Kootenai Stargazers Astronomy Club logo (c) 1995

Kootenai Stargazers Astronomy Club

Calendar of Events

The Kootenai Stargazers Astronomy Club meets the third Friday of each month.

Upcoming Meetings and presentations

  • Our October meeting has just been cancelled (10/14/2020). Sorry for the late notice.

What's Up in the Night Sky

    Note: Observations are good for the lower 48 states, but more accurate for the Northwest Area.

  • This is the month for a Blue Moon; or two Full Moons in the same month. The first full moon occurred on Oct 1 and the second full moon occurs on Oct 31. The second full moon is called Blue Moon. The new moon occurs on Oct 16.

  • Oct 21-22: Orionids Meteor Shower. An average shower potentially producing up to 20 meteors per hour at the peak. The shower runs annually from Oct 2 to Nov 7, produced from comet Halley debris. It peaks this year on the night of the 21st and the morning of the 22nd. The waxing crescent Moon will set before midnight leaving dark skies. The hours for viewing are from midnight to morning light. Meteors will seem to radiate from the constellation Orion, or the southern sky.

  • Oct 29-30: Southern Taurids Meteor Shower. This shower generally only produces 5 to 10 meteors per hour; but is famous for a higher percentage of bright fireballs. This shower runs from Sept 20 to Nov 20. This shower peaks on the night of the 29th and the morning of the 30th. Unfortunately the nearly full moon will block out all but the brightest meteors. The best hours for viewing are from midnight to morning. The meteors will seem to radiate from the constellation Taurus towards the western part of the sky.

  • Mercury will be at the greatest western elongation on Nov 10. This is the best time to view since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

  • Mars will be visible all night in October and reaches its highest point in the sky about midnight. This time of excellent visibility coincides with opposition which occurs every two years when Mars is directly on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun and is also the time when Mars and Earth are closest together in their orbits. By the way, several nations have spacecrafts currently on their way to Mars. That includes NASA's Mars 2020 Mission scheduled to land in February.

  • Andromeda Galaxy, is now visible in the night sky. It is a “naked eye” galaxy, or you can see it with your own eyes even though it will appear as a fuzzy patch and just a mere approximately 2 million light years away. Binoculars are a good tool to view the galaxy. It will be located in the northeast section of the sky.

April 8, 2024 Next Total Solar Eclipse in the United States