The Discovery Center at Ridgefield, in conjunction with the New Pond Farm Observatory, 101 Marchant Rd., West Redding, is hosting an astronomy program that is open to the public on
The Discovery Center at Ridgefield, in conjunction with the New Pond Farm Observatory, 101 Marchant Rd., West Redding, is hosting an astronomy program that is open to the public on Saturday, October 21st, starting at 8:30 P.M.
The Orionids Meteor Shower is reaching peak, Uranus is in Opposition and there will be one last look at Saturn for the season. On October 19th, Uranus will be at its closest approach to Earth and it’s blue-green face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. At this time, it will appear brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. The seventh planet and the third largest, Uranus is an ice giant surrounded by 13 faint rings and 27 small moons. It is unique in that it rotates at a nearly 90-degree angle from the plane of its orbit, thus spinning on its side. It can only be seen through a telescope. A small but amazing dot in the sky. Easier to see will be Saturn, once thought to be the only ringed planet in the solar system. Also, the Orionids Meteor Shower will reach its peak during this observation. Called the Orionids because the majority of these meteors appear to originate in the constellation Orion, but “shooting stars” can appear anywhere in the night sky. (The shower is best seen after midnight.)
At 6:30 P.M., there will be an optional mini-lesson for participants, especially children, to better understand what they will be viewing. This will take place in the classroom and is included in the price of the program. Outdoor viewing will begin on Astronomy Hill at 7:00 P.M.
Participants should dress for the weather and bring a flashlight for the walk from the parking area to the observatory. They may also want to bring lawn chairs, insect repellant, and binoculars.
The program is $4 per person for Discovery Center members, with a maximum of $16 per family. For nonmembers, the charge is $6 per person, with a maximum of $24 per family. Registration is required. Visit the Discovery Center website to register (http://www.
(Saturday) 8:30 pm
Discovery Center at Ridgefield
26 Great Pond Rd, Ridgefield