2012 holds little in the way of bright comets for this upcoming Summer season! Comet Garradd C/2009 P1 still lies in the constellation of Cancer and will soon be lost in the sunshine glare of dusk by mid to late June. All other comets are fading or will not approach magnitude brightness values greater than 13th until possible mid to late Autumn season.
Object: Mizar and Alcor
RA: 13 h, 23 m, 56 s
Distance: 83 ly
Class: A double (and triple) star
Constellation: Ursa Major
Magnitude: 2.2 Size/Spectral: with Alcor — 11.8’; close double with Mizar at 14.4”
Optics needed: This is an easy but very nice double (triple) star group that is a showpiece in small telescopes.
I meet the nicest people at the many star parties around the country. A good example is running up on Will Young and his wife, at last month’s Hodges Gardens party near Many, Louisiana. Will was set up on the field with his Meade ‘LightBridge’ Dobsonian, not too far from me. As we chatted about his telescope, I asked him where he lived. Not only was he from Beaumont…another Texan at this Louisiana star party, and a member of the ‘Astronomical Society of South East Texas’ (ASSET), but he’s their new President. What a pleasant surprise to meet him there. We spoke for half an hour or so and he told me all about ASSET and what’s new with their group.
I then asked him if he’d like to be interviewed and it took him about 8 seconds to say “Yes”. We both agreed that folks in HAS could learn a bit more about what’s going on in the Beaumont area.
I’m happy to introduce Will Young to all of you here in the GuideStar. You’re going to enjoy what Will has to say. Here’s Will…