Hosted by Hill Country Astronomers and Putman Mountain Observatory
Friday, April 6, 2018
Starting at 6:30 pm
Putman Mountain Observatory
We’ve put together the information below concerning date and time, directions and live weather from the observatory and an observing list.
We’ll provide barbeque and beverages. If you want to bring anything else, you’re more than welcome.
We look forward to seeing you!
Ken and Laurie
Directions from Fredericksburg
- Head west on Main Street and take Highway 87 toward Mason.
- Go approximately 9 miles until you reach Ranch Road 2323.
- Turn off Highway 87 and take Ranch Road 2323 toward Prairie Mountain/Llano.
- Go 12.1 miles on Ranch Road 2323. The gate for observatory is on the left and there will be a Star Party sign
- Address is 12217.
Google Map is below.
Date and Times
Friday April 6, 2018
|6:30 – 7:30 pm||Arrive and set up telescopes|
|7:30 – 8:30 pm||Dinner – Barbeque|
|8:30 – 9:30 pm||Observatory tour|
|9:20 pm||Astronomic Dusk|
|9:30 pm||Start Observing|
|1:51 am||Moon rises at 1:51 am Saturday|
There are two observing locations on Putman Mountain. One is at the base of of the mountain where the observatory and cabin are located. The other is located on top of the mountain. Both locations have power and wifi available. The location on top of the mountain is relatively flat and the location at the base of the mountain is sloped, and therefore, you will have to adjust tripods more at the base location.
There is one road to the top of the mountain. At the top there is space for parking along a dirt road, but you all will need to decide on any light windows if observers want to depart before others.
I’ll have the observing locations marked so you’ll know where to go.
A downloadable observing list will be provided closer to the event.
Current Weather and Forecast
Putman Mountain Observatory has a weather station that updates this webpage every 15 minutes with current weather conditions.
Partly cloudy. High 74F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.
Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. High near 80F. Winds S at 15 to 25 mph.
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 88F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 86F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
Cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 83F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Scattered thunderstorms in the morning, then cloudy skies late. High around 80F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Thunderstorms likely in the morning. Then the chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 74F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
The observatory maintains a cloud monitor to monitor sky conditions in order to close the observatory dome if the sky is cloudy or humidity is too high. Current conditions from the cloud monitor are shown below.
All Sky Camera
Putman Mountain Observatory also maintains an all sky camera. The camera takes a wide angle image (fish eye) of the sky every few minutes and posts it to this website. From the image you can see the north star at the top of the image, east is to the left and west is to the right.
The bright light in the image is the moon. Check back closer to May 19 and you will be able to see a darker sky as the moon wanes.
The current all sky image is shown below. You can see the observatory dome at the one o’clock position.
The observatory maintains a seeing monitor to measure the real time “seeing” conditions above the observatory. The seeing monitor is updated every few minutes. The seeing monitor takes high speed video of Polaris and calculates the effect of atmospheric turbulence on how well we can see objects through our telescopes. Generally, a reading of 2.5 or below is very good. Readings below 2.0 indicate exceptionally good seeing and high magnification views of the planets will be very nice.
Most Recent Seeing Monitor Graph: