"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"

 

The 2016 Bootleg Star Party dates have been set!

The 2016 Spring Bootleg Star Party will be held on June 3rd-5th

And .....

The 2016 Fall Bootleg Star Party will be held on September 30th-October 2nd 

 

CLICK HERE for a copy of the 2016 Spring Bootleg Star Party Registration Form

Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, May 24th. 

All forms must be postmarked no later than May 24th to qualify for early registration.

Map and Directions here...

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Texas Star Party 2009

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for April 2016   (from skymaps.com)
 
6 Moon very near Venus (16 from Sun, morning sky) at 8h UT. Daytime occultation (very thin crescent Moon) from Europe, northern Africa, and western Russia. Mag. -3.9.
Occultations of Venus in 2016 (IOTA)
7 New Moon at 11:24 UT. Start of lunation 1154.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
7 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 18h UT (357,163 km; angular size 33.5').
8 Moon near Mercury (16 from Sun, evening sky) at 13h UT. Mag. -1.0. Very low on the western horizon.
10 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 6h UT.
10 Moon very near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 23h UT. Daytime occultation from North America. Reappearance visible after sunset from NE USA.
Occultation of Aldebaran (IOTA)
14 First Quarter Moon at 3:59 UT.
15 Moon near Beehive cluster (evening sky) at 5h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
17 Moon near Regulus (evening sky) at 0h UT.
18 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 3h UT. Mag. -2.3. The two brightest objects in the evening sky.
18 Mercury at greatest elongation (20 east of Sun, evening sky) at 14h UT. Mag. +0.2.
20 Mars 7.2 W of Saturn (135 from Sun, morning sky) at 4h UT. Mags. -1.1 and +0.3.
21 Moon near Spica (midnight sky) at 12h UT.
21 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 16h UT (distance 406,351 km; angular size 29.4').
22 Full Moon at 5:24 UT.
22 Lyrid meteor shower peaks at 6h UT. Active April 16-25. Radiant is between Hercules and Lyra. Expect 10 to 20 bright, fast meteors per hour at its peak. Unfavorable viewing conditions this year due to Full Moon.
Observing the Lyrids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar 2016 (PDF) (IMO)
25 Moon near Mars (morning sky) at 6h UT. Mag. -1.3.
25 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 8h UT.
25 Moon near Saturn (morning sky) at 20h UT. Mag. +0.2.
26 Mars 4.9 N of Antares (morning sky) at 21h UT. Mags. -1.3 and +1.0.
30 Last Quarter Moon at 3:29 UT.
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)