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Public Observing February 11, 2017

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

At John Rudy Park, York, PA. Observatory

There will be an Astronomy Program in the Observatory if cloudy.

The York County Astronomical Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science of astronomy.

Expand your mind by taking in the expanse of the universe.

Come and view the night skies with us through one of our telescopes and let our experienced members guide you on a tour of celestial wonders, including stars, planets, nebulae, and the moon. You are also invited to bring your own telescope and share your experiences with other amateur astronomers. Star Charts are available to help your exploration of the nighttime sky.

For all observing activities at John Rudy Park, if the weather is questionable, please check our voice message at 717 759 YCAS (9227) for notice of any late cancellation or for an updated status, check this website.

To Observatory See: Directions

If it is clear or mostly clear, the activity will occur as scheduled. If it is completely cloudy, raining or snowing, the activity will be changed to an astronomical presentation in observatory.

For information on events, scheduling a private party star watch, directions to the observing site, or for general Society information please email YCAS at: E-Mail YCAS

 Visible for Public Observing Night Sky February 11, 2017


The Sun is in the constellation Capricornus "The Sea Goat" and sets at 5:05 pm.


Click on Moon to enlarge image.

Moon in Leo the Lion near Regulus. See below image.

The evening sky finds the Moon rising at 6:35 pm in the east located in the constellation Leo the "Lion" and is at phase 98.68% lit. The Moon is only an Angular separation: 07°32'12" degree from the magnitude 1.36 bright star Regulus in Leo, see above image. The Moon is visible all night casting its pale winter light. The February Full Moon is popularly known as the Full Snow Moon since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult. Courtesy Farmers Almanac.


Venus is very bright at -4.6 magnitude seen after sunset in the western evening sky just "06°12'28" below and to the right of Mars. Venus is located in the constellation Pisces "The Fishes". Venus sets at 9:16pm. Venus is at phase 31.63% and appears as a small crescent.. The next few weeks Venus phase will become more crescent-shaped as the apparent diameter grows ever larger. See Venus as seen through a telescope on February 11th as shown below.


Mars is visible low in the west after sunset located in the constellation Pisces "The The Fishes". On the evening of the 11th Mars is "06°12'28" above and to the left of Venus. Mars sets at 9:36 p.m. Mars is disappointing as seen through a telescope now as the planets disk size has become smaller due to the increasing distance from Earth. See below location of Uranus, Mars and Venus at 8:00 pm February 11th.


Uranus is in the western sky located in the constellation Pisces "The "Fishes".  Uranus can be found with binoculars at 5. 9 magnitude in a dark clear sky. Uranus sets at 10:27 pm.


The Winter Circle is visible this night, can you find it? It is also sometimes called the Winter Hexagon It is a big circle of bright stars on the dark dome of a winter night. At the center of the Winter Circle, you’ll find center Orion’s bright red star Betelgeuse. Rigel, Aldebaran, Capella, Procyon, Sirius, Castor and Pollux are the bright stars that make up the large, circular pattern. The winter circle is asterism. An asterism is a recognizable star pattern.

Leo "The Lion" is above the eastern horizon with the almost full Moon Moon shining brightly in the middle of Leo. The constellation Cancer "The Crab" lies just above Leo with it's pretty open star  cluster M-44 also known as the Beehive cluster.

The winter constellations Orion "The Hunter" and Canis Major "The Larger Dog" with the brightest star visible in the northern hemisphere is Sirius. Above Orion the Constellation Gemini the "Twins" are visible high in the south above and to the left of Orion. Taurus the "Bull" with its bright red star Aldebaran are visible high in the southwest sky above and to the right of Orion. About 13 degrees to the right of Aldebaran is  the open star cluster M-45 also known as the "Pleiades" or "Seven Sisters". 

Low in the southwest are the constellations Cetus the "Whale", Pisces the "Fish". In the south Eridanus "The River".

Pegasus the "Winged Horse". is very low on the west northwest horizon.  The constellation Andromeda known as the "Princess of Ethiopia" is above Pegasus with its magnificent  spiral galaxy M-31 the famous Andromeda galaxy, which is our nearest large neighbor galaxy. 

Visible high in the northwest lies Perseus the "Rescuer of Andromeda" with the beautiful Perseus Double Cluster consisting of two open star cluster NGC 869 & NGC 884. The constellation of Cassiopeia, the "Queen" is seen in the northwest just to the left and above the north star Polaris. The Big Dipper is standing on its handle and is visible low above the northern horizon as public observing begins.. To the left (west) of the Big Dipper is the Little Dipper which contains Polaris the north star. See How to use the Big Dipper to find Polaris the north star. See: Finding North Star. These are just a few of the many constellations visible this night.

View the February 11, 2017, 2017  Night Sky Below

North - South - East - West - Zenith

 Take a memorable tour with members of the York County Astronomical Society of Galaxies, planets, the moon and the constellations of the night sky.

Stars and Constellations Astronomical Pronunciation Guide

Directions to Observatory

See: Directions

Explore the Wonders of your Universe

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Known Universe


Our sun is almost one million miles in diameter and a million earths would fit in it.

It takes light eight minutes to reach us from the sun. 

The last star shown in video is VY Canis Majoris which takes light about 5000 years to reach us that is light traveling at 186,000 miles per second x 60 seconds in a minute x 60 minutes in an hour x 365 days in a year x 5000 years. VY Canis Majoris is (almost 2 billion ) 1.7 billion miles in diameter. 


 What does light pollution look like?

What does your nighttime sky look like? Try this fun interactive game to see how light pollution affects the stars you see at night: 

Light Pollution also see: Globe At Night

International Dark Sky Association

See Weather and Directions map below.


Directions to Observatory

See: Directions

The GPS coordinates of the observatory are: N40.024400° W076.704700°



The York County Astronomical Society holds a public observing session every month, check this website for times. 

The club's telescopes will be used to show the public many of the fascinating objects that are up in the nighttime sky. We will also be showing people how to use Star charts to identify the stars and constellations that are up in the nighttime sky. The public is encouraged to bring their own telescopes, if they have one, to learn how to use them more effectively. If you are interested in buying a telescope, this is a great place to ask questions.

For information on events, scheduling a private party star watch, directions to the observing site, or for general Society information please email YCAS at: E-Mail YCAS Membership applications are available upon request.

Contact us for Scouts Astronomy Merit badge program.

Please Observe Below

While on the observatory's premises: no smoking, food, pets (except guide dogs) or flash photography is permitted, thank you. In accordance with the ADA, those with disabilities who wish to gain access within York County Parks should telephone the County of York human services offices.

The York County Astronomical Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science of astronomy to all concerned Unless otherwise advertised, Most star watches are held at our observatory, located in John Rudy County Park, at 400 Mundis Race Road in York County, Pennsylvania, 17402 , they are free and open to the public. If you have a red-filtered flashlight please bring it along. 


YCAS SCHEDULE See: YCAS Schedule page for more dates

Need help with your telescope? See New Telescope Clinic.

Check out the new show at the YCAS Planetarium. Go to Planetarium link.

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