We will see three planets and our moon in the next stargazing session on Monday morning, Feb. 1, starting at 5:30 AM, which is around dawn.
Overcast skies blocked our session on Sunday. It is impossible to predict the weather with certainty; to learn why, take Fluid Mechanics (physics 472/572) or Bayesian Analysis (physics 551).
This early morning session will be a real treat. We can see Saturn, still plenty high toward the southwest. Six of its famous satellites may be in view about the planet's equator, while Iapetus appears to the lower right.
Our Moon is the most dazzling object to view at night through the telescope. On Monday morning it is a waning gibbous, nearing the western horizon.
Mars will be setting as we arrive, in view to the unaided eye but probably out of the telescope's sight. Someday we'll have to catch it up close; but this morning belongs to Mercury.
The sun's closest planet will give its best view for a while on Monday morning around 7. Not to get our hopes too high: up just before sunrise, Mercury may not reach the telescope's sight line before solar glare washes it away.
Please dress warmly as the observatory is outdoors! While waiting for a turn to view you may wish to wait in the warmer hallway.
If the weather isn't clear then we will cancel. Twitter AlbanyStarGaze for updates.