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FAUST Seminar

C. E. S. College
    of Science

Florida Atlantic


Link to the IAU's International Year of Astronomy at www.astronomy2009.org

Florida Atlantic University
Astronomical Observatory

Facebook image link to Florida Atlantic University Astronomical Observatory's Facebook page


The Sun Today:

Image of the current Sun, provided by ESA's & NASA's SDO space telescope and link to sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov
Visual Sun
is provided by

Image of the current Sun in H-alpha light is provided by the National Solar Observatory/AURA/NSF and link to www.nso.edu
Hα Sun is
provided by

Solar X-rays:
Geomag. Field:
Solar X-ray Status from www.n3kl.org/sun/images/status.gif
Geomagnetic Field Status from www.n3kl.org/sun/images/kpstatus.gif

From www.n3kl.org

To NOAA's Space
Weather Scales for
Geomagnetic Storms

The National Academies Press: Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report (2008)

The National
Academies Press
Severe Space
Weather Events--
Societal and
Economic Impacts:
A Workshop
Report (2008)

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional .

main col hack

FAU Astronomical Observatory -- Front Page

Welcome to the Observatory's Front Page. Included here are some of the latest news and articles that may be of interest to our visitors. General observatory information, such as location and maps, viewing schedules, Events Calendar, contact information, student class credits, parking and other general information, can be found on the "About the Observatory" page.

We also have a growing coverage about the issue of light pollution, what it is, what it does to the environment, to ourselves, to our wallets and resources, to our security and safety, to the majestic wonders of the night sky and what YOU can do about it. This is a man made problem that is prepetuated by a lack of awareness and is something that we all can correct.

The Front Page

Florida Earth Festial LogoThe Front Page currently covers:

News of the Observatory

Apr. 21st & 28th The Observatory will swap its Tuesdays' night observation and public viewing schedules. The public viewing session normally held on the thrid Tuesday, Apr. 21st, will instead be held on the 28th, so that students taking the Intro. to Astronomy class will have one more chance to receive for their credit before the final exams begin. This is a one time change for this event, and the regular schedule will resume the next week.

General Sky Conditions

Solar conditions, atmospheric phenomena and news are reported by www.SpaceWeather.com.

The current sky conditions of Boca Raton are found via the Clear Sky Clock: Shortened
timeblock gif of sky conditions.
And some details as to what this means is mentioned in the Visiting Tips section of the About the Observatory page.

Basic weather conditions for our area are at www.wunderground.com forecast for Boca Raton, while our astronomically important current cloud cover conditions can be found at www.wunderground.com for Boca Raton.

To the Space Telescope Science Inst's Sky Tonight movie. Check out:
the Space Telescope Science Institute's Sky Tonight movie at Amazing Space
or to
Sky & Telescope's This Week's Sky at a Glance page.
To the Sky & Telescope's <q>This Week's Sky at a Glance</q> article by Alan M. MacRobert.

APOD's Banner image that links to Astronomy Pictures of the Day site.

What's Up in the Sky


Section updated: Apr. 10th, 2015.

The Sun currently appears in the constellation Pisces' realm. Gets passed by Mercury on Apr. the 10th and enters Aries the ram on Apr. 19th. It then enters Taurus's the bull's realm on the 15th of May. Passing by Mars on June the 4th and entering Gemini on June 22nd.

Lunar Phases:

LAST QuarterApr. 12th
NEW MoonApr. 18th
FIRST QuarterApr. 25th
FULL MoonMay 4th
LAST QuarterMay 11th

Meteor Showers:
Note: compare shower dates with Moon for favorable viewing conditions; the fuller the Moon, the harder it will be to see the meteors!

