The monthly Star Party is an event hosted by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit in which we provide telescopes for the public to view objects in the night time sky, as well as providing astronomy and astrophysics information to the general public.
At this month’s Star Party, you will be able to see the following: Saturn and Mars are both visible in the evening sky. Mars is our closest planetary neighbor, and appears red because of the abundance of iron oxide (rust) on its surface. This is due to the high content of iron in its rocks, and the fact that liquid water flowed on Mars in it’s past, but evaporated, leaving behind a rusted red desert. Saturn is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium gas, but it’s predominate features are its rings, which are made of trillions of pieces of rock and ice, ranging in size from a pebble to a house!
Also visible will be the Ring Nebula, a giant cloud of gas located 2300 light years away, in the constellation of Lyra. The most predominate object in the sky will be our own natural satellite, the Moon. It will be in its “Waning Gibbous” phase, where waning means that it is shrinking and headed towards a new moon (vs waxing when it is headed towards a full moon) and gibbous implies that is “swollen” (vs a crescent, which is when it’s a sliver).
Also visible will be the “Summer Triangle”, which is an imaginary triangle drawn between the stars Altair (in the constellation Aquila), Deneb (in the constellation Cygnus), and Vega (in the constellation Lyra).
So for additional information about the objects above and more, please come out to our Star Party and ask our astronomers! We look forward to seeing you!
* Next Star Parties
Saturday, January 10
Saturday, February 14
Saturday, March 14
Saturday, April 11
From dusk to 10:00 PM
Star Party Admission:
Members FREE; Non-members $2/adult and $1/child