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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Stone Mount camper observation August 6

Our scheduled observation at Stone Mountain State Park for tomorrow night, August 6th, has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Our next outreach opportunity will be another observation at Stone Mountain on September 10th, weather permitting.  There are several upcoming astronomical events happening this month so stay tuned here or the club’s Face Book page for details as the dates are closer. Coming up first is the annual Perseids Meteor Shower happening next weekend and it’s slated to be a better than average show. We will post more info early next week.

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Young Astronomers Newsletter August 2016

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 24 Number 8 August 2016

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

Update on New Horizons and JUNO missions.  New Horizons is now well beyond Pluto and NASA has already identified its next Kuiper Belt object for exploration.

JUNO is in its initial capture orbit around Jupiter.  The first high-resolution photos of Jupiter are due to be taken in late August.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has proved to be a valuable tool for studying the Moon.  Accurate land formation and elevation information provided by the LRO will help in planning the next manned or robot exploration of the Moon.  The LRO has also found strong indications of deposits of water in shaded craters and in subsurface deposits.

Classical Newtonian – Kepler physics still function in the formation of a variety of bodies found in the cosmos.  This is true for all gravitationally bound bodies, from planets to stars to black holes.  This is explained in an Astronomy (Aug. 2016) article by John Kormendy.

What is causing the strange radiational behavior of KIC 8462852?  This star (Tabby’s Star) shows unusual erratic output of radiation which cannot be explained by the presence of orbiting planets, asteroids or comets.  Could this be caused by intelligent designers?

August birthday: Roger Penrose, British astronomer-mathematician.

Celestial information for August. Moon phases, locations of planets, behavior of the Perseids meteors.

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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.

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 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

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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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