The 2014 gridiron match-up between Notre Dame and Michigan is Saturday, September 6. The other Albireo Game, which is the preceding night in downtown South Bend, IN, let's you decide if the stars are with your team.
On that First Friday night of September, amateur astronomers will aim telescopes at the star Albireo. It's actually a stunning binary star with prominent colors. Gaze through a telescope, then vote whether the stellar pair are Maize & Blue, or Blue & Gold.
To show your team colors, visit the crosswalk at Washington and Michigan Streets (map). It's the newly painted crosswalk with the star chart that depicts South Bend's First Midnight. On Friday, Sept. 5, the Student Expo at The Gridiron will also be rocking the corner with eight student and local bands.
On the crosswalk bricks, the stars of the constellation Cygnus are outlined in yellow. Look for Albireo labeled in chalk, provided rain hasn't erased it. Within the Summer Triangle, Albireo is deemed the beak of Cygnus the Swan, and the base of the Northern Cross.
Weather permitting, members of Michiana Astronomical Society Inc. and of Notre Dame Department of Physics will have telescopes set up after twilight and will prod passers-by to take a look. "Describe what you see."
Ask them to help you find Albireo in the night sky, high in the southeast above the waxing moon. Then check out Albireo through a telescope. Now what do you think?!