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Free Public Observing Night March 21, 2015

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 February 21st is in the constellation Aquarius setting at 5:49.


The Moon is a thin crescent this night in the constellation Pisces setting in the west at 9:00 p.m.. The Planet Uranus is very close to the Moon appearing at 0051'19" from each other.

See Comet Lovejoy

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is visible this night high in the northern sky in the constellation Perseus. Check it out through one of YCAS telescopes!

Planets Visible for Public Observing evening sky

Uranus is very close to the crescent Moon this evening having been occulted by the Moon right after sunset.

 Jupiter is in the constellation Cancer the Crab, located high in the eastern sky. You may catch a view of four of Jupiter's Moons IO, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto through YCAS telescope as seen below at 8:00 p.m.. By 9:00 the two moons IO and Europa become closer together.

Not visible during public observing are Neptune, Mars, Venus and Mercury having set in the west shortly after sunset. Saturn is in the eastern morning sky.

Mars and Venus will be setting in the western horizon and not visible as public observing begins but if you look just after sunset from your home, in the west you may catch a glimpse of these two planets very close together. They appear at only 0025'47" degrees apart. This is called a conjunction. The two planets are not really close but from our point of view from Earth they do appear close.


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 rising with Sirius the brightest star visible in our night sky. Taurus the Bull is high in west. Almost overhead 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.

Winters Circle-Brightest Winter Stars

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 February 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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