Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus should be visible in the night sky as Greenbelt hosts a September “Star Party” in partnership with the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club.
If the sky is clear, stargazers will have spectacular views from a hilltop at the Donovan Reservation/Sagamore Hill Conservation Area in Hamilton on September 3 from 8:30 to 10:30pm.
The hilltop is away from immediate sources of light pollution, so excellent viewing is likely.
While the moon will be barely a first quarter sliver in the sky, a variety of constellations should be visible.
To the north, look for Cassiopeia which was first listed by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century. It is distinguished by a “W” shape, formed by five bright stars.
Also, to the north is Draco, the Latin name for Dragon. A bit of film trivia: the main character in the 1996 film Dragonheart gets his name from this constellation. Like Cassiopeia, Draco is visible to the naked eye.
To the west, Perseus with its 19 stars should be observable. It ranks 24th in size among the 88 major constellations.
Also, to the west is Taurus, Latin for bull and one of the constellations of the zodiac. As early as 2,500 BCE, it was used to mark the spring equinox by placing the location of the sun.
Orion, one of the most recognizable constellations, should also be seen to the west. Named for a hunter in Greek mythology, it is identifiable by the sword, shield and belt formed by the stars.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.