Young Astronomers Newsletter May 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 5 May 2016

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

* The last four of the heavy elements in the seventh row of the periodic table have been created/discovered. Now it is time to give them names. Possibilities have been suggested.

*The forces that form the gullies and channels on Mars may not be aqueous solutions. Behavior is more consistent with phase changes by carbon dioxide.

* The U.S. and Japan are sending probes to two different asteroids and plan to bring back samples.

* What is the future of Earth’s magnetic field? What will happen to civilization if the field strength drops to zero?

* Pluto update. Review article in Astronomy magazine by chief investigator for the New Horizons mission.

* Planets are putting on a show in May. Close approach by Mars and transit of the Sun by Mercury.

And more.

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FAS Meeting for April 26 2016

Justin at the helm

Justin at the helm.

Come join the Forsyth Astronomical Society as we hold our monthly meeting on April 26
at 7:30 PM at Sciworks. Located at 400 West Hanes Mill Rd, Winston Salem. This month’s meeting will be presented by club member Justin Nichols. He will be presenting his 3rd and last part on his series covering planetarium equipment. This will be a “behind the scenes look”  at the equipment the planetarium uses in their wonderful planetarium experiences. As always, meetings are open to the public and there is typically an informal social gathering 30 minutes or so before the meeting starts. Come out and join us to learn about this fascinating subject.

A reminder to our membership: It’s that time of year again. We will begin collecting dues for the 2016-2017 year. If you have ever wanted to join our organization now is the prime opportunity. Dues are $25/year with family and student rates available as well. The FAS is also a member society of the Astronomical League, dues to join this organization through our affiliate club is an additional $7.50.

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FAS’s Astronomical April

StateSciFest201

 

Event Update 4/16:

We are a GO for this evening’s observation at SciWorks in Winston-Salem. It’s looking to be mild conditions and clear skies. The moon and Jupiter will take center stage as a combination of urban conditions and the moon’s brightness will over power most deep sky objects. There will still be plenty of star clusters and possibly a hint of the Great Orion Nebula to be seen. Hope to see you all there.

EVENT UPDATE: 4/8

The Yadkin Park observation has been cancelled due to bad weather conditions. The four major weather sites are calling for thick clouds and 20% chance of rain during our peak observing time. Tomorrow night’s observation atop Pilot Mountain is looking to be MUCH clearer but cold and windy. Please dress accordingly. Hope to see you there.

Yadkin Park Observation 2015

This month, the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be hosting several observation events in association with NC Science Festival Week’s Statewide Star Party. Our first stargazing opportunity will be this Friday April the 8th at Yadkin County Park,  6500 Service Rd, Yadkinville, NC. There will be solar observing from 6pm until sunset, then transitioning to night sky targets as night falls. Public observing will end at 10 pm. Some night sky goodies will include the planet Jupiter, the Moon for a short bit, several star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. There will be a final weather call by noon on Friday for this event. For directions, click the map image below.

Yadkin County Park

 

Pilot Panna

On Saturday April 9th, we will be hosting an observation session atop Pilot Mountain State Park in the upper parking area. The schedule and available targets will be the same as the event on Friday. Solar observing will be starting at 6pm and dark sky targets as night falls. Due to park regulations this event will end at 10:30pm. This location is SIGNIFICANTLY darker than any other of our public outreach locales. You can see more here, under good conditions, than anywhere else we host events. Events here, under good conditions, are always an extra special treat. Keep in mind the temperatures are forecasted to be in the 30’s for Saturday night and atop Pilot the temp can be even 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. So, please dress appropriately, especially the little ones. A final weather call will be posted on Friday for this event.

 

First look

Our final event for the NC Science Festival Week is on Saturday April 16th at our home locale of Sciworks, 400 West Hanes Mill Road, Winston-Salem, NC, This is will be an urban observation concentrating mainly on the Moon, Jupiter and a few of the brighter nebulae and star clusters. We’ll have solar observing during the afternoon and transitioning to night targets as darkness falls.

