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Wednesday, November 1st 7:00 pm.
Madelyn Helling Library
Community Room


Member's photos/stories of the 2017 Total Eclipse
MC David Buchla

The 2017 total solar eclipse is history but the memory lingers on! A number of club members were in the total path on August 21 and have a variety of photos and stories from the eclipse. These have been compiled into a power point presentation. As of this time we have 10 members that will describe their experience with the eclipse. This should be a fun evening. Each presentation will focus on the particular experience; it should be a memorable evening. If you have a short story to share, contact Dave and he will put you on the schedule!

Bring a friend ... bring the kids!

President’s Rant

Hello NC Astronomers,

I want to welcome Paul Bacon and Greg Ouligian to the club board of directors. They were appointed at the last board meeting to augment the board membership. We will be examining the duties of all board members and then re-allocating jobs accordingly. We can always use more help on the board, so consider helping out. We can also use a person that would be willing to keep up the member data base. Bill Thomas has done this for years and is willing to help train someone in how to do the updates. 

At the board meeting, we also discussed the club’s growing library of telescopes. We have an 8” approximately f5 Orion Dob and a 10” f4.7 Orion Dob. The 8” is useable now, and Greg Ouligian has volunteered to “test drive” our new long-term lending program with it. What we are proposing is to loan the telescopes to members for an indefinite period for their use with the proviso that they bring them to star parties, school parties, and other club events and maintain them in good condition. The 10” needs some work on the mount as well as a couple of eyepieces and a Telrad. There are two others that will require significant work to make them useable, and the board may decide not to invest the funds in them right now.

If there is a member who is interested in the long-term loan of the 10”, please let one of the board members know, and the board will discuss the repair cost and decide at that time whether to proceed with the repairs.

Finally, the board decided to try using a sign-up sheet so that different members could volunteer to bring a goody to enjoy at the meetings. That way, more people can participate.

See you November 1st,


Outreach - David Buchla

Since our September star party for the GV Charter School's third graders, we have had no other requests for outreach. We did schedule a star party at Chalk Bluff on October 14th. We had a little smoke to the southeast in the early evening, but it went away and all in all, we had nice viewing with about 10 or so members attending. I was able to see Stephen's quintet that night and again this last Saturday, when I took it to Blue Canyon. If you are not familiar with Stephen's, it is a compact group of five challenging galaxies (at least in my 14-inch Celestron); they range from 14th to 16th mag. They serve as a good test of dark skies! I tried to compare views (one week later) between Chalk Bluff and Blue Canyon and could see no difference. I think it is safe to say, Chalk Bluff is at least as dark as Blue Canyon. Blue Canyon has the advantage of a nice horizon – I was able to see NGC253 at BC as it was well above the horizon late in the evening (about 1 am). (We even looked at M42, which means it was pretty late!)

I'll send out something to members when we get an outreach request, but for now, all is quiet. 


Secretary/Treasurer - Dan St. John


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 2018 membership dues

($20/year for member or family)

at our November Meeting,

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

          NC Astronomers, %Dan StJohn,                    
12296 Valley View Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959


Spooky in Space: NASA Images for Halloween
By Linda Hermans-Killiam

Have you ever seen a cloud that looks sort of like a rabbit? Or maybe a rock formation that looks a bit like an elephant? Although you know that a cloud isn’t really a giant rabbit in the sky, it’s still fun to look for patterns in images from nature. Can you spot some familiar spooky sites in the space images below?


This might look like the grinning face of a jack-o’-lantern, but it’s actually a picture of our Sun! In this image, taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, the glowing eyes, nose and mouth are some of the Sun’s active regions. These regions give off lots of light and energy. This causes them to appear brighter against the rest of the Sun. Active regions are constantly changing locations on the Sun. On the day this image was captured, they just happened to look like a face!

Credit: NASA/ESA/A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)

This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of Jupiter. Do you notice something that looks like a big eye peeking back at you? That’s actually the shadow of Jupiter's moon Ganymede as it passed in front of the planet’s Great Red Spot. Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a gigantic, oval shaped storm that is larger than Earth and is shrinking. It has been on Jupiter for several hundred years, and its winds can swirl up to 400 miles per hour!

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Can you see the profile of a witch in this image? This image, from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, shows the Witch Head nebula. The nebula is made up of clouds of dust heated by starlight. These dust clouds are where new stars are born. Here, the dust clouds happen to be in the shape of an open mouth, long nose and pointy chin.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisc.

The Black Widow Nebula looks like a giant spider in space. It is a huge cloud of gas and dust containing massive young stars. Radiation and winds from these stars push the dust and gas around, creating a spider-like shape. This image is from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.


Did a skeleton lose one of its leg bones on Mars? Nope! It’s just an image of a Martian rock. NASA's Curiosity rover captured this image. The rock was probably shaped to look this way over time by wind or water. If life ever existed on Mars, scientists expect that it would be small organisms called microbes. So, it isn’t likely that we’ll ever find a large fossil on Mars!NASA Space Place Partner Article October 2017 To learn some fun planet facts and make a planet mask, check out NASA Space Place:

This article is provided by NASA Space Place. With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology. Visit to explore space and Earth science!

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

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

12296 Valley View Rd
Nevada City CA 95959

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