As we move into the late fall, the weather gets more cloudy and the temperatures less forgiving. For both of these reasons, we will not be doing a star party this November (best night would've been Nov 4), and it will be April or May until we start up again...
...do watch out for any open houses, and we are going to be hosting meetings of the Northern Skies Observers astronomy club in the very near future so as to make plans for the coming year!
A couple of things to watch for:
1) On November 14, the moon will be full and because it will be closer to the earth than usual - thus, it will be slightly larger in the sky than usual!
2) Do go to Skymaps.com (button below takes you there) and download the November sky map, which includes lists of many objects to observe!
And, as Brad says, "Clear Skies!" (WV)
We had a wonderfully successful star party on Friday, October 7, in conjunction with "International Observe the Moon Night." Because of weather, the event was held on Friday instead of the official Saturday. About 30 people came to join us to observe the waxing moon and to look at some of the deep sky objects that the moon didn't wash out. A beautifully clear evening allowed us to expose some young 'uns to the joys of astronomy, and some older folks joined in, as well!
Many thanks to the Peacham Library for providing handouts and some refreshments (phases-of-the-moon Oreos, anyone?).
This may be our final star party of the year, but we'll see what the weather looks like in November and keep you posted (it was pretty brutal last year!). Clear skies!
Click on the button to go to the National Geographic blog article on our inaugural GIV astronomy institute! A great week with 25 wonderful Vermont high school students!
This video was created by taking a series of 53 stills at about 5 minute intervals through an Olympus E510 DSLR at the prime focus of my 120 mm f/5 refractor in Waterford, VT. Exposures ranged from about 1/2000 sec for the brightest full moon to 2 sec for totality. The images were aligned and rotated, and adjusted for brightness and contrast.
The telescope mount lost its calibration near the middle of totality, and I didn't dare take the time to re-calibrate; thus some of the long-exposure images ended up a bit blurry.
Notice that the angles of the shadow at the start of the eclipse and at the end of the eclipse differ. Most of the motion is due to the moon moving through the shadow of the earth, and the diameter of the earth's shadow is about 4 times larger than the moon. The moon did not pass through the middle of the shadow - if you think of the shadow as a clock face, then the moon entered the shadow at about "2:30" on the face (edge of shadow almost vertical) and left the shadow at about "7:00" on the face (edge of shadow almost horizontal). This off-center trajectory also led to the bright glow around the lower edge of the moon during totality. (Bill Vinton)
CHANGE IN DATE FOR INTERNATIONAL OBSERVE THE MOON NIGHT - NOW SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7th AT 7 PM!
NKAF and the Peacham Library are co-sponsoring our own local version of "International Observe the Moon Night" on FRIDAY, October 7th, starting at 7 PM - the weather maps tell us that Saturday looks rainy and Friday clear! We'll have telescopes and binoculars and refreshments. Please check here for late breaking weather news. Friday looks great right now, but this is New England, so keep posted!
The official website for IOMN is http://observethemoonnight.org/, which includes an "Activities" link which you might find interesting.
There are many moon maps available online, but here is a link to one of our favorites: http://bit.ly/MapoftheMoon
In addition, go to www.skymaps.com and download their September and October sky maps! Each includes information on interesting objects to observe - well worth the effort for your own observing!
We hope to see you on October 7th. Again, check these pages and our Facebook page for late-breaking weather news!
Entries written by NSO Docents and Educators
Operators of the NSO and teachers in local high school and middle schools.