NC Astronomers
Bringing Astronomy to the Public
Events Newsletter Sky Chart Astro Images Star Parties About us Members Links Contact

Wednesday, January 2nd, 7:00 pm.
Madelyn Helling Library
Community Room

logo

 This month's talk:

NASA Matian Insite Lander

Mark Garybill

The NASA Martian InSight Lander project's purpose is the Interior Exploration of Mars using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.

Mark will help us understand how this all works and how NASA made it happen.

Insight at Mars

 
All are welcome! Bring a friend!

 


President’s Rant

Happy New Year Astro-Friends,

Ready or not, here comes 2019!

To celebrate, the New Horizons spacecraft will do a flyby of Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule on New Year’s Day. The target is approximately 44 AU from earth, which puts one-way communication time at roughly 6.1 hours. That’s a slow conversation! Check NASA’s website for updates.

On the evening of January 20th, we will be treated to a total Lunar eclipse, weather permitting. Unlike solar eclipses which only are total for a few minutes, lunar totality will last for about one hour. The eclipse will begin at about 7:00 p.m. PST, and end at about 11:15 p.m. That’s my kind of event. It doesn’t last too much past my bedtime.

Our first meeting of the year will be Wednesday, January 2nd, at 7:00 p.m. Come hear our member, Mark Graybill speak about the InSight lander on Mars.

In the meantime:

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

Stephen Hawking

Clear skies,

John


Outreach - David Buchla

We have a couple of school requests for March; I will send out reminders when it is closer to each event. Have a happy New Year everyone.

Dave


Astronomy on Tap

NC Astronomer members continue to enjoy the beer  and 'blather' at the Ol' Republic Brewery.  Their beer selection is quite comprehensive and they seem to enjoy naming beers after astronomical topics. 

 

Each month we choose several current topics in Astronomy and share our ignorance.

We will meet on

The THIRD wednesday of each month at 5pm

Come and join the conversation at

Ol' Republic Brewery below SPD in Nevada City!

 


Secretary/Treasurer - Paul Bacon

 

Our Mission is:

'Bringing' Astronomy to the Public'

a BIG Thank You

to all our members who join and make our programs possible!

I will be collecting membership contributions

($20/year for member or family)

at our Monthly Meetings,

If you can't make the meeting, send your check to:

          NC Astronomers, %Paul Bacon,                    
10572 Oak St., Grass Valley, CA 95945


 


This article is distributed by NASA Night Sky Network

The Night Sky Network program supports astronomy clubs across the USA dedicated to astronomy outreach. Visit nightsky.jpl.nasa.org to find local clubs, events, and more!

NASA Night Sky Notes:

January’s Evening Eclipse and Morning Conjunctions

By David Prosper

 

Observers in the Americas are treated to an evening total lunar eclipse this month. Early risers can spot some striking morning conjunctions between Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon late in January.

 

A total lunar eclipse will occur on January 20th and be visible from start to finish for observers located in North and South America. This eclipse might be a treat for folks with early bedtimes; western observers can even watch the whole event before midnight. Lunar eclipses takes several hours to complete and are at their most impressive during total eclipse, or totality, when the Moon is completely enveloped by the umbra, the darkest part of Earth’s shadow. During totality the color of the Moon can change to a bright orange or red thanks to the sunlight bending through the Earth’s atmosphere - the same reason we see pink sunsets. The eclipse begins at 10:34 pm Eastern Standard Time, with totality beginning at 11:41 pm. The total eclipse lasts for slightly over an hour, ending at 12:43 am. The eclipse finishes when the Moon fully emerges from Earth’s shadow by 1:51 am. Convert these times to your own time zone to plan your own eclipse watching; for example, observers under Pacific Standard Time will see the eclipse start at 7:34 pm and end by 10:51 pm.

 

Lunar eclipses offer observers a unique opportunity to judge how much the Moon’s glare can interfere with stargazing. On eclipse night the Moon will be in Cancer, a constellation made up of dim stars. How many stars you can see near the full Moon before or after the eclipse? How many stars can you see during the total eclipse? The difference may surprise you. During these observations, you may spot a fuzzy cloud of stars relatively close to the Moon; this is known as the “Beehive Cluster,” M44, or Praesepe. It’s an open cluster of stars thought to be about 600 million year old and a little under 600 light years distant. Praesepe looks fantastic through binoculars.

 

Mars is visible in the evening and sets before midnight. It is still bright but has faded considerably since its closest approach to Earth last summer. Watch the red planet travel through the constellation Pisces throughout January.

 

Venus makes notable early morning appearances beside both Jupiter and the Moon later this month; make sure to get up about an hour before sunrise for the best views of these events. First, Venus and Jupiter approach each other during the third full week of January. Watch their conjunction on the 22nd, when the planets appear to pass just under 2 ½ degrees of each other. The next week, observe Venus in a close conjunction with a crescent Moon the morning of the 31st. For many observers their closest pass - just over half a degree apart, or less than a thumb’s width held at arm’s length - will occur after sunrise. Since Venus and the Moon are so bright you may st1ill be able to spot them, even after sunrise. Have you ever seen Venus in the daytime?

 

If you have missed Saturn this winter, watch for the ringed planet’s return by the end of the month, when it rises right before sunrise in Sagittarius. See if you can spot it after observing Venus’ conjunctions!

You can catch up on all of NASA’s current and future missions at nasa.gov

 

 Have you ever wondered how eclipses occur? You can model the Earth-Moon system using just a couple of small balls and a measuring stick to find out! The “yardstick eclipse” model shown here is set up to demonstrate a lunar eclipse. The “Earth” ball (front, right) casts its shadow on the smaller “Moon” ball (rear, left). You can also simulate a solar eclipse just by flipping this model around. You can even use the Sun as your light source! Find more details on this simple eclipse model at bit.ly/yardstickeclipse

 Credit: Bill Anders/NASA


Officers
Click to Contact
President John Griffin
Vice President Rick Bernard
Secretary/Treasurer Paul Bacon
Outreach Coordinator David Buchla
At Large Greg Ouligian
At Large Dan St. John
   

NC Astronomers
Membership Application Form

   

NC ASTRONOMERS
Meets
First Wednesday Of The Month
Madelyn Helling Library
Community Room
980 Helling Way
Nevada City 95959

NC ASTRONOMERS
10572 Oak St.
Grass Valley, CA 95945
http://ncastronomers.org


visits 16871

© Copyright 2007 - 2019 NC Astronomers
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, copyright material on this site is displayed solely for non-profit research and educational purposes
Hosted by
Full Spectrum.com