To automatically sync the AAAP Calendar of Events to your personal calendar, please follow the instructions on our Calendar Download page. For lists of other events, check out the AAAP Star Party Schedule, the AAAP Meetings Schedule, the International Astronomy Events, or the Our Pittsburgh Constellation Events pages.
2018 General Meetings: Jan 5, Feb 9, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 11, Sep 13, Oct 12, Nov 9.
2018 Mingo Star Parties: Apr 21; May 18 & 19; Jun 8 & 9; Jul 20 & 21; Aug 11 & 18; Sep 7 & 8; Oct 6 & 20; Nov 3. Note this reflects a December 2017 change to the previously published 2018 Mingo Schedule.
2018 Wagman Star Parties: Apr 20 & 21; May 18 & 19; Jun 22 & 23; Jul 20, & 21; Aug 17 & 18; Sep 15 & 29; Oct 13 & 27; Nov 10
Please Note: Alternate views of events (such as calendar view) are available by clicking the drop-down next to the word ‘Agenda’.
March 20 – March Equinox. The March equinox occurs at 16:15 UTC. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.
March 31 – Full Moon / Blue Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 12:37 UTC. Since this is the second full moon in the same month it is sometimes referred to as a blue moon. This year is particularly unique in that January and March both contain two full moons while February has no full moon.
April 16 – New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 01:58 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
Moonset: 1:12 | Moonrise: 11:11
For more information, please visit our Star Party link at:
April 22-23 – Lyrids Meteor Shower. The Lyrids is an average shower usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher which was discovered in 1861. The shower runs annually from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving dark skies for the what could be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra but can appear anywhere in the sky.
April 29 – Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 27 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury 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.
April 30 – Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 00:58 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink or wild ground phlox which is one of the first spring flowers. This moon has also been known as the Sprouting Grass Moon; the Growing Moon; and the Egg Moon. Many coastal tribes called it the Full Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
May 6-7 – Eta Aquarids. The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley which has known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from April 19 to May 28. It peaks this year on the night of May 6 and the morning of the May 7. The waning gibbous moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year but you should be able to catch quite A few good ones if you are patient. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius but can appear anywhere in the sky.
May 9 – Jupiter at Opposition. The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter’s four largest moons appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.
May 15 – New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 11:48 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
Sunsets at 8:29 PM
We can stay on the field as long as we wish. As this is a new moon if the sky is clear we will have great observing.
Directions: Enter park and continue all the way up to the very top of the park. You cannot see the observing field until you drive up the hill to the top of the unpaved portion of the park road. We set up on the Weistertown Rd side of the field. We drive our cars across the field to that spot. It is several hundreds of yards long and the edge of the field overlooks the ball fields below.
Moonrise: 09:01 | Moonset: NA
For more information, please visit our Star Party link at:
Westmoreland-Fayette Campapalooza, Mammoth Park, 254 County Park Road, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666.