FAS Meeting July 26 2016

The Harvard Computers at work

This month’s meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be on July 26th at 7:30pm at Sciworks. The presentation will be given by club VP Priscilla Ivester on the “Harvard Computers”, an often overlooked group of gifted female mathematicians who did the majority of the astronomical calculations for the predominately male dominated field. These ladies’ contributions and skill helped shape the view of the universe as we understand it today.

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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Sciworks Radio Astronomy Broadcast

Sciworks RadioSciworks own Shawn Fitzmaurice’s most recent edition of Sciworks Radio is an interview with Jonathan Ward, Volunteer NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador, about the Juno space craft and it’s recent arrival at Jupiter. They discuss the science to be achieved and the discoveries hoped to be made. Click the image below to be linked to the WFDD website.

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Lock In Observation at Stone Mountain State Park for Campers Saturday July 9th

Update 7/8: 

The event this weekend is a GO!!! There will be no solar observing in the afternoon before this event due to the sun’s activity being relatively quiet right now. The sun will be setting at about 8:45 pm. Hope to see you there. 

 

This Saturday July 9th, 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 crescent, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, 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 repellant. Please refrain from spraying repellent near scopes or other optic devices. Repellents are usually sticky and can damage the precision optical surfaces. Please note observation site in the campsite map below. Access to the site last year was gained between sites 35 and 36 but the park’s listing for this event says access will be gained between sites 33 and 34. With this being our possible first event at the location this year we are unsure if this a change they have made or a mistype, use your best judgment when attempting to access the site.

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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 July 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 7 July 2016

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

  • Description of NASA’s JUNO mission to Jupiter, which reaches its destination on July 1. Article describes JUNO’s objectives and its timetable of study of the gas giant.
  • Report of the amino acid glycine and diatomic fragments containing phosphorous found in the halo of matter around the comet 67P. This lends support to the theory that life-forming molecules may have been carried to Earth by comets.
  • Summary of article from Astronomy magazine about the structure and formation of the Milky Way. Emphasis is on the layered structure of the spiraling disks.
  • Report of the discovery of giant spiral galaxies, which although quite old, still produce new stars at a rate far surpassing that of the Milky Way.
  • Short features: Birthdays for July; Rare known fact; July Moon phases; planet information and meteor shower information.
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FAS Meeting June 28 2016

Arctic HalosThis month’s meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society will be on June 28th at 7:30pm at Sciworks. The presentation will be given by club President David Morgan on the topic of Ice Halos. Come join us in learning about these beautiful and fascinating atmospheric occurrences.

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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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!

 

 

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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

YoungAstroLogo

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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