Planetarium Learning Center


YCAS Schedule

Public Observing




Tonight's Sky

Mason Dixon Star Party

New Telescope Users Help

Members Websites


Astronomy Classes

Press Release

Lunar Eclipse

Star Party and Astronomy Links




Back to YCAS Home

Public Observing April 8, 2017

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

At John Rudy Park, York, PA. Observatory

Upcoming Astronomy Day April 29, 2017

The York County Astronomical Society (YCAS) will offer a day long slate of activities for children and adults and a night of Public Observing at John C. Rudy County Park for Astronomy Day on Saturday, April 29, 2017. See: Information

There will be an Astronomy Program in the Observatory if cloudy.

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 717 759 YCAS (9227) 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 changed to an astronomical presentation in observatory.

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

 Visible for Public Observing Night Sky April 8, 2017

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak may be visible on public observing night in the north northeast constellation of Draco 'The Dragon" This comet may be observed as a fuzzy binocular object. Stay tuned to see how bright this comet becomes!


The Sun is in the constellation Pisces "The Fishes"  rising at 6:39 am and setting at 7:39 pm.


Click on Moon to enlarge image.

The evening sky finds the Moon rising at 5:15 pm in the east located on the constellation border of Leo the "Lion" and moves into Virgo as the night progresses. The Moon is visible for most of the night setting at 5:31 am.The April Full Moon is popularly known as The Full Worm Moon among other names. Phase of the Moon on April 8, 2017: Waxing Gibbous with 95.14% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated. The Full Moon for April occurs on April 11, 2017 at 06:08 pm.


Mercury is low in the western sky right after sunset and is located in the constellation Aries The Ram. Arrive at public observing at 8:00 pm to see this planet before it is too low in the sky to be observed. Mercury sets at 9:02. Mercury appears as a small crescent through a telescope at a phase of 15.98% lit..


Mars is visible low in the west after sunset located in the constellation Aries "The Ram". Mars sets at 10:21 p.m. Mars is disappointing as seen through a telescope now as the planets disk size has become smaller due to the increasing distance from Earth.


Jupiter rises in the east at 7:22 pm located in the constellation Virgo The Maiden. Four of Jupiter's Moons are visible at 10:00 pm as seen above.


Leo "The Lion" constellation, a sign of the coming spring is above the eastern horizon. The constellation Cancer "The Crab" lies just to the right of Leo with it's pretty open star  cluster M-44 also known as the Beehive cluster. To the right of Cancer is constellation Gemini 'the Twins" high in the west southwest. The winter constellations Orion "The Hunter" and Canis Major "The Larger Dog" with the brightest star visible in the northern hemisphere is Sirius in Canis Major located low in the west southwest sky. Taurus the "Bull" with its bright red star Aldebaran are visible low in the western sky. About 13 degrees to the right of Aldebaran is  the open star cluster M-45 also known as the "Pleiades" or "Seven Sisters". Visible low in the northwest lies Perseus the "Rescuer of Andromeda" with the beautiful Perseus Double Cluster consisting of two open star cluster NGC 869 & NGC 884. The constellation Cassiopeia, known as "The Queen" is low on the horizon in the north northwest sky. The Big Dipper is standing on its handle and is visible high above the northeast horizon. To the left (west) of the Big Dipper is the Little Dipper which contains Polaris the north star. See How to use the Big Dipper to find Polaris the north star. See: Finding North Star. These are just a few of the many constellations visible this night.

The Winter Circle is is still visible this month low in the western sky this night, can you find it? It is also sometimes called the Winter Hexagon It is a big circle of bright stars on the dark dome of a winter night. At the center of the Winter Circle, you’ll find center Orion’s bright red star Betelgeuse. Rigel, Aldebaran, Capella, Procyon, Sirius, Castor and Pollux are the bright stars that make up the large, circular pattern. The winter circle is asterism. An asterism is a recognizable star pattern.

View the April 8, 2017, 2017  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.

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.

Back to YCAS Home