Halloween: Trick or Treat with your Telescope!

by | Oct 31, 2016 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fantastic Comet #ISON pumpkin from astrophotographer Will Gater. Credit: Will Gater

Fantastic Comet #ISON pumpkin from astrophotographer Will Gater. Credit: Will Gater

Today is Halloween, and many of you will have little monsters, Elsas, Storm Troopers, Batmen and SuperGirls coming to your door. Last year, Mike Simmons at Astronomers Without Borders pointed out this is one heck of a great opportunity to pull out a telescope. As a matter of fact, NASA and JPL even encourages Trick-or-Treat Stargazing, and have a an article with great advice here fo how to do it and keep your equipment safe. The Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society have their own how-to post here, and they even suggest space-themed candy bars (Milky Way, anyone?). You can even have a little fun and incorporate silly aliens into your show, like author Rachael Graves did at her house, to entice and encourage her little visitors to peek through the telescope.

Member of the Astronomers of Verde Valley show a costumed visitor a view of the daytime Moon at the Star Party for Clarkdale Halloween event. Credit: J.D. Maddy

Member of the Astronomers of Verde Valley show a costumed visitor a view of the daytime Moon at the Star Party for Clarkdale Halloween event.
Credit: J.D. Maddy

Currently, Mars, Saturn and Venus are all in the evening sky, and there is as close to no moon as one can ask for. Got a scope? This is a good time to inflict your hobby on the neighborhood kids (but do also give them candy, because candy). And if you want to truly be awesome, have a Teal pumpkin and some non-food treats for your little visitors that might have food allergies!

Want to know what’s up tonight? Even if you have bright skies, there are likely a few things you can observe. Here are a few resources:

  • WHAT’S UP IN YOUR SKY?
  • Sky at a Glance
  • Heavens Above
  • What’s Up In Tonight’s Sky?
  • Tonight’s Sky
  • HubbleSite’s Tonight’s Sky
  • So go out tonight have have some spooky star-gazing fun!

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