC 884), theGlobular ClusterMessier 15 (NGC 7078),and possibly evenUranusand our ownMilky Way Galaxy.

TheArthur Pursell Observatory (APO)is located at9242 Ave 184 Tulare, about halfway between Tulare and Tipton.Travel on Highwat 99 and turn west on Ave 184; drive west about3.4 miles on Ave 184until you reach the signed APO entranced driveway (about 0.5 miles beyond the Road 96 intersection). Drive north on this entrance road a short distance to the APO parking area.

If the sky is too cloudy, foggy or raining, the event may be canceled. Cancellations are usually decided by 4:00 pm the day of the event (Check TAAs Facebook page). If you arrive on time and the gate is closed the event has been canceled.

Tips

Information: Reece Williford (559) 592-4379 orrtwill2@verizon.net

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Tulare Astronomical Association invites you to see Venus and Jupiter 'collide' in celestial light show - Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare...

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