 

NigthSky-1

I would also like to mention that the FAS Light Pollution Committee will have a booth set up for the Piedmont Earth Day Fair sponsored by the Piedmont Environmental Alliance at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds on April 23rd. From 10AM-5PM near, inside if raining, the education building. Come out for day of education and fun. Free entry and parking.

 

 

All events are free and open to the public. If you are catching this and can’t make these events because they’re too far away, check the NC Science Festival Calendar page. There are multiple events happening all over the state at various locales.

All eyes on Jupiter

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Young Astronomers Newsletter April 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 4 April 2016

By Bob Patsiga

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Science and Religion Lecture with Dr. John Barrow: “Our Place in the Universe”, Tuesday March 29

Our Place in the Universe with Dr. John BarrowDr. John Barrow, Professor of Mathematical Sciences in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, will deliver a public lecture on Tuesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Wake Forest University’s Porter Byrum Welcome Center.

This event is free and open to the public. It should be a fascinating topic. For more information concerning the event click the poster image to the left. For more information on Dr. Barrow click his image below.

Dr. John Barrow

 

 

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FAS Meeting For March 22 2016

The next meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be held on Tuesday March 22. The program this month is a video presentation and discussion of the program The Night Sky. This episode will cover the results and findings of the recent New Horizons mission to Pluto. The Meeting will begin at 7:30 PM at Sciworks. An informal gathering it typical up to 30 minutes before. Hope to see you there.

A note to FAS members, this is election meeting for the upcoming year’s officers.

*Photo is from NASA’s New Horizon image gallery.

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Young Astronomers Newsletter March 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 3 March 2016

By Bob Patsiga

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Pilot Mountain State Park Public Observation March 5th

Pilot Panna

It’s that time of the year again folks! The Forsyth Astronomical Society will host the first of four scheduled observations atop Pilot Mountain State Park. This is one of our favorite events, as it is quite darker there than any of our typical observation locations and we can share more of the night sky’s treasures with the public. Depending on seeing conditions, we should easily be able to share a variety of galaxies, star clusters, nebulae and the planet Jupiter. As typical for our events at Pilot we will have solar observing earlier in the day, starting around 2-3pm. The main show should begin just after twilight with sunset being at 6:21PM. This is a weather dependent event with a rain date of March 12th. Follow this post or our club’s Facebook page for a final weather call on the Friday before the event. Keep in mind that the temperature atop Pilot can be up to 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding area, so dress appropriately. Come on out and enjoy a family friendly evening of learning about what’s in the night sky.

All eyes on Jupiter

Update 3/4:

With the weather forecasting 50% chance of showers tomorrow evening, our observation has been postponed until it’s rain date of March 12. Stay tuned on next Friday for a weather call.

Update 3/11:

I’m sorry to announce the rescheduled observation atop Pilot Mountain for the Saturday March 12th has been canceled due to inclement weather.

Our next public observation opportunities will be in mid April. The 8th we will have an observation at the Yadkin County Park behind the YMCA and another attempt at Pilot Mountain State Park on the 9th. Then we will have an urban observation for the public at SciWorks in Winston-Salem on the 16th. All of these events will be in conjunction with the NC Science Festival week. We hope to see you all these events.

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FAS Meeting February 23

If you have ever attended a planetarium show and wondered, “How does all that work?” Then this month’s meeting is for you. This month club member Justin Nichols will present part 2, History of Planetarium Projectors, of his 3 part series on planetarium projectors. The meeting will begin at 7:30 PM but, as usual, there is an informal social gathering from 7PM until the meeting starts. Come out and join us to learn about a fascinating topic. Open to the public and all are welcome. Hope to see you there.

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TriStar 2016 Will Be Held On March 4-5 2016 At GTCC

TriStar2016

Come join fellow astronomy enthusiasts as the Cline Observatory hosts its annual amateur astronomy conference TriStar at Guilford Technical Community College. Dr. Patrick Miller of Hardin-Simmons University will be the opening speaker on Friday March 4th at 7pm with observing in the Cline Observatory afterwards, weather permitting of course. For a full list of guest speakers, topics and schedule please visit http://observatory.gtcc.edu/tristar/ .

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