You Mean I Get To Go To The Observatory Now?
My tactic of setting up 2 viewing sessions at the end of August worked! Both nights were clear and I had 8 visitors on the 28th. They stayed quite late and had a great time! I hope to see them back. The 29th was also clear - eventually - after some rain and clouds earlier in the evening. I ended up doing some photos, and the best one can be seen on the photo page. September 5th was also clear, but had a great deal of smoke from a fire in northwestern Wyoming. We had 2 visitors from O'Neill that enjoyed the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn even though thge conditions weren't the best.
I scheduled viewing opportunities for September mostly concentrating on weekends so as to allow kids who have returned to school to attend on a non-school night. Soon I will be offering a listserv which will allow e-mails or texts to be sent to all subscribers (free). The text version will allow notification of impromtu sessions. I really want to share this wonderful facility/resource with local communities!
Bring a lawn chair if possible Please note these sessions are cancelled if the sky conditions/weather are not good. What does that mean? Well, (optical) telescopes can't see through clouds! It will need to be almost perfectly clear. The next potential problem is wind. If the wind velocity is more than about 10 mi/hr - that's too much! A telescope magnifies the size of the objects we view - and the effects of the wind! Please check the ClearSkyClock and weather links on the home page of this site! What if you're in doubt the observing session will take place? If it's not perfectly clear and calm, you can call (308) 293-5776 before leaving for the session!
From O'Neill Nebraska take US HWY 281 north to Road 883 (Johnson's Three Eagles). Turn left (west) 2 miles to 490 Avenue. Turn right (north) 0.6 mile to the red gate. Proceed north of the gate another few hundred feet. You will see the entrance on the right. We will have you park along the fence near the entrance. Be advised there is an electric fence on 3 sides of the building location. I will be putting up signs on the highway and at Ave 490 that say "Star Party" Please call or e-mail to register so I know how many people to plan for!
September 5th at 8:30 PM - This viewing session will feature a 1st qtr moon. Jupiter and Saturn are also well placed in the south for viewing. We'll start with the moon and planets, and have a constellation tour as it gets darker.
September 20th at 8:30 PM - This session occurs after 3rd qtr moon which means it will rise late in the night and allow us nice dark skies! After a constellation tour we'll explore some deep sky objects - galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Oh, we can look at Jupiter and Saturn too :)
September 27th at 8:30 PM - Same agenda as for the 20th.
If you want to know about all Tri-City and O'Neill Area astronomical opportunities available free to the public this month, check here!
If you would like to help us move, call us at 308-293-5776 before 10:00 PM daily or contact by e-mail.
We look forward to seeing you!
When visiting the observatory, here are some rules/recommendations you should consider:
1) Please stay in or close to the observatory. This
facility is located on private property, which is not mine. Please
show your thanks to the owners by keeping the area clean and
2) Please, while in the observatory, don't touch anything unless you ask and/or have been instructed as to the proper use of the instrument!
3) Bring a lawn chair for each member of your group, that is if you plan on staying a while, as we hope you will. If it is clear, please keep in mind that it often takes a while to find objects for you to look at. Often there are others in line to see these things as well. If it is cloudy, you are welcome to pull up a chair and ask as many questions as you like. We have some chairs, but not many.
4) Bring a flashlight for dark-sky observing sessions! (If the moon is in the sky, you may not need it.) You will need one of these to safely navigate from your car to the building. We purposely don't have any lights in the area of the facility. Once in the building, we generally ask that you don't use your flashlight (with its white bulb) unless you ask. We have red lights which will help you see where you are going inside the building!
5) No smoking is allowed in or around the building!
6) In winter, please bring plenty of warm clothing! This can't be over stressed. Standing still in the cold is nothing like being active in it! Wear several layers and don't forget those gloves/mittens and something for your head. There is no such thing as glamour when it comes to staying warm! There is no heat in the observatory!
7) In Summer - don't forget the mosquito repellant!
8) Be advised there are no bathroom facilities in the observatory!
9) No boisterous behavior within the observatory, or around it, will be tolerated!
10) Please don't disturb the cattle. If you like them, admire them from a distance!
Worried about the threat of light pollution in your area? For more information on it and how you can help educate others to enjoy lights AND the night sky - check out our light pollution page and the link page!
Send comments to: email@example.com
Keep Looking Around!
Mark Urwiller - Web Page Administrator
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