Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Stargazing

The weather is cooling down!  Finally!

Wanna see the greatest show from Earth?  Look up at night (in a dark area)

Cassini at Enceladus

Saturn's icy moon Enceladus (background) slides behind Dione in this series of images shot by the Cassini spacecraft. Cassini is scheduled to make its closest approach to Saturn's moon Enceladus in several years on October 28, passing just 30 miles (50 km) above the icy moon.

Stargazing Summary

A giant story unfolds across the evening skies of October. It involves Andromeda and four surrounding constellations. They tell us of the mother who angered the gods, the father who ordered Andromeda sacrificed to appease them, the sea monster that tried to destroy her, and the hero who saved her. And in the morning sky, Venus, Jupiter, and Mars all congregate within the borders of Leo, adding some zest to the chilly autumn mornings.
More stargazing information »

Radio Program Highlights

If you want to start hearing the StarDate program in your area, you can request a station to carry our program by emailing the request to

October 1-4: Cosmic Static. A sort of radio "static" fills the universe — the afterglow of the Big Bang. We'll have details on the cosmic microwave background, plus two rare stellar gems and much more.

October 5-11: Moon Meanderings. The Moon passes by some impressive lights in the early morning sky this week, including four of the five planets that are easily visible to the unaided eye. Join us for the Moon and some beautiful companions, plus much more.

October 12-18: Planets Galore. Astronomers keep finding planets in other star systems, and we'll have details on a few of them — including one that may be covered with giant volcanoes. Join us for planets in and beyond our solar system, plus much more.

October 19-25: Bright Siblings. One of the most impressive stars in our region of the galaxy is actually two stars, and both of them are monsters. And they're both destined to get a lot more monstrous as they age. Join us for Eta Carina and much more.

October 26-November 1: Ghostly Messengers. The particles known as neutrinos are hard to catch — they zip right through everything. Yet it's important to catch them because they come directly from the heart of the Sun, revealing details about how stars work. Join us for neutrinos and more.

Program schedule »

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Coming Up In StarDate Magazine

In our November/December issue, we'll bring you up to date on a plethora of research projects working to understand the Sun. And we'll explain how astronomers from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment used Europe's great cathedrals as solar observatories.

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StarDate Clearance Sale

Add to your collection of astronomical goodies with these great products, which we're offering for a limited time at reduced prices. They also make great Christmas gifts, so you can get your shopping done early and easily!

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Ask An Astronomer

Curious about astronomy? Have a burning question about the universe that you'd like answered? We are a team of graduate students, postdocs, researchers and faculty affiliated with the University of Texas and McDonald Observatory. We welcome questions about astronomy from K-12 students, teachers and the general public!

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About SkyTips

SkyTips is a monthly email newsletter for visitors to McDonald Observatory and StarDate Online. Each issue features stargazing highlights, upcoming StarDate radio program descriptions, and other news. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and family.

SkyTips is a publication of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory Education and Outreach Office, 2609 University Ave. A2100, Austin, TX 78712. Reproduction of SkyTips content is permitted with proper credit given to McDonald Observatory.

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