Reports of Monthly Meetings on Zoom

By Donna Pursley

March 29, 2022

Greg Barker – Silver Sands observing events are scheduled for this year, listed in the calendar and on the events page.  Young’s Park is on hold for now.  We are waiting for information from them.  Our first event is in the second week of April for Silver Sands.

We have 81 members as of today.  Pietro Adamo is our newest member.

An image of a 30-hour Moon from Jim Mazur was shown, his personal best for young Moons.  It wasn’t very hard to see.  He used a 500-mm telephoto lens through a window.

Leo Taylor – At Roxbury Airport some years ago, Eleanor saw a 28-hour Moon.  A picture is on the website. 

There is a chance to see a 17-hour Moon this weekend.  Springtime is the best time to see the crescents.  The young Moon is higher in the sky in the spring.  The ecliptic angle is straight up and down.  At a public outreach event on April 6, 2019 at Hammonasset Beach, they observed a 36-hour moon.

Last month Greg sent out Donna Pursley’s lunar observing challenge.  Some folks tried it, including Chris Predom and Andrew Buynak. 

Andrew Buynak got a white-light filter for the Sun that he has used and took some pictures. There were lots of sunspots today. 

Greg – We have had a few members who have made the switch from nighttime observing to solar observing.

Torin Thurston made solar filters for his binoculars.

Greg – A CME is coming our way.  Maybe we’ll see an aurora.  Spaceweather.com page tracks aurora activity.

Jim Mazur and Laurie Averill used a 10-inch to see the Moon for the Moon challenge.  They saw a few objects.  Hadley Rim was one.

Greg proposed a deep-space challenge.  Laurie sent some educational material to Greg that might have information for a deep-sky challenge.  We would need someone in the club to volunteer to be a trainer.  If anyone is interested, Laurie can provide the details.

Bob Caruthers saw Venus this morning out the window. 

Chris Predom observed the Moon and Venus on Sunday morning.

Michael Amato observed Mars and Saturn this morning.  Jupiter and Venus will be ½ degree apart in the beginning of May. Jupiter and Mars will be ½ degree apart on May 19.

Bob Carruthers wants to get back to drawing the Moon and start drawing Mars when it gets bigger this year.

Chris Predom – Mars will graze the Moon in December in the northwest section of CT going into MA.  Maybe White’s Memorial will work.  Chris will send Greg the details.

Ray Zywno gave information on two comets:

(1) Comet C/2021 03:  May 17: 340 degrees azimuth, 31 degrees altitude, magnitude 13 at 10pm.

(2) Comet C/2017 K2:  Until October, it will be in the east, 90-120 degrees azimuth. On July 15, it will be ½ degree away from M10, 45 degrees above the horizon at 10pm.

Kennedy space center SpaceX launch – Andrew Buynak’s sister will see the launch.

CSP will be held on September 23-25.  The camp is ready for us.  The quest is to find a caterer.

April 26, 2022

Young’s Park observing has been approved for this year.

The Solstice Picnic will be on Sunday June 19from 12 to 6 at Sleeping Giant Park.

May 4-5 is the Great Give.  ASNH is asking for donations.

We have 80 members.  Our new member is Brian Beegan.  Bob Carruthers gave him a scope and has been helping him out.  Peter Adamo, who joined last month, is interested in astrophysics and cosmology.  He would like to discuss these types of topics with other interested members.  Not many of us are that involved, but a few people offered some advice.  Yale Astronomy has a Virtual Colloquium on Thursdays.  Gianne Jenkins offered to discuss the math involved.

The public outreach events are a good opportunity to learn the night sky and to teach.

Chris Predom gave a presentation on a Lunar Occultation program.  The Moon will occult Mars in December.  He is looking for a place to view this from. Most of CT won’t see it, except the NW corner area.  It should be high in the sky so it doesn’t require a big field.  The Mid-Hudson Astronomy Group might be close, or Litchfield Hills.

The planets have been passing each other and many have gone out to see them.

Gary Zrelak wondered why we don’t have access to our state parks for viewing like some other states do.  Litchfield Hills lets us go there; they just need some notice.  If anyone knows of a good state park for viewing, let Greg know and he will try to get permission.  At Hammonasset, fishermen can go without a ranger, so why can’t we?

Mike Amato saw two asteroids!  Very nice.

On our website we have a link to NASA Night Sky Network which lists all clubs and events.

May 31, 2022

We have 78 members; no new members this month.

Andy Buynak is still enjoying his solar scope.

Many saw the lunar eclipse and will be sending pictures for the newsletter.  Mike Amato said that the clouds opened up for totality.

Not many have done any viewing.  It is disappointing that it has been cloudy for our public events.  There was a question about why do we hold public events on nights when the Moon is near full. The answer is that even though a full Moon is bad for finding deep sky objects, the public likes looking at the full Moon. It is more tangible to them to see features on the Moon than a star cluster very far away. We can still see some of the best deep sky objects during a full Moon.

On November 8 there will be a lunar eclipse in the morning.

Gary Zrelak was to ask about the WIFI at the camp and if we could do a ZOOM conference for CSP.  Greg thinks we have found a caterer.  The price should be about the same. The caterer also has vegetarian options.  Greg would like one more speaker for CSP.

There is a big Dob for sale, with a very light case, on casters and in very good condition.

Greg will send out an email to members about it.

Good books:

The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality by Robert Lanza, Matej Pausiu and Bob Berman.

The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions by Shing-Tung Yau.

We should be seeing some images from the James Webb telescope by the fall, maybe by CSP.

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