Saddleback Butte State Park- Comet Pan-STARRS Viewing Party!
Park: Saddleback Butte SP
The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club and the Save Saddleback Committee will host a splendid vernal evening viewing of Comet Pan-STARRS, Jupiter, Saturn and other exciting night sky objects on Saturday March 23 at 7 p.m., at Saddleback Butte State Park. Telescopes will be set up for clear viewing of objects, with local astronomers available to answer questions.
In early March 2013, Comet Pan-STARRS became visible to the naked eye in the night skies over the Northern Hemisphere, appearing similar in shape and brightness to a star with a trailing tail. Although a faint naked-eye object, the comet can be easily enjoyed with binoculars.
This is the first of possibly two naked-eye comets coming this year, both of which are known as sungrazers as a result of the closeness of their orbits around our Sun. Due to the nature of Comet Pan-STARRS orbit, it is believed to be a “fresh comet” from our solar system’s distant Oort Cloud, traveling for the first time past our Sun. As the comet heats up, gases trail off of the moving celestial object, which then reflect sunlight to become visible within our night sky.
Come and enjoy an evening of dark skies and celestial splendor! Dress warm and bring your own binoculars as well. Donations will be accepted at the event for the Save Saddleback Fund, to help keep Saddleback Butte State Park open for public use. For more information, visit www.SaveSaddleback.org or www.facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.
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