Young Astronomers Newsletter December 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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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.
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Pilot Mount Observation and Telescope Workshop Saturday November 19th

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.

 

Pilot Panna

 

 

 

 

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 19th20130301-195222.jpg 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.

 

All eyes on JupiterOur 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.

One ends another begins

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Young Astronomers Newsletter November 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 11 November 2016

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

  • The re-programmed WISE space telescope has a renewed mission as NEOWISE. How does its new mission affect you?
  • The article “Cosmic Rays” in the November issue of Astronomy magazine.
  • A surprising discovery made by astronomers from the University of Idaho in some pictures from 1986 taken by Voyager II.
  • Some interesting tidbits about Pluto’s atmosphere and its moon Charon.
  • The mission objectives of the European Space Agency’s GAIA space telescope.
  • November’s astronomical birthdays.
  • Celestial happening in November.
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SciWorks Observation Saturday October 8th

UPDATE!!!!!: Due to adverse weather conditions the observation event for Sciworks on Oct 8th has been cancelled. Our next public events, our annual telescope buyers workshop and an Observation atop Pilot Mountain will be held on Nov 19. More details will come as the date nears.

 

Sci_scope_sd.JPGWeather permitting the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be hosting a public observation at Sciworks in Winston Salem on Saturday October the 8th.  Night sky treats for this observation will include the planets Mars and Saturn early in the evening, the Moon, several star clusters, double stars and you may catch a faint image of a galaxy in some of the larger scopes.

First lookAs per typical, there will be solar observing in the afternoon leading up to sunset which is at 6:54 PM. We will shift to dark sky targets as they become available. The observation will continue to as late as 11 pm, until conditions are unfavorable or interest wains. A jacket might be wise as the temps at night are getting cooler.

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. Click on either image for directions to Sciworks.

Hope to see you there.

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Young Astronomers Newsletter October 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 10 October 2016

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

  •  Juno’s first few days at Jupiter.
  • Latest on New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond.
  • Happenings with current and upcoming Mars missions.
  • The end of the Rosetta comet explorer as it crash lands on comet 67P.
  • Strange signals from distant stars and what they might mean.
  • The passing of Apollo era NASA engineer, Jack Garman.
  • A planet has been discovered orbiting our nearest star, Proxima Centauri!
  • Astronomical birthdays for October.
  • Celestial happenings for October including a prominent meteor shower.
  • Astronomy questions facts and fun.
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Lock In Observation at Stone Mountain State Park for Campers Saturday October 1st

 Update 10/1: The late afternoon solar observing will not be happening. The sun is currently in solar minimum and has little to no activity going on. The night sky portion is still happening. Hope to see you there.

Update 9/30: We are a GO!!!!!! The weather looks quite favorable for tomorrow night. Hope to see you there.

This Saturday October 1st, the Forsyth Astronomical Society will host an observation in the camp area of Stone Mountain State Park. This our last scheduled observation at the location for the 2016 year. This is primarily an event for the campers of the park but the public is welcome to attend as long as they understand THIS IS A LOCK IN EVENT any NON-CAMPING attendees will be required to stay the entirety of the event. The park entrance gate will be closed and locked at 9PM by the park officials and any NON-CAMPING guests will be required to leave as the astronomy club members leave the park.  Among the night sky treats to be seen will be Saturn and Mars early in the evening then various star clusters, nebulae, and several galaxies as it gets darker. The moon’s glare will not be an issue given it is the new moon.  This should make the deep sky objects exceptionally spectacular. There will be solar observing at the site in the late afternoon.

The conditions can vary from the surrounding areas at our mountain observing sites. You may want to bring a jacket given that the lows are slated for the mid 50’s, and possibly insect repellent. Please refrain from spraying repellent near scopes or other optic devices. Repellents are usually sticky and can damage the precision optical surfaces. Please note the observation site on the campsite map below. Access to the site can be gained via a grassy path between sites 35 and 36. A final weather call will be made tomorrow for this event.

Sone_Mtn_Site

A reminder to attending club members: This location is prone to HEAVY dew. Please keep this in mind and adjust your equipment strategy accordingly.

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FAS Meeting September 27 2016

Reconstructed telescope seen from a distance

The September meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be
this Tuesday night, September 27th, at 7:30 pm at SciWorks. This month’s program will be presented by club member Charles London, about his trip
to Ireland and his visit to Lord Rosse’s “Leviathan of Parsontown”. Click the picture above for more info.

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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Lock In Observation at Stone Mountain State Park for Campers Saturday September 10th

Update: We are a GO for the observation tomorrow evening!!!!! The weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies so we’ll take it.

 

This Saturday September 10th, the Forsyth Astronomical Society will have an observation in the camp ground of Stone Mountain State Park. This is primarily an event for the campers of the park but the public is welcome to attend as long as they understand that  THIS IS A LOCK IN EVENT any NON-CAMPING attendees will be required to stay the entirety of the event. The park gate will be locked at 10PM and any NON-CAMPING guests will be required to leave as the astronomy club members leave the park.  Among the night sky treasures to be seen will be the Moon in waxing gibbous, various star clusters, nebulae, and maybe a galaxy or two in some of our larger scopes. The conditions can vary at our mountain observing sites. You may want to bring a light jacket just in case, and definitely insect repellent. Please refrain from spraying repellent near scopes or other optic devices. Repellents are usually sticky and can damage the precision optical surfaces. Please note the observation site on the campsite map below. Access to the site can be gained via a grass y path between sites 35 and 36. A final weather call will be made later this afternoon for this event.

Sone_Mtn_Site

A reminder to attending club members: This location is prone to HEAVY dew. Please keep this in mind and adjust your equipment strategy accordingly.

 

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Young Astronomers Newsletter September 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 9 September 2016

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

  • Updates on the Jupiter Juno mission
  • Issues with the Kepler Space Telescope leads to a reassignment of study targets
  • Discrepancies within the Hubble constant used to calculate the expansion rate of the universe
  • Naming of some newly man-made or synthesized elements
  • Celestial happenings for September
  • September astronomical birthdays
  • Fun activities with the YANL Word search and Calculator Corner: Calculate the speed of the Earth as it moves along its orbit around the Sun
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FAS Meeting August 23 2016

The August meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be
this Tuesday night, August 23rd, at 7:30 pm at SciWorks. This month’s program will be presented by club member Bruce Mellin and is titled: “Measuring Light”. 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 members: LAST CALL FOR 2016 DUES!! We are in progress of cleaning up and updating the FAS roster, any members that have not paid their 2016 dues or that do not have a lifetime membership will be dropped from the roster and email list at the end of August.

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