Equinox sunset watch, other star parties set for Saturday

Things have been on the quiet side here at Seattle Astronomy of late, at least in part due to the fact that our extraordinary run of lovely weather has meant spending a good bit of time at the telescope looking at stuff rather than just sitting at the computer writing about it. I’m lucky that my cats like to wake me up at around 4:30 a.m., when Jupiter is high in the sky and Venus is a shining beacon in the east!

In addition, I’ve missed a few space and astronomy events lately. I was all set to go see a talk about black holes last Thursday when my sweetie lured me out to a winemaker dinner at a favorite local restaurant, Phoenecia, which turned out to be fantastic, and I didn’t regret passing up the chance to hear Caleb Scharf at Town Hall Seattle.

There are some nice astronomy events on the calendar for this weekend, and while there actually are a few clouds in the weekend forecast at the moment, the weather looks pretty favorable for stargazing.

Autumn officially arrives at 7:49 a.m. on Saturday; as you may have noticed its getting pretty dark by 8 p.m. these days. Solar system ambassador Alice Enevoldsen, proprietor of Alice’s Astro Info, will hold her traditional Equinox Sunset watch to view the first sunset of fall, at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 22 at Solstice Park in West Seattle. The charts list sunset at 7:09 that evening, but West Seattle sometimes marches to a different drummer, and sunset seems typically a bit earlier at that spot. Full scoop at Alice’s Astro Info.

Saturday also is the day for the Seattle Astronomical Society‘s monthly free public star parties. These are held at two locations: Green Lake, and Paramount Park in Shoreline. They’ll be around setting up by 7 p.m. or so. Details on the SAS website.

If you go, make sure you get a look at the Moon. Saturday is International Observe the Moon Night. The Paramount Park star party is the only formally registered event for IOMN in Washington.

On Sunday, Sept. 23 the Museum of Flight in Seattle will have something of an extravaganza of space, as a dozen astronauts, cosmonauts, and mission controllers participate in a couple of panel discussions about space missions. The first, at 11 a.m., will be about the Apollo Moon missions and the Skylab program. The second, at 1 p.m., will focus on the Apollo-Soyuz test project and international space program. A book signing follows at 2 p.m. See the full lineup at the MOF website.

The Seattle Astronomy Calendar tracks space and astronomy events happening around the area.