This event is organised by the ASGI.
The event is open to IAS members, but note that the talks are at a professional level.
Pluto, at opposition in July, now lies in the dense starfields of the Sagittarius Milky Way. At 14th mag the planet requires a large telescope, dark sky and a good finder chart. It also now requires a good southern horizon.The image below (by J.O'Neill) was taken on 22 June 2014 (The field is 30'x20' and north is to the left). If you have trouble finding pluto (as you probably will!), click the image to show an animation (two images over a 5 day period).
One year from now, the New Horizons probe will be the first craft to explore Pluto.
The ringed planet Saturn is well placed these nights, particularly if you have a good southern aspect. The rings are now well open and when displayed the planet is a never to be forgotten first view.
The planet Mars is receeding rapidly from the earth. The red planet is now mag +0.2 and under 9 sec of arc in diameter. It is now near Spica, note the colour contrast.
Images (below) by Liam Smyth