Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Despite a forecast of rain and / or snow for this weekend, I’m tentatively planning an open house at Stargazer Observatory from 8:00-10:00PM, Saturday April 16. The past two months have been chilly but ideal for our open houses. April is often a challenging month and May is usually worse. If the skies should clear, however, we will spend the majority of our night saying goodbye to the Orion Nebula and hello to the Hercules Cluster (M13). This is actually a good time to spot different types of star clusters. M13 and M3 are two good examples of globular clusters. These are groups of hundreds of thousands of tightly bound stars which reside in the halo of the Milky Way Galaxy. They are thought to be the remnants of our galaxy’s formation, as they contain mostly older stars. Sometimes, these stars collide, and fuse together to produce “blue stragglers” which are “young” stars mixed in among the rest. I often compare globular clusters to retirement communities where grandchildren occasionally play. I know that’s a bit of a stretch, but it works.
If it should clear, we’ll not only look at globular clusters, but we’ll also view the moon and Jupiter. Dress warmly as the dome and observation deck are not heated. Let’s hope for clear skies.
Front Range Community College-Larimer Campus