Greetings to all the friends of the McCarthy Observatory,

We hope you all had a wonderful summer, and took time to look at the stars and see the magnificence of the summer Milky Way if you reached a dark sky location in your travels.

We now are entering what to amateur astronomers in this area is a favorite time of year.

September and October usually offer the stablest skies, with less water vapor, many clear nights, darkness coming earlier, cooler nights, fewer bugs and the great summer objects still visible along with autumns amazing additions.

As we move into fall, Jupiter will get higher and higher in the eastern sky in the evening... it is just spectacular to see it and its "Galilean moons."

Please treat yourself and friends -- it is great through decent binoculars as well as a small telescope.

In addition to our normal Second Saturday Stars program tomorrow (Saturday), Sept. 11, featuring the discovery of planets around other stars in our part of the galaxy (473 planets found around 402 stars at this moment), we are having a special open house event Sept. 18 as part of "International Observe the Moon Night."

There will be many telescopes here for lunar observing, and a number of programs about the moon as well.

We have just received word we are one of the fortunate recipients of a piece of a meteorite that came from the lunar surface, so you can see a lunar sample up close and personal.

This is going to be a very fine program; we hope you can make it here.

Much is going on at the observatory, located on the campus of New Milford High School.

We are far along in construction of "Galileo's Garden," which will be a large outdoor science classroom featuring several activity spaces for student participatory activities, as well as beautiful granite sculptures and a very large stainless sundial of our unique design.

Please come by and see this work in progress.

It starts at the giant sun that is the beginning of the true scale solar system. When completed it will encompass about 3,000 square feet by the outdoor SkyDeck.

Volunteers at the

McCarthy Observatory

For more information about the observatory's schedule and programs, check www.mccarthyobservatory.org.