Christmas Moon and Rudolph’s Nose at Cline Observatory Friday night

The last time we had a full Moon on Christmas, Jimmy Carter was President.  The next time will be in 2030.  But Friday night, we will not be looking at a Full Moon.

The duration of the Moon’s “fullness” actually lasts mere seconds.  On Friday, December Screen shot 2015-12-23 at 9.15.23 PM25, 2015, our Moon will be full in the time just before sunrise, at 5:11 a.m.  After that, the Moon will go into the gradual diminishment of the lit part we see, the waning gibbous phase, until we reach a 3rd quester phase about a week after full.

But we do plan to observe Rudolph’s nose, more commonly known at Hind’s Crimson Star.  (OK, I made-up the name “Rudolph’s Nose,” but it works well with the season, doesn’t it?)

So here’s our plan for the public session at Cline Observatory this Friday night,  December 25, 2015

Big Picture Theme: West-to-East

  1. M15, NGC 7078
    1. Globular Cluster, mag 6.4,
  2. Uranus, mag 6.13, 19.7 AU distant
  3. Featured Object
    1. R Lep, mag 1.05, 817 LY Distant
    2. Hind’s Crimson Star
    3. 14 month period (5.5 to 11.7)
  4. M42 the Orion Nebula
    1. Added to M’s list just before first publication
    2. Trapezium (11 stars) appears to be the core of a cluster of 300 young stars
  5. The Moon
    1. Full at 5:11 am Friday morning
    2. Now barely waning gibbous

Located on the Jamestown campus of GTCC, Cline Observatory is open to the public free of charge, every clear Friday night.

For more information visit the webpage at

For updates regarding how weather or other issues will affect this week’s session, check our Twitter Updates Page @gtccastro.




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