Have a favorite planet? HRPO personnel set aside nights every year to focus on the planets in our Solar System so you and your family, friends and co-workers can get an “up close” view of the terrestrial or gas giant that’s number one on your list. If possible, see all of them! There’s never any out-of-pocket expense for looking through Highland Road Park Observatory’s telescopes.
For 2022 the gas giant oppositions are traffic-jammed into a period slightly longer than four-months. Venus♀ has a sole evening elongation during the calendar year, while Mercury☿ has an astounding four. Mercury☿ and Venus♀ will be viewed at Burbank (it goes down with the Sun☉) for ninety minutes per elongation. The gas giants each receive the customary two hours each for an opposition. Mars♂ will receive four hours of viewing time for its next opposition in December 2022.
Friday 7 January, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm CST [in Capricornicus♑; mag -0.5]
Friday 29 April, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm CDT [in Taurus♉; mag 0.4]
Saturday 27 August, 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm CDT [in Virgo♍; mag 0.3]
Wednesday 21 December, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm CST [in Sagittarius♐; mag -0.5]
all at the Burbank Soccer Complex
The wonderful MESSENGER spacecraft spent over a year leisurely orbiting the closest planet to the Sun☉, gathering a wealth of images and data. We envy that craft, as Mercury☿ is the most difficult planet to see—but we’ll try our best! The eastern elongations of Mercury☿ allow viewing of the planet while it is its farthest in angular separation from the Sun☉. Mercury☿ will dip down toward the horizon as personnel train a variety of equipment on it for patrons.
Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Friday, April 29, 2022, 11:37 AM.