Bringing Astronomy to the Public
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This month's talk:
How Jove sat on his own dipoles, and how we can see the shocking results.
Hello NC Astronomers,
It’s Fall again, which brings earlier sunsets, more darkness, and cooler observing. Since I have been stargazing, I have become more aware of the rhythm of the seasons. This is just one phenomenon of many that makes me feel connected to the Universe.
Speaking of connectedness, Saturday, October 5th, is International Observe the Moon Night. People around the world will be observing the Moon that night, and we will be joining them. Dave will have more info in his article, and we will be talking about it at the meeting.
Come to the meeting on October 2nd. Our speaker will be Gary Palmer, and he always has an interesting subject to talk about.
You could also come to Astronomy on Tap at Ol’ Republic on the 21st. We like to get together over a beer and discuss ideas that nobody understands.
I look forward to seeing you at one or both meetings.
Keep looking up,
Outreach - David Buchla
This month we are teaming with astronomy clubs throughout the nation for Observe the Moon Night. 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of International Observe the Moon Night and the 10th year in orbit of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. See https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon/annual-event/overview/
Unfortunately I will be unavailable that night but John will be the lead person for the event. The event will be at Old Donnieville highway and Highway 49 starting at dusk.
Here is a NASA poster for the event.
Astronomy on Tap
NC Astronomer members continue to enjoy the beer and 'blather' at the Ol' Republic Brewery. The beer selection at the Brewery is quite comprehensive, they seem to enjoy naming beers after astronomical topics and the environment is designed for in depth conversations on deeply philisophical questions.
Each month we choose several current topics in Astronomy and share our ignorance.
Astronomy on Tap will meet on
The third Monday of the 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,
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!
Find Strange Uranus in Aries
Most of the planets in our solar system are bright and easily spotted in our night skies. The exceptions are the ice giant planets: Uranus and Neptune. These worlds are so distant and dim that binoculars or telescopes are almost always needed to see them. A great time to search for Uranus is during its opposition on October 28, since the planet is up almost the entire night and at its brightest for the year.
Search for Uranus in the space beneath the stars of Aries the Ram and above Cetus the Whale. These constellations are found west of more prominent Taurus the Bull and Pleiades star cluster. You can also use the Moon as a guide! Uranus will be just a few degrees north of the Moon the night of October 14, close enough to fit both objects into the same binocular field of view. However, it will be much easier to see dim Uranus by moving the bright Moon just out of sight. If you’re using a telescope, zoom in as much as possible once you find Uranus; 100x magnification and greater will reveal its small greenish disc, while background stars will remain points.
Try this observing trick from a dark sky location. Find Uranus with your telescope or binoculars, then look with your unaided eyes at the patch of sky where your equipment is aimed. Do you see a faint star where Uranus should be? That’s not a star; you’re actually seeing Uranus with your naked eye! The ice giant is just bright enough near opposition - magnitude 5.7 - to be visible to observers under clear dark skies. It’s easier to see this ghostly planet unaided after first using an instrument to spot it, sort of like “training wheels” for your eyes. Try this technique with other objects as you observe, and you’ll be amazed at what your eyes can pick out.
By the way, you’ve spotted the first planet discovered in the modern era! William Herschel discovered Uranus via telescope in 1781, and Johan Bode confirmed its status as a planet two years later. NASA’s Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to visit this strange world, with a brief flyby in 1986. It revealed a strange, severely tilted planetary system possessing faint dark rings, dozens of moons, and eerily featureless cloud tops. Subsequent observations of Uranus from powerful telescopes like Hubble and Keck showed its blank face was temporary, as powerful storms were spotted, caused by dramatic seasonal changes during its 84-year orbit. Uranus’s wildly variable seasons result from a massive collision billions of years ago that tipped the planet to its side.
Discover more about NASA’s current and future missions of exploration of the distant solar system and beyond at nasa.gov
The path of Uranus in October is indicated by an arrow; its position on October 14 is circled. The wide dashed circle approximates the field of view from binoculars or a finderscope. Image created with assistance from Stellarium.
Composite images taken of Uranus in 2012 and 2014 by the Hubble Space Telescope, showcasing its rings and auroras. More at bit.ly/uranusauroras Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Lamy / Observatoire de Paris
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