The April Bulletin of the ASSA is available in the Member Downloads section
We are full-up at our observing site at Glendo State Park and are no longer accepting registrations. At one of the upcoming CSAS monthly meetings we will review activities and processes for the registered participants and offer suggestions for those of you who are not registered but wish to view the eclipse.
Seasons Greetings Everyone!
Joe Grida, President of the Astronomical Society of South Australia sends his holiday greetings along with the January issue of the ASSA Bulletin (found in the member’s download section of the CSAS web page). They experienced the hottest Christmas day in 75 years in Adelaide with the temperature reaching 41.3 deg C!
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 spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!AstronomyClub_April
Each Month we give a “What’s Up in the Night Sky” presentation at our monthly meeting. I’ll try to also start a monthly posting of this presentation for those that are unable to attend our meeting. Hope this works! Dave Warner
This Month: The Lyrids Meteor Shower is coming up this month with a radiant near the star Vega. A series of double moon transits of the planet Jupiter ends this month with two more that will be visible in our local night skies. We’re moving into “galaxy” season with many great galaxies and globular clusters that will be high in the night sky this month. I’ve included a couple of messier finder charts to find a couple of my favorites that are at optimum viewing this month. And finally, the Astronomical League has started a new Mercury Transit Observing Challenge where I list the requirements. Go to the AL web site for specifics to complete this challenge. The Mercury transit is May 09 and the next one won’t be until 2019 so get in on the action, get ready to see this transit and do some science!Whats-Up-APR-2016-1
Colorado Springs Astronomical Society members will be at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument visitors center on March 4th with our telescopes for viewing of the stars. The evening events start at 6:30 PM. Admission for the program is the regular park entrance fee, which is $5 per adult (16 years and older);children and federal pass holders are free and provides 7 days of access to the park if y0u’d like to come back and explore over the weekend. The dark skies are worth the trip.
Florissant Fossil Beds is an excellent place to learn about and enjoy the wonders of the night sky. Located 1 hour from Colorado Springs, Florissant Fossil Beds is easily accessible yet far enough away from light pollution to provide for dark skies to observe things we can’t see here in Colorado Springs even through our big telescopes. From the park, it is possible to see the Milky Way, other galaxies, star clusters, nebula, comets (when they are around) and much more. The night sky programs begin with a 30 minute interpretive program inside the visitor center. The program is followed by 90 minutes of sky watching. No reservations are necessary. Space is limited inside the theater where the presentation is given.
It is March and the weather is unpredictable so be prepared!
Find out more:
Colorado Springs Astronomical Society members will be at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument visitors center on February 13 with our telescopes for public viewing of the stars. The evening events start at 6:30 PM.
Florissant Fossil Beds is an excellent place to learn about and enjoy the wonders of the night sky. Located 1 hour from Colorado Springs, Florissant Fossil Beds is easily accessible yet far enough away from light pollution to provide for dark skies to observe. From the park, it is possible to see the Milky Way, other galaxies, star clusters, nebula, comets (when they are around) and much more. The night sky programs begin with a 30 minute interpretive program inside the visitor center. The program is followed by 90 minutes of sky watching. No reservations are necessary. Space is limited inside the theater where the presentation is given.
It is February so dress warm!
Find out more:
CSAS has a partnership with The NASA Space Place to bring monthly news of specific NASA projects to our members and to help spread the excitement of space and Earth science, as well as the technology that advances the science. The attached is the February 2016 article.The-Space-Place_February
Relayed from Joe Grida, President of our sister organization ASSA in South Australia:
I’m pleased to report that our observatory at Stockport was spared by today’s fire only by metres. Our neighbour to the south, Pat Savage, reports that the observatory is fine. There are burn marks in his backyard. There was a building fire in the adjacent property to the west, but details of actual damage are at present sketchy.
David Bennett, our Vice-President, plans to visit the site tomorrow morning and will report back.
This Friday a wake will be at Eric and Pam’s place. 9752 Stoneglen Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. This is open to all who wish to come. We are trying to get some pinball machines there. We will have plenty of games. Kilts are welcome!!! This starts at 5pm. There may or may not be a public star party at fox run park. If there is we (the family) are going to make an appearance to do what Jim loved. His scope will be there, but not in use.
On Saturday at 11 am there will be a Memorial at Starry Meadows. http://rmss.org/directions.htm . This venue is a no power and one porta-potty place and cell service is not great, just a heads up. This is where we will tell our stories and spread the ashes (assuming we have them -we are working hard on this). There is a covered large building in case of weather. Once again CSAS Members are welcome.
Use this spreadsheet to determine how accurate your mount/telescope is pointed at the celestial north pole.
Compass’ only tell us which direction the magnetic north pole is. Polaris (the “north” star) gives us a close (less than one degree) approximation. But to use a mount/telescope for taking images, you want to be parrallel within several arcminutes (or even arcseconds) of the celestial polar axis.
Before using this spreadsheet, determine how the knobs on your mount/telescope change the azimuth and altitude. For instance, if turning the altitude knob twenty turns changes the altitude five degrees you now know that the altitude changes 900 arcseconds for each turn, or 15 arcminutes for each turn. Likewise, determine the effect of the azimuth knob.
This spreadsheet is based on a paper written by Ralph Pass. It is included below the spreadsheet. Read the paper for an explanation of how to use this with a GoTo mount/telescope. More
Here is a PDF file of a method of a two star polar alignment by Ralph Pass
You can download the file by saving it to your computer’s hard drive – when you hover over the bottom right of the pdf the choices should show up. If you have your browser set to not load files, you may need to right click and allow adobe pdf to run.
Dear Fellow Astronomer,Spring is (finally) upon us and although the cold weather didn’t necessarily stop us from going outside, the nicer weather is sure to entice more of us out under clear skies. A must-have resource for any of us (beginners, experts, and fair-weather astronomers alike), is a red light.
Texas Star Party upper field, 2009..
Ron Ronhaar and Todd Hargis
Ideally, visual astronomers would work without any light source – it takes time for the human eye to adapt to darkness. Fully dark-adapted eyes are much more likely to make your observing session a success, particularly if you’re searching for dimmer objects with averted vision. But even on the most organized observing nights, it can be useful to have a little bit of light assistance when changing eyepieces and filters, or thumbing through a sky atlas in search of an unexpected target. In these situations-which should be infrequent to best preserve your dark adaption – only a dim, red light should be used. More
Web site that lets you download images geared for your equipment
A few weeks back, I was searching for places that let you view astro images from sites like DSS and came across a web site called “Clear Skies Observing Guides”. It turned out to be a really neat place. It contains DSS images in zipped files of images from the Messier, Caldwell, Stock, Palomar and other catalogs that I never heard of like Dolidze, and Holmberg. What is really neat about them is that they come in different editions that you can download depending on the kind of scope you own and the images will orient as they would in your particular scope. The editions are for 5-6″ scopes, 8-10″, and 12″ scopes. In addition, the orientations are: unmirrored, mirrored horizontally, mirrored vertically and mirrored horizontally and vertically. There are also editions that cover all of the constellations. More
Saturday night ended up being a clear night at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Star Party. More