Tag Archives: International Observe The Moon Night

CNYO Observing Log: International Observe The Moon Night, 6 September 2014

Larry Slosberg and I (Ryan Goodson) arrived at the Onondaga Creekwalk at 7:30 p.m. for the CNY edition of the International Observe The Moon Night. We quickly realized that the Moon would be obstructed by a row of large buildings, making this locale not ideal for the night. We decided to scout other locations.

After a quick walk to The MOST, we found the perfect spot on the same sidewalk shared by both a vacant building under construction and the ever-trendy record store The Sound Garden. Our fear was that foot traffic would be slow, but the Moon was well positioned and slowly traversing its way over The MOST, so we decided this would be the spot.

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After a quick set-up (and by quick I mean lightning fast – a couple NMT’s – whadya expect?), our earlier fear of lack-of-traffic was quickly replaced with the anxiety of too many onlookers and not enough scopes! I had set up Dan Williams’ 8” scope, and Larry was equipped with his car dwelling 12”. Thankfully, Dan Williams and Raymond Dague of the Syracuse Astronomical Society made an appearance and aided Larry and I with the part of the outreach I call the splainin’ (that’s okie for explaining). Larry was certainly the star of the show with his use of common objects to put stellar sizes in perspective. Dague and Williams both provided excellent commentary about the Moon and what turned out to be a far bigger hit – Saturn and Mars!

After pointing Williams’ 8” at Saturn, the comments ranged from, “That has to be fake,” to “Get the hell outta here! I’ve never seen anything so incredible!” Since this was a night dedicated to the Moon (albeit nearly full – maybe next year we get a petition making the rounds to move the special occasion to a first quarter date), we had to go back to our lunar companion and get a few oohs and aahs from those views as well.

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For the reader wanting the specifics, the scope I had used was an 8” F6.5. The eyepieces used for both the Moon and the planets were a 31mm Nagler (43x magnification), a 12mm Delos (110x magnification) and for the steadiest moments I would use a 2X Celestron Ultima Barlow in conjunction with the Delos to yield that sweet spot of 222x for Saturn. Through the 8” F6.5, this view revealed the ringed planet, the Cassini Division, 4 moons, and subtle surface detail (the surface detail part probably only seen by the more experienced observers in the group). In fact, it was this view that a group of Chinese tourists seemed most excited about. One of the last of the public onlookers to leave had stated that the night had been the most magical she can remember.

The Moon was viewed through both scopes and always filtered. The views were big and bright, with most of the questions relegated to wondering about the maria and larger craters. A young college student said she was excited to finally have tidal lock splained in a way she could understand-thank you Larry Slosberg for relating information in such a candid way!

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Before wrapping the event up we pointed toward a number of double stars and talked a bit about the large number of planetary systems being discovered by professionals and amateurs alike. The session closed around 9:45 PM, and we went home energized and ready for the next CNYO event.

Observing Announcement: International Observe The Moon Night On The Syracuse Creekwalk – Saturday, Sept. 6 – 7 to 10 p.m.

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Fellow CNYO’er and sidewalk astronomer extraordinaire Larry Slosberg has made the official announcement through our NASA Night Sky Network Page – we’ll be hosting the Central New York version of the International Observe The Moon Night (InOMN) along the Syracuse Creekwalk at our favorite downtown location – just south of Walt The Loch West Monster.

For those unfamiliar with InOMN, a brief word from the official website:

International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) is an annual event that is dedicated to encouraging people to ‘look up’ and take notice of our nearest neighbor, the Moon. From looking at the Moon with a naked eye to using the most sensitive telescope, every year on the same day, people from around the world hold events and activities that celebrate our Moon. On this site, you can find information about an InOMN event near you or register your own event. We encourage everyone to join us in the celebration!

2014august28_logo_finalThe 12.5 day old waxing gibbous Moon is a nice compromise of brightness and detail for giving the Moon a good looking at. Not only will we have a terminator to give us shadows and perceived depth, but some of the great craters – Tycho, Copernicus, Kepler (just barely) and Plato – will be out in the open for inspection. For those wondering about the timing (besides the whole weekend thing), Full Moon is actually one of the most boring times to observe the Moon. With the Sun’s light beating straight down on the Moon’s surface, we have no shadows to bring out crater depth or mountain height. Most observers agree that the most interesting views are right along the terminator where light and dark meet, so having a nice piece of that to observe makes for a much more visually appealing session.


Our Creekwalk location between W. Fayette St. and Walton St.

We will be spending an inordinate amount of time staring at the near-full Moon through every scope or pair of binoculars anyone has interest in bringing. Those arriving early enough may even be able to take in a view of Saturn and Mars before they set below the Western city skyline. Those with GOTO’s (or heroic non-GOTO observers) may even be able to find Neptune, now at near-opposition, just to the Southeast.

And, for those who really want to feel the passage of the year this night, the brightest of all the Messier objects and great gems of the Winter, the Pleiades (M45), will be appearing just after 11 p.m. to our far east (meaning they’ll be above the buildings and possibly observable around midnight). This will be an even more impressive sight at our next North Sportman’s Club event!

We’ve meetup.com and Facebook events set up for the 6th, so feel free to make your presence known early. Otherwise, we hope to see you out and about on the evening of Saturday, September 6th!

CNYO Observers Log: International Observe The Moon Night At Westhill School District, 12 October 2013

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Larry Slosberg and Ryan Goodson took their New Moon Telescopes on the road to the Westhill School District for the October 12th International Observe The Moon Night (IOMN, facebook, twitter). With a fistful of our A Guide For Lunar Observing brochures in tow, both report that the near-or-exceeding 100 attendees were full of great questions and enjoyed close-up views of our nearest natural satellite.

CNYO was delighted to be a part of this local IOMN activity and strongly encourage other schools and local groups to do the same. The Moon is the easiest observing target we have, good at all magnifications (including no magnification) and all times of year. It has been a test for physical theories, the guide for calendars throughout human history, unwitting recipient of meteor impacts (still!) that might have made random Tuesdays quite hectic on Earth, muse of artists and musicians alike, and all the light needed for many a midnight hike. If you missed the “official” IOMN session, grab a pair of binos soon and give the Moon a gander!

Below are a collection of images from Larry Slosberg’s observing station (and one great image of the Moon), courtesy of Michelle Marzynski. Click on any image for the full-size version.

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While Larry kept the festivities mostly Moon-centric at his scope, Ryan reports having put many of the best objects in the mid-autumn night sky on full display, including The Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the globular cluster M13 in Hercules, the double stars Albireo (a colored pair in Cygnus) and Mizar/Alcor (a double that becomes a triple at moderate magnification in Ursa Major), the open cluster M39 (“everyone’s fave it seemed” – L.S.) in Cygnus, and finally the Ring Nebula (M57) and the Double-Double in Lyra.

For myself, I celebrated IOMN early from the comfort of a window seat at 36,000 ft. With luck, I hope to be on the ground and running yet another scope for next year’s IOMN session!

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