Public Observation at Sciworks on Saturday June 11

Update 6/10: It looks like we are finally getting the weather to cooperate. Tomorrow evening’s observation for Sciworks is a resounding GO!!!. Come on out and enjoy an evening under the stars. With VERY mild conditions, almost summer like, you can defiantly forget the jackets but be sure to bring the bug spray. Hope to see you all there!

 

 

Sci_scope_sd.JPG

The Forsyth Astronomical Society will be hosting a public observation at Sciworks in Winston Salem on Saturday June the 11th.  Night sky treats for this observation will include the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the Moon, several star clusters, double stars and possibly some galaxies in the larger scopes.

 

 

First lookAs per typical, there will be solar observing in the afternoon leading up to sunset which is at 8:38 PM. We will shift to dark sky targets as they become available. The observation will continue to as late as 11 pm or until conditions are unfavorable or interest wains. There will be a final weather call made on Friday. This post and the club’s Facebook page will have updates for that weather call. You can also call Sciworks after 5 PM on Friday at (336) 767-6730 to receive the update via automated message.

Hope to see you there.

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Young Astronomers Newsletter June 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 6 June 2016

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

  • Summary of what we know about Planet Nine.  Article by Michael Brown of Caltech in Astronomy magazine.
  • New concept about the location of the Milky Way in the cosmos.  Our home supercluster is now referred to as Laniakea.
  • Short article  from TIME magazine about convincing park directors to limit artificial lighting.
  • Testing the rockets for NASA’s Space Launch System.
  • June birthdays.
  • June moon and planet information.
  • How to make an alidade to measure the Sun’s angle for the Summer Solstice.
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Pilot Mountain Observation in Celebration of the NC Parks System 100 Year Anniversary

Update 6/3: Due to expected late day/ early evening thunderstorms the observations at Pilot Mountain State Park and Stone Mountain State Park have been canceled. We can not catch a break folks. Hopefully conditions will be better for next weekend’s scheduled public observation at Sciworks. More info to come early next week for this event.

Come join the Forsyth Astronomical Society this Saturday, June 4th, for an evening of stargazing to help celebrate the centennial celebration of the North Carolina Parks System.  We will be set up at dusk in the upper parking area and the park gate will be closing at 10PM. If weather/atmospheric conditions cooperate we should easily be able to show you the 3 planets Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, along with other deep sky wonders, star clusters and galaxies a plenty. A final weather call will be made on the Friday before. Stay tuned to the club’s website or Facebook page for that call. You can also call Sciworks, (336)767-6730, or the Pilot Mountain office, (336) 325-2355, for that weather call also.  Click the picture above to be taken to the additional events and programs for the day.

 

Pilot Panna

 

We will also be set up at Stone Mountain State park for visiting campers and guests. Access to the observation site can be obtained between campsite 35 and 36. A campsite map can be found HERE. The final weather call for this site will be posted here and our Facebook page only.

This is a lock in event. If you attend as a non-camper you be required to stay the full length of the observation and leave as the astronomy club members do.

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Camper stargazing at Stone Mountain State Park, May 28 2016

 

Update 5/27: Due to unfavorable weather conditions the observation at Stone Mountain State Park has been canceled.

Next weekend we have another observation scheduled here and at Pilot Mountain State Park also to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the state parks system. More details on these events to come.

This Saturday evening, May 28th, the Forsyth Astronomical Society will hold its first, of the year, observation for campers at Stone Mountain State Park. There will be solar observing in the afternoon starting around 3 PM, transitioning to night time targets as darkness falls. This observation typically lasts until around 11 PM and possibly later if conditions and interest merit. With the moon not rising until after 1:30 AM, this very good dark sky spot should yield lots of deep sky treats, if atmospheric conditions are right. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, star clusters and several galaxies should easily be in reach. Access to the observation area is between campsites 35 and 36. A campsite map can be found HERE.  A final weather call will be posted here and on the club’s Facebook page Friday afternoon.

 

This is a LOCK IN event. If you attend as a non camper you will be required to stay the entire length of the event and leave as the astronomy club members do.

 

  • A heads up to club members attending. This location is always a heavy dew observing area. Protect equipment and optics accordingly.
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FAS Meeting May 24 2016

This month’s meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be on May the 24th at 7:30pm at Sciworks. Following the presentation portion we will have a brief business meeting. The presentation will be a video and discussion on the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient astronomical calculator. Click the picture below to learn more.

As always there will be an informal social gathering 30 minutes or so before the meeting. All are welcome. Hope to see you there.

 

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 are an additional $7.50.

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Sciworks Radio Astronomy Broadcast

 

Sciworks RadioFor those unaware, Sciworks’ very own Shawn Fitzmaurice hosts a radio segment on our

M42

The Great Orion Nebula, a “stellar nursery”, where stars are created and destroyed forming the elements we are all made of.

local NPR station 88.5 WFDD. This week’s broadcast will be an astronomy related topic that will include an interview with Dr. John Barrow from Cambridge University about stellar formation and how that relates to the matter we’re all composed of. You can stream the broadcast from WFDD’s site  tomorrow evening, May 6th, or catch it on the air Sunday May 8th at 8:35AM and 5:35PM.

www.wfdd.org/show/sciworks-radio

Below are links to stream some of Shawn’s previous astronomy related broadcasts. Click on any of these titles to be linked to the broadcast stream.

 

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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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