Observe the Moon event Saturday
Celebrate International Observe the Moon Night with friends and family at a celestial event with First Miracle winery and Stargeezer Astronomy on Saturday evening.
The Observe the Moon wine-tasting party will be hosted by astronomer “StarGeezer” Mark Steven Williams with wine tasting at 6 p.m. followed by an indoor “What’s Up” presentation then outdoor observing with a giant telescope. The kitchen will be open.
The “What’s Up” presentation will preview the evening’s star-gazing activities, highlight astronomy and space news with quizzes for prizes, including framed astronomy prints or a bottle of First Miracle wine.
A highlight of the evening will be the “conjunction” of the four-day-old moon and planet Venus.
“A very slender crescent moon will be hanging less than 3 degrees above and left of Venus,” according to Williams. “The dark area of the lunar disc will be aglow with earth-shine, and the pair will be surrounded by a beautiful field of stars in constellation Scorpius.”
Other telescope observing targets for the evening will be planets Jupiter and Saturn plus constellation tours.
“We may catch Jupiter’s ‘Giant Red Spot’ and M31, the Andromeda galaxy,” Williams said.
Attendees should bring a jacket and lawn chair/lounger.
“Relaxing in a lawn lounger is the most comfortable way to view the sky when not at the telescope,” Williams said.
The telescope will be set up with a smartphone adapter which will allow users to image the moon and planets with their phone.
Rain or cloudy weather will cancel the event. A “go/no go” decision will be reviewed 48 hours prior to the event. A special observing/sky condition app is used for forecasting. Check the StarGeezer Astronomy Facebook page Friday or early Saturday for a decision.
Join Goldie and Andy Roberts, the First Miracle crew and Williams for an evening of wine tasting, celestial wonders and celebration.
Admission is free; however, reservations are recommended.
First Miracle winery is located at 8518 South Kays Chapel Road, Fredericksburg; the phone number is 1-865-660-2488.
Also, tonight (Wednesday), provided the sky is clear, there will be a pretty good (68-degree high) visible pass of the International Space Station between 7:50 and 7:57 northwest to east-southeast.
For more science/astronomy information about upcoming celestial events. visit the Stargeezer Astronomy’s Facebook page.