Golden State Star Party 2011 Members "Views"

Sol Star Date June 29 2011

Observer log Jim

     I arrived at Golden State Star Party at 7:00 PM with distant clouds on the horizon.  It was cold! The tent trailer went up quickly as darkness slowly made its entrance.  Others in the group had their telescopes up and ready.  I got my 12 inch Dobson up and ready.  First up was the queen of the planets Saturn.  Two moons and a shadow of the rings on the planet were visible.  Clouds creeping in like an ameba eating the sky.  The top of Leo was devoured.  M65 and M66 glowed like fuzzy diamonds.  The ameba was hungry but Scorpio glowed in the southern sky fighting off the dreaded beast of clouds.  Ten O’clock and sleep captured my body.  Dead and to bed.

 

Sol Star Date June 29 2011

Observer log Tim Stoffel

     Wasn’t expecting to go to the star party today, but the weather showed significant improvement from the night before. Paul Romero and I traveled together and are camping together. It was windy and cold, which made getting my tent set up a challenge. I tried lubricating the legs on my ‘scope, but the lubricant I used made things stifferL. Once I had everything running, I first concentrated on testing a couple of new eyepieces I had acquired. I spent quite a bit of time looking at Gamma Leonis (Algieba), a nice double star, to perform this testing. I also looked at Regulus (looking for the Leo I dwarf galaxy, but also to just enjoy the ‘lion star’!), M4, M80, and a couple other globulars. Then the sky became dominated by ‘water vapor nebulae’, and my observing was over for the night.

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Take the Next Step

Take the Next Step

(Reprinted with permission from Tom Koonce of The Antelope Valley Astronomy Club.)

The moderate summer evenings are finally here and the best time of year to observe the sky has arrived.  I have written at length in the past about how to get started in amateur astronomy, but this month…

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The Star Catalog

Going to a star party: The Star Catalog

How many times have you gone to a star party and you have only a vague idea of what you are planning to look at. On more than one occasion I have done just this. I do have a couple of things in my favor, I put together “What’s Up?” for the newsletter so I have some idea what I can see, and I also have a computerized scope that has a tour feature. But even having these 2 things, I find coming up with my own list is a better way of viewing the many different objects I would like to see. While I consider myself a generalist in what I like to look at, at times I found myself wanting see more of a particular type of item i.e. star clusters or galaxies. In the next few paragraphs I will list several but not all of the different catalogs that I go to in order to come up with my viewing list. Please consider using one or more of these the next time you plan your own viewing list.…

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UNR's new Astronomy Complex at Redfield

UNR's new Astronomy Complex at Redfield

Hello fellow ASN members, I received permission to reprint this article from our friends at the University of Nevada...Its a big step forward for astronomy in Reno!

University of Nevada, Reno unveils new astronomy complex at Redfield Campus
Two high-power telescopes and public viewing area featured for outreach and education

RENO, Nev. – A new era of stargazing is beginning in Northern Nevada with completion of construction and installation of the University of Nevada, Reno’s new astronomy complex at the Redfield Campus, the MacLean Observatory.

“The gift of the MacLean telescope and dome in 2008 set a series of events in motion that has enabled us to build the complex and expand astronomy programs for the university, the community and for K-12 students,” Jeff Thompson, dean of the College of Science, said.

The new facility is ready for astronomy classes and community groups to explore objects as close as our moon, to constellations and even deep-sky objects, such as galaxies and galactic clusters, up to two billion light years away.…

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The Lion

Welcome to spring!! The official start of this season was on March 20th when we reached the vernal equinox. This is the first of two times each year that we have equal time for daylight and nighttime. In addition, this is the midpoint between the longest day (summer solstice) and the shortest day (winter solstice). 

LEO heralds the spring. The name LEO is Latin for lion which seems appropriate when you look at this impressive constellation. As the season advances, this large constellation appears higher on the eastern horizon each evening until it reaches its zenith in the southern sky around the beginning of April and marches toward the western horizon as summer begins, then disappears from nighttime viewing. This magnificent constellation has been written about for thousands of years. LEO was seen as a lion by the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Some believe the Sphinx was built to resemble this group of stars.

LEO’s head and mane form a sickle or backwards question mark. The alpha star (brightest) is Regulus located at the bottom of the sickle. It is one of the brightest stars seen at night. This latin word translates to "prince" or "little king". Regulus appears as a large blue star but in fact happens to be a multiple star system. This system consists of four stars grouped into two pairs. The largest star is 3.5 times the mass of our sun and 150 times brighter, at a magnitude of 1.4. It is 77.5 light years away. It is a young star, only a few hundred million years old. It is a blue-white main sequence star with a temperature of 15,400 degrees Kelvin. Scientists believe it has a white dwarf companion star which has yet to be observed. The other pair of stars are designated Regulus B and C. They appear yellow and are dimmer at magnitude 8.…

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