by Pat Browne
Night Sky Autumn Observing sessions will begin this year on the first day of Autumn (Autumnal Equinox)
The 4 sessions will be devoted entirely to visual observing and will follow the pattern of viewing the Night Sky as it changes due to the phases in a full lunar cycle.
Our first session will happen around New Moon which allows us to view deep sky objects normally too faint to see on moonlit nights. Deep sky objects include special types of stars, star clusters, interstellar gas and dust, and galaxies.
Our subsequent 2 sessions will focus on the moon (Lunar Observing) and what can be observed during moonlit nights such as planets and bright stars. Finally we get back to Last Quarter phase of the moon, when we can return to observing the objects that are visible our autumnal Night Sky. We will be using small telescopes with the aid of a constellation chart shown below to locate nearby bright stars that lead us to our telescopic targets.