CSAS Outreach Volunteers put on a star party for the 4th grade classes of Rachel Embry and Helen Wing at Broadmoor Elementary. The sky was wonderfully clear and the temperatures hovered right around freezing and a tad below. All in all a beautiful night for stargazing! Rachel Embry, helped set up the event through Rick Meinig, who is a CSAS member and Jim West, CSAS’s Outreach Coordinator. More
Astronomical Society of the Pacific published a guide in 1936 which is available online as a pdf document —
Starry Night also has a pronunciation guide which, along with the written pronunciation, has a quicktime audio file so you can actually hear it spoken.
So, how do YOU pronounce Bootes?
If you’d like to discuss this, please go to our forums:
CSAS volunteers helped USAFA put on an educational event for the Academy Charter School in Castle Rock, CO. The students (approx 70) and teachers were divided into several groups and participated in educational activities inside USAFA’s Observatory, toured the Observatory, and when the clouds permitted looked through our telescopes to view planets, nebulae, binary stars, and galaxies! You can see by the picture we know how to stay warm when observing in Colorado! We enjoyed sharing our love of the stars with the students, and we appreciate USAFA allowing us to participate in this event!
Rob Hawley has produced an educational video on YouTube, broken down into 4 segments, total is about 30 minutes.
The video is about finding astronomical objects using charts, aka “starhopping”. He uses charts from Sky Map Pro, and from Sky Tools V3, but refers to paper charts as well in the video.
Here is the link…
A couple of days ago I came across this very interesting and “cool” website! Part of the Zooniverse (there is a link to Zooniverse on the links page). From the Zooniverse website, “Galaxy Zoo – The original Zooniverse project. Help astronomers figure out how galaxies form and evolve by classifying their shape. Over 50 million classifications so far but we need more!”
You register at the Galaxy Zoo website and then you can participate by classifying galaxies. They show you how and then you just classify when you have time. You can save the galaxies that you like the most to your own “gallery”. You can get very technical info on each galaxy, but don’t expect the Messier number!
There are also other things you can participate in, such as merging galaxies and detecting supernovae. Enjoy!
The Quadrantid meteor shower is one of the strongest meteor showers of the year, but observers can be disappointed if conditions are not just right. The point from where the Quadrantid meteors appear to radiate is located within the extinct constellation Quadrans Muralis. On modern star charts, this radiant is located where the constellations Hercules, Boötes, and Draco meet in the sky. The shower can appear almost nonexistent until about 11 p.m. Unfortunately, the radiant does not attain a very high altitude for most Northern Hemisphere observers before morning twilight puts an end to the show. The best observations are actually possible from countries with high northern latitudes, such as Canada, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. The display is virtually nonexistent for observers in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Quadrantids generally begin on December 28 and end on January 7, with maximum generally occurring during the morning hours of January 3/4. The Quadrantids are barely detectable on the beginning and ending dates, but observers in the Northern Hemisphere can see from 10 to around 60 meteors per hour at maximum. The maximum only lasts for a few hours.
For more info, go to the Meteor Showers Online website: http://meteorshowersonline.com/quadrantids.html
Here is a clever rendition of the Night before Christmas – the Astronomical Christmas that is….
‘Tis the Night Before Christmas and high in the sky
The stars are a-twinkling sight for the eye.
The First Quarter Moon on the 24th shines,
Begging new telescopes to sight on her line.
To read the rest, go to the Naval Oceonagraphy website at: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/sky-this-week/the-sky-this-week-2009-december-22-30
When: Sat, January 23, 2010, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Where: Bear Creek Nature Center
Description: Bring your telescope for this indoor workshop led by members of the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. Learn how to use different kinds of telescopes, find out which will be the most effective for you and discover how to overcome the biggest bugaboo for beginners – the alignment procedure. More
From Floyd Glick — In case anyone is interested in “logging” their sightings of any Gemini meteors, there is a skychart available at:
You may plot the path of your sightings on the chart. If they are Gemini meteors, their apparent origin should radiate from the constellation Gemini (Castor and Pollox are the brightest stars in Gemini).
From the Nasa website: Dec. 8, 2009: Make hot cocoa. Bundle up. Tell your friends. The best meteor shower of 2009 is about to fall over North America on a long, cold December night.
“It’s the Geminid meteor shower,” says Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “and it will peak on Dec. 13th and 14th under ideal viewing conditions.” To read the rest of this article click on this link.
or When A Bargain Isn’t Necessarily A Bargain
by Steve Bygren, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the spring of 1991, I decided to build my own poncet table for my 10 inch dobsonian. I had recently read a number of articles on poncet tables, and I figured I couldn’t live without one. I decided to build my own because they are relatively straight forward to construct, and the commercial versions cost nearly three times what my telescope cost me to build. More
by Ken Florentino
Many people have seen me use a home-built apodizing mask while observing planets and have inquired about its use and design. An apodizing mask (I sometimes call it my “60’s filter”) is used to cut through the seeing much like an aperture stop. More
by Steve Bygren, email@example.com
In the January, 1996 issue of Sky & Telescope, my picture showed up with a “servo focuser” gizmo that a member of my astronomy club (Ken Florentino) created. Since that time, several people have contacted me asking for details on how to get one working. A description follows… More
by Dave Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever wanted to try taking astrophotos but have not been sure where to start? What type of film should you use? What type of camera is needed? How long of an exposure should you use? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you. I’ll discuss what to look for in a camera, what films work well and some of the equipment and techniques used in basic astrophotography. More