Mercury’s Greatest Elongation

Mercury’s Greatest Elongation

Tuesday (September 14) 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Mercury’s orbit lies closer to the Sun than the Earth’s, meaning it always appears close to the Sun and is lost in the Sun’s glare much of the time.

It is observable for only a few weeks each time it reaches the greatest separation from the Sun – moments referred to as greatest elongation. These apparitions repeat roughly once every 3–4 months, taking place alternately in the morning and evening skies, depending on whether Mercury lies to the east of the Sun or to the west.

When it lies to the east, it rises and sets a short time after the Sun and is visible in the early evening twilight. On September 14 it will have a 26.8° eastern elongation. Observing conditions will be better at lower latitudes, from where it will be setting approximately 1.5 hours after the sun.

Come out to the Schoolyard Observatory where we will take a trip to the Western field and view Mercury through binoculars and a few field telescopes. After which we will explore other planets and our moon through our telescopes.

This 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are transferable for any observatory nightly event in cases of poor weather conditions.

Have questions? Please contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Safety Precautions: During events, 6-foot social distancing will be maintained, and wearing face masks are recommended but not mandatory. Telescope eyepiece and ladder handles will be sanitized before and after each use. Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather, and plan for the blood-sucking flying insects.

Purchase Tickets Here or call 262-552-8196.

Perseids Meteor Shower II

Perseids Meteor Shower II

Thursday (August 12) 11:15 pm – 1:15 pm

This year, the Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak on the nights of Thursday, August 12, and Friday, August 13. In recent years, the moon has made it difficult to view the shower, but that won’t be the case in 2021. The Perseids’ peak comes just a few days after a new moon. On August 12 and 13, a dim waxing crescent moon will set early in the evening, leaving dark skies and perfect stargazing conditions. You can expect to see up to 100 shooting stars per hour on these nights.

Reserve your tickets for The Schoolyard Observatory Perseids Meteor shower event and enjoy a relaxing display of the meteors as you lay back in our zero gravity chairs. Tickets for this event go fast so reserve yours today.

Each 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are transferable for any observatory nightly event in cases of poor weather conditions.

Have questions? Please contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Safety Precautions: During events, 6-foot social distancing will be maintained, and wearing facial masks are recommended but not mandatory. Telescope eyepiece and ladder handles will be sanitized before and after each use. Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather, and plan for the blood-sucking flying insects.

Purchase Tickets Here or call 262-552-8196.

Perseids Meteor Shower II

Perseids Meteor Shower I

Thursday (August 12) 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

This year, the Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak on the nights of Thursday, August 12, and Friday, August 13. In recent years, the moon has made it difficult to view the shower, but that won’t be the case in 2021. The Perseids’ peak comes just a few days after a new moon. On August 12 and 13, a dim waxing crescent moon will set early in the evening, leaving dark skies and perfect stargazing conditions. You can expect to see up to 100 shooting stars per hour on these nights.

Reserve your tickets for The Schoolyard Observatory Perseids Meteor shower event and enjoy a relaxing display of the meteors as you lay back in our zero gravity chairs. Tickets for this event go fast so reserve yours today.

Each 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are transferable for any observatory nightly event in cases of poor weather conditions.

Have questions? Please contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Safety Precautions: During events, 6-foot social distancing will be maintained, and wearing facial masks are recommended but not mandatory . Telescope eyepiece and ladder handles will be sanitized before and after each use. Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather, and plan for the blood-sucking flying insects.

Purchase Tickets Here or call 262-552-8196.

Virgo Supercluster June 2021

Virgo Supercluster June 2021

Saturday (June 5) 9:30 pm – 11:30 pm

The Milky Way sits near the middle of an assembly of galaxies called the Local Group. This gathering, 10 million light-years wide, lives on the edge of an even larger collection of galaxy clumps called the Local, or Virgo, Supercluster.

As telescopes became more powerful, astronomers could take larger surveys, cataloging more galaxies and their motions, forming a bigger picture: galaxies concentrated along a plane in space. Just as most of the Milky Way’s stars reside in a thin disk, so do most of the galaxies in the Local Supercluster lie along the supercluster’s equator. The center of our supercluster shares a spot in the sky with the constellation Virgo.

Come out to the Schoolyard Observatory as we take you on a trip to our “closest” neighbors within the Virgo Supercluster.

Each 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are transferable for any observatory nightly event in cases of poor weather conditions.

Have questions? Please contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Safety Precautions: During events, 6-foot social distancing will be maintained, and wearing a facial mask will be required. Telescope eyepiece and ladder handles will be sanitized before and after each use. Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather, and plan for the blood-sucking flying insects.

Purchase tickets here or call 262-552-8196.

Virgo Supercluster June 2021

Time Travel Through the Universe May 2021

Friday (May 14) 9:30 pm – 11:30 pm

When you gaze up at the night sky, through the veil of stars and the plane of the Milky Way close by, you can’t help but feel small before the grand abyss of the Universe that lies beyond. Even though nearly all of them are invisible to our eyes, our observable Universe, extending tens of billions of light-years in all directions, contains a fantastically large number of galaxies within it.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant object readily visible to the naked eye. It is 2.5 million light-years away. The light from it that we see right now is 2.5 million years old. We are therefore seeing the Andromeda Galaxy as it was at a time long before modern humans existed!

Come out to The Schoolyard Observatory and we will take you on a tour of visible galaxies going back in time millions of years.

Take turns looking through our 16-inch telescope at binary stars, dim planets, distant galaxies, and other sky objects. Between individual views in the observatory dome, receive a guided sky tour standing outside under the stars to appreciate the broader picture of what you see through the telescope.

Each 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are good for any evening observatory event and can reschedule based on weather to fit individual schedules.

Have questions? Please contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Purchase tickets here or call 262-552-8196.

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower May 2021

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower May 2021

Friday (May 7) 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

The Eta Aquariids, also sometimes known as the Eta Aquarids, are one of two meteor showers from Halley’s comet. Its sister shower, the Orionids, will peak in October. Specks from the Eta Aquariids streak through the sky at about 148,000 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest meteor showers. Its display is better seen from the Southern Hemisphere where people normally enjoy between 20 and 30 meteors per hour during its peak. The Northern Hemisphere tends to see about half as many.

Come out to The Schoolyard Observatory and enjoy a relaxing evening as we sit back in our anti-gravity chairs, watch the meteors fall as we point out other interesting night sky objects.

Each 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are transferable for any observatory nightly event in cases of poor weather conditions.

Have questions? Please contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Purchase tickets here, or call 262-552-8196.