POTSDAM – The night sky observations each Friday at the Reynolds Astronomical Observatory near the Potsdam Airport are resuming Aug. 30 after being suspended in May for equipment repairs.
The festivities will begin at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Everyone is welcome to bring binoculars and a comfortable lawn chair, if you have them.
At this time of year, the planets Venus and Saturn are coming out first thing at dusk, according to astronomer Bruce McClure of Norwood.
The Friday night observations are frequently accompanied by explanations of what’s happening in the night sky.
“Venus follows the Sun beneath the western horizon at nightfall and Saturn does likewise around mid-evening. So you have to catch these two gems soon after sunset. Night owls can watch the planet Jupiter, and then the planet Mars, rising in the east during the wee hours between midnight and dawn,” McClure said.
“But you don't have to be a night owl to see many celestial treasures first thing at nightfall. The Summer Triangle points out the band of stars that we call the Milky Way. Learn how to star-hop to the many star clusters and nebulae littering this famous roadway of stars. If all goes well, the nova that recently erupted in the constellation Delphinus, the brightest nova since 2007, may still be visible to the naked eye - or at least in binoculars.”
To get to Reynolds Observatory, drive about a mile east of Potsdam on Hwy. 11B, until reaching Hatch Road by the Potsdam Airport. Turn left onto Hatch Road, and go for about a half mile, until reaching a sharp bend in the road. You'll see the Reynolds Observatory sign on the right-hand side. Park outside the gate and walk on in.