The evening sky slowly changes from month to month. In September, Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay offers a look at the outer space through one of its infamous telescopes.

Stargazers begin outside with a brief introduction to the night sky as seen with the unaided eye.

From the dark confines of Yerkes Observatory, viewers can see clearly planets, constellations, hundreds of stars, occasional sporadic meteor streaks, the Milky Way, and, satellites such as the International Space Station. Officials also report that on occasion, visitors can see auroral displays extending like softly glowing curtains up from the northern horizon.

From high above in the northeast tower, visitors will also observe several celestial objects invisible to the unaided eye.

These may include M13 in Hercules, a spectacular star cluster; the lovely Ring Nebula, M57, which looks like a pale blue Fruit Loop; the Blue Snowball Nebula; and either distant Uranus or Neptune.

Each program is limited to up to 10 adults and children 12 and older.

Upcoming observing dates include Saturday, Sept. 15, Wednesday Sept. 26, Tuesday, Sept. 25 and Thursday, Sept. 27, from 8:30 to 10 p.m.

The charge is $25 per person.

Participants should bring a pair of binoculars to enhance the stargazing experience, and dress sensibly for the weather.

To make reservations for any of the scheduled dates, call Richard Dreiser at (262) 245-5555, extension 880, or email rdd@yerkes.uchicago.edu.

For information about regularly scheduled Saturday tours, weekday tours, and other events, visit http://astro.uchicago.edu/yerkes/

 

 
 

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