Peak Date Name Radiant's
Source Zero
Apr. 23rdLyrids between Lyra
& Hercules
comet C/1861 G1
up to 90
ave. 18
49 km/s somewhat fast,
brighter than
average meteors,
~1 in 5 have trains
Go for it!
Apr. 23rdPi Puppids south of π Puppis comet 26P
up to 38,
on 26P's
best seen in far southFavorable
Go for it!
May 6th Eta Aquarids Eta Aquarius comet
55-var. 66 km/s fast,
brighter than
average meteors
Not as great
near the
full Moon

Solar System Planets:

Mercury currently appears in the morning in the constellation of Pisecs as it approaches the Sun for a superior conjunction on Apr. 10th. After then, look for it to appear in the evening skies.

Venus is in the boundaries of Taurus the bull. She'll appear just under 2.5° away from Messier 45, the Pleiades on April 11th. Then she'll continue on into Gemini on May the 8th, then appearing just over 1.5° away from the open cluster Messier 35.

Mars is in Ares the ram, and appears ever dimmer as he occupys the far side of the solar system from us. Mercury will appear to buzz by him on April 22nd. The old warrior will enter Taurus on May 3rd and then the Sun itself will pass him during their conjunction on June 14th. Afterwards, expect to see him on the flip side of the night in the eastern morning hours.

Jupiter, rising around 1510 EDT, has resumed prograde motion. Jupiter will reenter Leo on June the 8th and on June the 20th will appear in a nice triangle with a cresent Moon and Venus. On June the 30th look for Jupiter and Venus to appear about 1/3° apart from each other! A sight that is not to be missed!

Saturn currently rises just after midnight, with a brightness at mv = 0.44. It currently appears near ν Scorpii before dawn in the eastern skies. appearing almost as if part of the archinid's head stars. It will enter Libra on May the 2th. It will have its opposition on May the 23rd.

Uranus is slowly advancing through Pisces. Uranus will appear with the fish until Apr. 28th, 2018! Its opposition will occur on Oct. 12th.

Neptune is currently just under 2° north and east of Sigma Aquarii in the morning skies. It will get as close as 2° to λ Aquarii when it starts its retrograde, reaching opposition on Sept. 1st. It will reside in Aquarius until 2022.

Florida Earth Festival 2015

Florida Earth Festial LogoFlorida Earth Festival 2015 is a celebration of the people, policies, products, and services that are moving us toward sustainability. Florida Earth Festival is about building a better world and having fun doing it! It will take place from April 18th through April 25th, and will include many affiliated events around the county.

Their second annual Earth Day Fair occurs at:

Date & Time: Saturday April 18th from 10am to 7pm
& Sunday April 19th from 12noon - 7pm.
Location: The University Woodlands Park
2501 St. Andrews Boulevard, Boca Raton, FL 33434
Activities: Too Many to talk about here, visit their link below

This year's various lineup of earth-conscious and sustainable living vendors, products, and speakers has something for everyone! Such as:

Gardeners will delight in attending discussions by George Irwin, the creator of the Green Wall and Edible Wall, and Dr. John Zahina-Ramos, author of Just One Backyard: One Man's Search for Food Sustainability. Jazzercise with classes by the Earth Music Stage, and stay to hear Sol Republic, Liddy Clark and many other exciting performers!

Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy hourly storytelling by Eco Stars Club for Kids, and The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2015: an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most babies changed into cloth diapers in an internationally coordinated event on Saturday morning!

Learn how neighboring cities, Boca Raton and Delray Beach, are collaborating to support environmental efforts! Learn how the City of Delray Beach is acting responsibly to respond to sea level rise and working with residents in areas that flood with tides.

For more information call 561-880-0510 or visit their webpage at:


Can You Identify This Image?

The image at the right shows locations of:

  1. southeast U.S. cities seen at night from space.
  2. inefficiently used energy resources and tax dollars continuously squandered by local city planners.
  3. local populations who are losing their humbling sense of wonder and awe of the night sky's majesty.
  4. increased, widespread disruptions to the local natural environment.
  5. projected increases of health problems in the local populations.
  6. all of the above.
Lights at night in Florida, Dec. 2010, taken by Exp. 26 on the ISS.
Image Credit: NASA, ISS Expedition 26, Dec. 2010.

Department of Physics
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
E-mail: vandernoot at sci dot fau dot edu
Phone: 561 297 STAR (7827)

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