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Public Observing December 10, 2016

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

At John Rudy Park, York, PA. Observatory

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.

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 December 10, 2016


The Sun is in the constellation Ophiuchus the "Serpent Holder" and sets at 4:42 pm.


The evening sky finds the Moon high in the south in the constellation Cetus the "Whale" and is at phase 87.53% lit. The Moon sets at 2:58 a.m.. See: Moon Map.


Venus is in the western evening sky in the constellation Capricornus and sets at 8:00 pm as public observing begins. Venus is at phase 65.19.


Mars is just visible low in the southwest after sunset located in the constellation Capricornus the "Sea Goat". Mars sets at 9:41 p.m.


Neptune is in the south southwest in the constellation Aquarius the "Water Carrier". Neptune sets at 11:04 pm.


Uranus is high in the south southeast sky located in the constellation Pisces the "Fishes". Uranus sets at 2:35 am.


The winter constellations are rising in the east. Orion the "Hunter", Gemini the "Twins" and well above the eastern horizon is Taurus the "Bull" with its bright red star Aldebaran. About 13 degrees above Aldebaran is  the open star cluster M-45 also known as the "Pleiades" or "Seven Sisters". 

In the south southwest are the constellations Cetus the "Whale", Pisces the "Fish" and almost overhead at 8pm is Pegasus the "Winged Horse". Above Pegasus is the constellation Andromeda, the "Princess of Ethiopia" with its magnificent  spiral galaxy M-31. the famous Andromeda galaxy, which is our nearest large neighbor galaxy.

Setting in the west are the stars consisting of the constellations Lyra with its bright star Vega, Cygnus with its bright star Deneb and Aquila with the bright star Altair are low in the west. 

High in the north lies Perseus the "Rescuer of Andromeda" with the the beautiful Perseus Double Cluster consisting of two open star cluster NGC 869 & NGC 884. The constellation of Cassiopeia, the "Queen". The Big Dipper lies horizontal and is partly visible above the northern horizon. Above 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.

View the December 10, 2016  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.

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