Forsyth Astronomical Society’s Astronomical April

The FAS has a hectic April in store for all of our friends and followers. We have four public observations scheduled at different venues, Kaleideum North (Sciworks), Yadkin County Park, Pilot Mountain State Park and Stone Mountain State Park. Most are being held in conjunction with the NC Science Festival and their Statewide Star Party events. As per usual these events are weather dependent each event in this post and the club’s Facebook page will be updated with a final weather call by 5pm the day before the event.

 

UPDATE: 4/7/17

We are a GO for tomorrow’s observation at Kaleideum North. 

Conditions should be clear with temps in the high 50’s to low 60’s. Dress accordingly.

 

Our first public event will be held on April 8th at the Kaleideum North (formerlySciworks). This is our home base of operations. We hold our monthly meetings here and it’s our most used site for urban public observations. The sun will be setting around 8pm this day. We’ll start observing as darkness falls and targets become available in the waning twilight. Objects we hope to show will include the Moon, several star clusters or varying types, binary stars, the Great Orion Nebula and Jupiter (later in the evening), and possibly even a galaxy, though faintly, through some of the larger member scopes. We will remain set up until around 10-11pm depending on conditions and public interest.

 

Update 4/20: The FAS observation at Yadkinville Park on April 21st has been CANCELLED due to adverse weather conditions.

Our next event will be held on April 21st at the Yadkin County Park located behind the Yadkinville YMCA. We will be set up on the lower soccer field. Click the attached photo to the left to be taken to Google Maps for navigation directions. Sunset is around 8pm for this event as well and as with our earlier event this month we’ll observe similar targets as they become available as it gets dark. Albeit targets should be better due to the moon setting earlier that day. When conditions cooperate observing is great.

 

Update 4/20: The FAS observation at Pilot Mountain State Park on April 21st has been CANCELLED due to adverse weather conditions.

We will have another observation on April 22nd at Pilot Mountain State Park in the upper
parking area. This is our premier public dark sky observing site. It really doesn’t get better for astronomical observing in the piedmont than atop Pilot Mountain. When the conditions are right it rivals some locations on the Blue Ridge. As with our previous observations, we will begin observing as darkness falls and targets are available. The observation will conclude at 10:30pm. Atop the mountain the temperature can be as much as 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. Please keep in mind that when planning attire for coming out, especially concerning little ones.

 

 

Our last observing event for the month will be at Stone Mountain State Park on April 28th. This observation will kick off our 2017 observations for campers at the park. This is an excellent venue probably second to Pilot but still very good.  As with all of our observation at the site, THIS IS A LOCK-IN EVENT. If you attend as a non camper you will be required to stay the entire length of the observation and leave as the club members leave. The park gate will be locked at 8pm. We typically stay set up until Getting set upbetween 10:30-11 pm depending on conditions and interest. For a map marking the observation site in the family camping area click the image to the left. Access to the site can be gained between campsites 35 and 36. Please be respectful of others camp setups. As with Pilot this location can be cooler than you expect. Plan your attire accordingly.

 

If you attend any one of these events you will see similar night sky objects at each but if you attend multiple events you will definitely get a feel for how viewing conditions can change dramatically with light pollution, particulate pollution, elevation, weather conditions and how each effect astronomical observing. We hope you have opportunity to attend all venues.  If any of these events are not in your area or you’re interested in finding other STEM related activities held in conjunction with the NC Science Festival, click the graphic below to be taken to the NC Science Festival events page to find an event near you.

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Young Astronomers Newsletter April 2017

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 25 Number 4 April 2017

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

In this month’s edition of the newsletter Bob discusses:

  • Updates on progress and discoveries by the Mars rovers and lander (Curiosity, Opportunity and Phoenix). Discovery of rocks and minerals that support presence of ancient bodies of water.
  • Description of China’s new, huge radio telescope. The world’s largest single-dish radio telescope.
  • Revelations from Supernova 1987A. Expanding gas and matter is creating unique patterns.
  • Astronomical April birthdays.
  • Celestial happenings for April.
  • Two comets are in Draco and one may be visible with binoculars.
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March Meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society 3/28

The Former Constellation Argo Navis

The Forsyth Astronomical Society will host their next monthly meeting on March 28th at 7:30 PM at Kaleideum (formerly Sciworks) in Winston-Salem. The presentation for this month will be given by club VP Priscilla Ivester on obsolete constellations “Constellations then and now”. Come Join us for what surely will be an interesting topic.

Following the presentation portion we will have a brief business meeting and as always there will be an informal social gathering 30 minutes or so before the meeting. All meetings are open to the public and free of charge, all are welcome. Hope to see you there.

A reminder to club members: It’s getting to be that time again, we are coming up on the May renewal for annual dues. You can pay them at any meeting between this month and May. Another reminder, also, as per a club vote a few months back the dues are now $35/year for individuals, $40/year for a family membership and our student rate is still $5/year. For any one else, if you have ever wanted to join our organization now is the prime time to do it.

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Young Astronomers Newsletter March 2017

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 25 Number 3 March 2017

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

In this month’s edition of the newsletter Bob discusses:

  • Updates for the New Horizons Mission
  • A recent Sky & Telescope article on the dynamics of black holes.
  • Fun naked eye satellites called Iridium Flares.
  • Possibilities for corporate mining of the moon or asteroids.
  • A recent discovery of 7 planets that have the possibility to have liquid water.
  • March astronomical birthdays.
  • Celestial happenings for the month.
  • A planetary matching puzzle.
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February Meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society 2/28

The next monthly meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be held on February 28th at 7:30 PM at Sciworks in Winston salem. The presentation for the evening will be a video review of a PBS special on the history and discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Following the presentation portion we will have a brief business meeting and as always there will be an informal social gathering 30 minutes or so before the meeting. All meetings are open to the public and free of charge, all are welcome. Hope to see you there.

