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Madelyn Helling Library

Community Room

7:00 pm


This month's meeting is cancelled







All are welcome! Bring a friend when next we meet!


President’s Rant

Hello NC Astronomers and friends,

I hope that you are all well and are aware that ALL club activities are cancelled until it is deemed safe for groups to congregate. This means no pre-meeting dinners, no meetings, no star parties, and perhaps worst of all, no Astronomy on Tap (sob).

We don’t know how CoViD-19 will play out, but it will take some time to break the cycle. Therefore, the best thing for us is to hunker and be as careful as possible. Keep in touch with your families, friends and neighbors. A phone call can brighten someone’s day.

So, until we can see each other, stay well, keep looking up at the sky and down at the grass.




PS: Since it appears that we may not be able to have another meeting until after our summer shutdown, the Board has decided to extend the membership of everyone who has paid their dues for 2020 through 2021. That seems fair to the loyal members of our club.

Outreach - Hilary Steinmetz

At last, we finally got a request for outreach from Scotten School for their science night, April 23rd. Unfortunately the principal canceled the event a few days later due to the distrist closing the schools. 

I want to thank Stormy and David for their offer of help for this request. 


Astronomy on Tap is CANCELLED until further notice!

NC Astronomer members continue to enjoy the beer  and 'blather' at the 1849 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. 

Image result for astronomy on tap

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

Note new meeting location

 Astronomy on Tap will meet on

The third Monday of the month at 5pm


Come and join the conversation at

1849 Brewery - 468 Sutton Way (back of Union Newspaper)


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!

As we continue to move into the New Year, help keep our wonderful little club financially healthy!

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 to find local clubs, events, and more!

Hubble at 30: Three Decades of Cosmic Discovery

David Prosper

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 30th birthday in orbit around Earth this month! It’s hard to believe how much this telescope has changed the face of astronomy in just three decades. It had a rough start -- an 8-foot mirror just slightly out of focus in the most famous case of spherical aberration of all time. But subsequent repairs and upgrades by space shuttle astronauts made Hubble a symbol of the ingenuity of human spaceflight and one of the most important scientific instruments ever created. Beginning as a twinkle in the eye of the late Nancy Grace Roman, the Hubble Space Telescope’s work over the past thirty years changed the way we view the universe, and more is yet to come!

We’ve all seen the amazing images created by Hubble and its team of scientists, but have you seen Hubble yourself? You actually can! Hubble’s orbit – around 330 miles overhead -- is close enough to Earth that you can see it at night. The best times are within an hour after sunset or before sunrise, when its solar panels are angled best to reflect the light of the Sun back down to Earth. You can’t see the structure of the telescope, but you can identify it as a bright star-like point, moving silently across the night sky. It’s not as bright as the Space Station, which is much larger and whose orbit is closer to Earth (about 220 miles), but it’s still very noticeable as a single steady dot of light, speeding across the sky. Hubble’s orbit brings it directly overhead for observers located near tropical latitudes; observers further north and south can see it closer to the horizon. You can find sighting opportunities using satellite tracking apps for your smartphone or tablet, and dedicated satellite tracking websites. These resources can also help you identify other satellites that you may see passing overhead during your stargazing sessions.

NASA has a dedicated site for Hubble’s 30th’s anniversary at The Night Sky Network’s “Why Do We Put Telescopes in Space?” activity can help you and your audiences discover why we launch telescopes into orbit, high above the interference of Earth’s atmosphere, at Amateur astronomers may especially enjoy Hubble’s images of the beautiful objects found in both the Caldwell and Messier catalogs, at and As we celebrate Hubble’s legacy, we look forward to the future, as there is another telescope ramping up that promises to further revolutionize our understanding of the early universe: the James Webb Space Telescope! 

Discover more about the history and future of Hubble and space telescopes at

Hubble’s “first light” image. Even with the not-yet-corrected imperfections in its mirror, its images were generally sharper compared to photos taken by ground-based telescopes at the time. Image Credit: NASA

Click to Contact
President John Griffin
Vice President Rick Bernard
Secretary/Treasurer Paul Bacon
Outreach Coordinator Hilary Steinmetz
Emeritus Officer David Buchla
At Large Greg Ouligian
At Large Greg Dolkas

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

10572 Oak St.
Grass Valley, CA 95945

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