Young Astronomers Newsletter February 2017

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 25 Number 2 February 2017

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

  • Some concerning developments with the ongoing Juno mission.
  • Some interesting theories scientists are pursuing to help describe the early formation of the solar system.
  • Developments at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia
  • Research into dark matter that may be leading us to rethink how we understand the universe.
  • The loss of a renowned space explorer.
  • Celestial happenings in February.
  • February astronomical birthdays.
  • Information about one of our past presidents and his affinity for astronomy.
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January Meeting of the Forsyth Astronomical Society 1/24

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.

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STEM Outreach Outreach and Public Observation ar Winston-Salem Christian School

WS Lions Science ExtravaganzaUpdate 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.

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Our First Public Observation of the Year, January 7th at SciWorks

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.

 

Sciworks1.JPGThis 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.

 

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Young Astronomers Newsletter January 2017

The Young Astronomers Newsletter

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The Young Astronomers Newsletter Volume 25 Number 1 January 2017

By Bob Patsiga

 

 

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

  • The upcoming total eclipse coming later this year and initial plans and preparations you may want to take to ensure enjoying this spectacle.
  • Happenings with the ongoing Cassini Mission and it’s eventual demise later this year.
  • A new and interesting classification of galaxies that have been discovered.
  • Black holes, why do they occur and what makes them work.
  • January astronomical birthdays.
  • Celestial happenings for this month.
  • A constellation wordsearch and more.
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The 2017 Calendar is Up

Bulb.JPGWe 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.

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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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