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Pilot Mountain Public Observation Saturday February 18th

Update 2/24: We are a GO!!!! for our observation tomorrow evening. The weather forecast is calling for showers early tomorrow but clearing off by day’s end and clear skies tomorrow night. If the weather forecast changes abruptly or drastically we will make an emergency cancellation call, so check this page or the club’s Facebook page before heading out.

Update 2/17: Due to poor conditions projected for tomorrow evening the Pilot Mountain observation has been canceled and rescheduled for Saturday February 25th. Fingers crossed for better conditions on that date. A final weather call for the 25th will be posted on the 24th.

 

The Forsyth Astronomical Society will be hosting a public observation on Saturday February 18th in the upper knob overlook parking area of Pilot Mountain State Park. This is our premier public observation site due to its dark skies. We will be able to show you more dark sky objects at this location than any public event site we use. Sunset is at 6:07pm. As dusk falls Venus and Mars will be easily seen. As darkness ebbs on a plethora of star clusters, nebulae and even galaxies will be available if sky conditions allow. You will especially want to see the Great Orion Nebula, M42 it is the crown jewel of the winter skies and can easily be seen with the most modest telescopes and binoculars. New objects will be rising as the night progresses . If you visit and see “all there is to see”, give it a couple of hours and we can show you more. We will continue with the observation until 10pm.

Forecasts as of this post have the lows for the 18th to be in the low 40’s for the surrounding area. Being that we will be atop the mountain the temps are likely to be as much as 10 degrees cooler, possibly more if the wind is blowing, so please dress appropriately, especially the little ones. This event is a weather dependent event so stay tuned to this post or the club’s Facebook page for a final weather call the Friday before the event. You can also call Sciworks after 5pm on Friday for the weather call via their automated voice message system. In the event of inclement weather there is a rain date of February 25th. We hope to see you all there.

Pilot Panna

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Young Astronomers Newsletter February 2017

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

YoungAstroLogo

The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 25 Number 2 February 2017

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

In this month’s edition of the newsletter Bob discusses:

  • Some concerning developments with the ongoing Juno mission.
  • Some interesting theories scientists are pursuing to help describe the early formation of the solar system.
  • Developments at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia
  • Research into dark matter that may be leading us to rethink how we understand the universe.
  • The loss of a renowned space explorer.
  • Celestial happenings in February.
  • February astronomical birthdays.
  • Information about one of our past presidents and his affinity for astronomy.
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January Meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society 1/24

This evening, at SciWorks in Winston Salem at 7:30 PM, the Forsyth Astronomical Society will hold it’s first meeting of the year. If you have ever been to one of our events and heard us call celestial objects out by an “M#” or you have possibly seen these labels on your own in researching our hobby. That “M” reference is to a list that 18th century astronomer Charles Messier generated.  Club historian Steve Childers will discuss why these objects are labeled such and their significance to amateur astronomy.

Following the presentation portion we will have a brief business meeting and as always there will be an informal social gathering 30 minutes or so before the meeting. All meetings are open to the public and free of charge, all are welcome. Hope to see you there.

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STEM Outreach Outreach and Public Observation ar Winston-Salem Christian School

WS Lions Science ExtravaganzaUpdate 1/19: We are a GO for this evening’s event at Winston-Salem Christian School. We will be set up at the opening of events at 6:30PM. The conditions are mixed with partly cloudy skies but we feel confident we can sneak in enough targets to keep folks occupied. Hope to see you there.

The Forsyth Astronomical Society has been asked to help participate in the Science Extravaganza hosted by Winston-Salem Christian School on Thursday January the 19th from 6:30-8:00 PM. There will also be hands on experiments, STEM activities, the opportunity to explore human organs, create a laser maze, and enjoy science themed treats. This event is open to the public. The astronomy portion of the event is weather dependant. A final weather call will be made the afternoon of the 19th. This post and the club’s Facebook page will be updated to reflect that final call. Mars and Venus should be visible early in the evening along with several star clusters and possibly a few nebulae and dimmer deep sky objects, all depending on local light pollution conditions. For more information concerning the event feel free to call WS Christian School at the number on the attached flyer.

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Our First Public Observation of the Year, January 7th at SciWorks

Update 1/5: Due to the impending snowfall we have decided to err on the side of safety and cancel the SciWorks observation on January 7th. Our next public observation event will be on February 18th at Pilot Mountain. More details will be posted closer to that date. We’ll hope for better conditions. In the interim we invite you to join us for our regularly scheduled monthly meeting on January the 24th.  The topic for the meeting will be announced nearer that date.

 

Sciworks1.JPGThis Saturday, January the 7th, the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be hosting its first public observation of the year at its home location of SciWorks. The sun will be setting around 5:30pm and we’ll start viewing objects as darkness allows. Early in the evening we will be able to catch Mars and Venus but a spectacular view of the Waxing Gibbous Moon will be prevalent throughout the observation. Several star clusters and possibly even a bright nebula or two might be in order depending on the sky conditions. This is a weather dependent event. A final weather call will be made on Friday. As it sits for the moment there is SNOW predicted earlier on Saturday but to actually clear off by that evening . If that happens and we go with the event, you will definitely want to plan for cold weather. Follow us here or on the club’s Facebook page for that final weather call. You can also call SciWorks on Friday after 5pm for an automated message with the final weather call. For information on and directions to Sciworks click the banner below.

 

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