Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Comet Lulin and Saturn in Conjunction, February 24, 2009

Comet Lulin and Saturn in Conjunction!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 8:30 PM until we've all seen the comet!

Our Observing Location

Saturn and Comet Lulin make a grand conjuction in our nighttime sky. We are going out to see this celestial interloper as it graces our skies. We will meet at 8:30 at the entrance of Seaman and Isham Streets, and go immediately up to the hilltop above the tennis courts to see from a darker sky. We will stay up there until about midnight or later. The comet will not really be visible over the glare of the Bronx and over Columbia Fields until after 9:30 PM. So if you want to show up late, that is probably a good idea, unless you want to take in the full evening with Jason and the Astronomers.

  • Dress Warm Click here for the weather
  • Bring a flashlight
  • Go to the entrance at Seaman and Isham Streets
  • Follow the signs to the top of the hill
  • Print out and use map below

If you get there a bit late, there will be signs to show you the way to the top. In any event, do bring a little flashlight to help you come on up to the top of the hill.

Remember to dress warmly, much warmer than you think you need. It always feels 10 degrees colder than they say it is on the news. Don't worry about fashion. You will be a much happier comet-watcher if you are warm and ready to take nature in as she presents herself.

There will be telescopes on hand to look through, and there will be astronomers on hand to answer your questions about comets and planets! Comets are wonderful and transient things. ALWAYS go out to see one, if one comes by, like this one is doing now!

Here are some handy resources about the comet:

View Larger Map on Google Maps



About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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