City astronomers still starry-eyed despite NYC’s light pollution
New Yorkers looking up at the night sky are often hard-pressed to find a single star.
Yet despite the intense light pollution, city astronomy enthusiasts regularly break out their telescopes in parks and on street corners.
“You can’t see a lot,” said Joe Delfausse, one of more than 500 members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. “But you can see some things really well, and that includes the moon and the large planets.”
Jupiter, for example, is blazing right now, he explained.
“If you look in the eastern sky after sunset, you can’t miss it,” he said, adding that its biggest moons are visible with the help of good binoculars or a telescope. This time of year, it’s also possible to see Venus, the International Space Station and constellations such as Orion, the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia.
Urban Park Ranger Lena Lam said she even saw a shooting star last week during the Geminid meteor shower.
“For Brooklyn, that’s not so bad,” she said, laughing.
On Saturday evening, the Urban Park Rangers held a stargazing event in Prospect Park. But the skies clouded over just before it got underway.
“Probably 99 percent of people in New York have never, ever looked through a telescope before,” Delfausse said. “It’s a life-changing experience.”
Get out your telescopes and maps:?Free stargazing events are coming to New York City.
The Urban Park Rangers and the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York both hold free astronomy events throughout the year.
This Thursday, the AAA will host a Winter Solstice Telescope Party at the American Museum of Natural History.
On Friday, it will host a Winter Solstice Star Party at Belvedere Castle in Central Park.