Public astronomy nights return with blue moon viewing March 30

blue moonThe Colorado State University Observatory is kicking off a new year of astronomy viewing nights, where the public is invited to join CSU faculty for a telescope tour around the Colorado night sky.

The 2018 viewing nights will take place the first and third Friday of each month. The series will kick off this year with a bonus event, 8-9 p.m. March 30 to observe the second blue moon of the year – a rare event that will not occur again until 2037.

Other celestial highlights this spring will include the Orion Nebula, which is a nursery for young stars; and the Pleiades, which is an open star cluster known as the Seven Sisters, explains Emily Hardegree-Ullman, astronomy and astrophysics instructor in the Department of Physics. She, along with Heather Michalak, director of outreach and logistics for Little Shop of Physics, will be leading the events.

Subsequent viewing nights for 2018 will be:

April 6: 8-9 p.m.
April 20: 8-9 p.m.
May 4: 8:30-9:30 p.m. – Star Wars-themed party (rain or shine)
May 18: 8:30-9:30 p.m.
June 1: 9-10 p.m.
June 15: 9-10 p.m.
July 6: 9-10 p.m.
July 20: 9-10 p.m.
August 3: 8:30-9:30 p.m.
August 17: 8:30-9:30 p.m.
September 7: 8-9 p.m.
September 21: 8-9 p.m.
October 5: 7-8 p.m.
October 19: 7-8 p.m.

Viewing nights will be held at the Madison-Macdonald Observatory, 1251 East Drive, on the main campus, south of the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building. All events are weather permitting.

This year’s series of viewing nights follows a successful round in the fall semester. For the latest updates, you can follow the CSU Madison-Macdonald Observatory on Twitter at: @CSUskies.

orion nebula