Fox park observatory open house: (Weather permitting)
The March dates are March 3, 17, 18, and 31. Astrophotography night is March 3rd. Check their website for details
Click for Fox Park Observatory Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Abrams Planetarium programs:
Family show: Ice Worlds
Feature show: One World, One Sky
Astronomical Horizons Lecture:
March 16, 2017
"Dark Matter and Beyond: The Future of the Large Hadron Collider"
Reinhardt Schwienhorst, Associate Professor, High Energy Physics-Experimental
Venus is still very prominent in evening sky as this month opens, setting in a dark sky nearly 3 hours after sunset on March 1. By March 18, Venus sets just over an hour after sunset, and by Mar. 22, Venus drops below the horizon just over half an hour after sunset. By that date, Venus is already rising ahead of the Sun, and itís possible to observe it at both dusk and dawn for a few days (see table below). Venus overtakes Earth about every 19.2 months, or five times in just under 8 years, but when the passage occurs in March, as it will every 8 years for the rest of the 21st Century, Venus passes an unusually wide 8 to 9 degrees north of the Sun, giving us a few days of overlapping visibility as morning and evening 'star'. Through a telescope or even 7-power binoculars, the planet displays a crescent, best observed in daytime, or in bright twilight, just after sunset through March 24, and just before sunrise beginning March 18. Venus appears 16 percent full and 0.8 arcminute across on Mar. 1, to 8 percent full and 0.9 arcminute across on Mar. 8, and then 5 percent full on Mar. 14, and less than 2 percent full by Mar. 20. Venus displays its thinnest phase, just 1.0 percent full and nearly 1.0 arcminute across, on March 24 and 25. (One arcminute = 1/60 of a degree.)
Try locating Venus in daylight when itís highest and due south. Here are weekly data for Wednesdays in East Lansing: On Mar. 1, Venus is 58 degrees up in S at 2:36 p.m. EST; on Mar. 8, it is 59 degrees up at 2:06 p.m. EST; on Mar. 15, 59 degrees up at 2:29 p.m. EDT; Mar. 22, 58 degrees up at 1:47 p.m. EDT (9 degrees almost directly above midday Sun); and on Mar. 29, 55 degrees up at 1:05 p.m. EDT. Especially on the days surrounding March 22, set up your telescope in the shade on the north side of a building, so you can sweep safely for Venus above the securely hidden Sun. Before you sweep, sure to pre-focus the telescope on a distant object.