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Free Public Observing Night April 25, 2015

Astronomy Day Activities. See: Astronomy Day Page

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

At John Rudy Park, York, PA. Observatory

The York County Astronomical Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science of astronomy.

Expand your mind by taking in the expanse of the universe.

Come and view the night skies with us through one of our telescopes and let our experienced members guide you on a tour of celestial wonders, including stars, planets, nebulae, and the moon. You are also invited to bring your own telescope and share your experiences with other amateur astronomers. Star Charts are available to help your exploration of the nighttime sky.

For all observing activities at John Rudy Park, if the weather is questionable, please check our voice message at 949-963-9147 for notice of any late cancellation or for an updated status, check this website.

To Observatory See: Directions

 If it is clear or mostly clear, the activity will 
occur as scheduled. If it is completely cloudy, raining or snowing, the activity will be cancelled.

For information on events, scheduling a private party star watch, directions to the observing site, or for general Society information please email YCAS at: E-Mail YCAS

The 2015 Night Sky for Public Observing.



The Sun March 21st is in the constellation Pisces setting at 7:18 p.m.


The Moon is a thin crescent this night in the constellation Pisces setting in the west at 9:07 p.m. Venus is about 12 degrees above the Moon. The planet Mars this night is very close to the Moon appearing at about a degree from the Moon, actually at 1 degree, 31' arcminutes and 36" arcseconds apart. Uranus is 7 degrees  below the crescent Moon this evening.

See Comet Lovejoy

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is visible this night at 6.1 magnitude high in the northern sky in the constellation Cassiopeia, about 1 and a half degrees from Messier-103 an open star cluster. At coordinates RA: 01h 23m 35s Dec: +6214'30 at 9:00 p.m.. Check it out through one of YCAS telescopes!

Planets Visible for Public Observing evening sky

Venus shines brightly in the constellation Aries the Ram above Mars and Uranus which are in the constellation Pisces the Fish and all three planets will be visible above the western horizon after sunset.

Venus through a telescope appears at 81.09% phase. See below image of Venus as it will appear through a telescope.

 Jupiter is high in the east in the constellation Cancer the Crab. You can see the Great Red Spot of Jupiter before it rotates out of view at about 8:40 p.m. this night. Jupiter's moons Ganymede, Europa, Io and Callisto are visible this night. The moon Europa begins transit of Jupiter, (which means it crosses in front of Jupiter) begins at 9:30 p.m. and Its shadow will follow at 11:20 pm. See below image of position of Jupiter's Moons at 9:00 p.m..


The winter constellations are slowly departing and the spring constellations are rising in the March evening sky as twilight falls. As public observing begins Gemini the Twins are visible high overhead. Leo the Lion is rising in the east.. Below and to the right (west) of Gemini is Orion the Hunter where, Messier 42, the Great Nebula is located in Orion. Below Orion is Canis Major with Sirius, the brightest star visible in our night sky. Taurus the Bull is high in west. Setting in the west is the Winter Circle, sometimes called the Winter Hexagon, an asterism which is just a recognizable star pattern containing the group of bright stars Capella, Aldebaran, Castor, Pollux, Procyon, Rigel and Sirius. See below.

Auriga the Charioteer with its bright star Capella is high in the northwestern sky and below Auriga lies the constellation Perseus. Low in the northwest is the setting constellation Andromeda the Princess of Ethiopia where Messier-31 The Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy which is the closest galaxy to Earth. Cassiopeia the Queen of of Ethiopia is in the north north west sky. The constellation Cepheus, King of of Ethiopia lies below Cassiopeia. Ursa Major the larger she Bear also known as the Big Dipper is in the northeast sky. Come explore these constellations and the stars and galaxies with YCAS astronomers.

View the March 21, 2015  Night Sky Below

North - South - East - West - Zenith

 Take a memorable tour with members of the York County Astronomical Society of Galaxies, planets, the moon and the constellations of the night sky.

Stars and Constellations Astronomical Pronunciation Guide

Directions to Observatory

See: Directions

Explore the Wonders of your Universe

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Known Universe


Our sun is almost one million miles in diameter and a million earths would fit in it.

It takes light eight minutes to reach us from the sun. 

The last star shown in video is VY Canis Majoris which takes light about 5000 years to reach us that is light traveling at 186,000 miles per second x 60 seconds in a minute x 60 minutes in an hour x 365 days in a year x 5000 years. VY Canis Majoris is (almost 2 billion ) 1.7 billion miles in diameter. 


 What does light pollution look like?

What does your nighttime sky look like? Try this fun interactive game to see how light pollution affects the stars you see at night: 

Light Pollution also see: Globe At Night

International Dark Sky Association

See Weather and Directions map below.


Directions to Observatory

See: Directions

The GPS coordinates of the observatory are: N40.024400 W076.704700



The York County Astronomical Society holds a public observing session every month, check this website for times. 

The club's telescopes will be used to show the public many of the fascinating objects that are up in the nighttime sky. We will also be showing people how to use Star charts to identify the stars and constellations that are up in the nighttime sky. The public is encouraged to bring their own telescopes, if they have one, to learn how to use them more effectively. If you are interested in buying a telescope, this is a great place to ask questions.

For information on events, scheduling a private party star watch, directions to the observing site, or for general Society information please email YCAS at: E-Mail YCAS Membership applications are available upon request.

Contact us for Scouts Astronomy Merit badge program.

Please Observe Below

While on the observatory's premises: no smoking, food, pets (except guide dogs) or flash photography is permitted, thank you. In accordance with the ADA, those with disabilities who wish to gain access within York County Parks should telephone the County of York human services offices at (949-963-9147).

The York County Astronomical Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science of astronomy to all concerned Unless otherwise advertised, Most star watches are held at our observatory, located in John Rudy County Park, at 400 Mundis Race Road in York County, Pennsylvania, 17402 , they are free and open to the public. If you have a red-filtered flashlight please bring it along. 


YCAS SCHEDULE See: YCAS Schedule page for more dates

Need help with your telescope? See New Telescope Clinic.

Check out the new show at the YCAS Planetarium. Go to Planetarium link.

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