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.
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.
Update 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.
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.
This 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.
We have updated the 2017 events calendar with almost all public observation dates. We still have to settle the dates for the Stone Mountain State Park Camper Observations. If you use Google calendar you can add our calendar to yours by clicking the calendar widget to the right. As always stay tuned here and the club’s Facebook page for updates to events as they come up. We hope to see you all in the upcoming year. As always keep looking up.
The Young Astronomers Newsletter
The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 12 December 2016
By Bob Patsiga
In this month’s edition of the newsletter Bob discusses:
- Now that we have finally received the massive amounts of data sent back to Earth collected in its passes near Pluto. What is NASA now doing with the New Horizons probe to prep it for its extended mission on into the Kuiper Belt?
- Updates on the joint European and Russian Space Agency’s ExoMars mission.
- Bob stirs the curiosity with a synopsis of The Sloan Digital Sky Survey.
- Galaxy collisions and the new information that is leading us to believe our own Milky Way is guilty of cannibalizing from its neighbors in collisions past.
- The dangers of long-term space travel and how that’s relative to our future goals of space exploration.
- Astronomical Birthdays in December.
- Celestial happenings during the month.
- Fun Facts and a word search.
UPDATE 11/18: The weather call for tomorrow evening’s observation atop Pilot Mountain is in folks and we are a GO!!! Remember, the forecast is for cold and breezy please dress accordingly. Hope to see you there.
Don’t forget our Telescope Workshop is tomorrow at sciworks also from 1-4 pm. This is a GREAT source of info to get started and talk one on one with club members about their gear and recommendations.
This weekend the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be hosting 2 public outreach events. One being our annual Telescope/Astronomy Workshop and the other our final observation atop Pilot Mountain for the year.
Our Telescope Workshop will be held at Sciworks in Winston-Salem on November 19th from 1 pm-4 pm. If you’ve been thinking of getting gear to get started in astronomy or you have gear but need experienced advice on how to better operate it, or are looking to upgrade, we have you covered. Come join the Forsyth Astronomical Society as we share our equipment and knowledge to get you started or help you advance in this wonderful hobby. Topics ready to be discussed can include telescopes of various types and sizes, binoculars, a wide range of astronomy related accessories, apps, astrophotography principles and equipment and astronomy documentation including star charts/maps, books and logs. This event is rain or shine and FREE to the public. Though if you want to tour the Sciworks facility regular rates apply.
Our Pilot Mountain Observation will be later that evening in the upper knob parking area. It will commence as soon as it is dark enough to start observations. Sunset is at 5:11 pm and we will continue until 10 pm. This is one of our premier site for public outreach it is dark and when the weather conditions are good it is among some of the best viewing in the area. Among what you might expect to see would be Mars and Venus early in the evening, several different kinds of star clusters and nebulae and possibly even some galaxies. This location is always colder than the surrounding area. PLEASE dress accordingly, especially the little ones. Currently we have a mixed forecast for Saturday, 60’s and rain earlier in the day followed by 30’s clear and breezy overnight. Stay tuned to this post and/or our clubs Facebook page for a final weather call on Friday. You can also get the weather call by calling Sciworks at (336)767-6730 after 5 PM on Friday. In the event of a weather cancellation we have a rain date for this event set for December 3rd. Hope to see you all there.