July 2012

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: Corona Australis

Original article appears in GuideStar August, 2012.

Object: Corona Australis
Class: Constellation
Magnitude: 4.1 (brightest star) — all the stars that comprise the crown are between 4th and 5th magnitude
RA: 18 h 34 m 24 s
Dec: -41 deg 29 min 24 sec
Size/Spectral: 128 degs2. 80th in size.
Distance: 6500 ly
Optics needed: Binoculars to see the constellation, a small telescope for the double stars and a larger telescope for the nebula.

Why this is interesting: Anytime that the teapot (asterism) in Sagittarius is visible we point our telescopes at all of the famous objects in and around the area. These objects are a telescope magnet, attracting unwary observers to them like a fly to honey.

Comets of the Mid Summer Season!

Look to the new 'Professor Comet' report now posted on the club's website! 96P/Machholz 1 is only comet visible right now which is brighter than 10th magnitude, but visible only for a few hours after sunset and located low in the southwestern sky from mid summer thru late Autumn.

Professor Comet Report - Mid Summer 2012

The Professor Comet Report for July/August reflecting the mid Summer of 2012 is now posted on the website!

Full particulars later! Expect the next comet for the late Summer; August/September to be available by the middle of next month!

November 02, 2012: November Monthly Meeting: Cosmological Distance Ladder

Novice Meeting: 6:30PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
Save our Skies! Sky Friendly Lighting and How to Find It.
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Debbie Moran
General Meeting: 7:15PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Cosmological Distance Ladder
General Meeting Speaker: 
Don Selle
Parking and Directions (View Map)

Meetings are held at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, which is located at 1414 Wirt Rd, Houson, TX 77055.

PARKING INFORMATION: Free parking in the lot in front of the TMCC.


Map to Trini Mendenhall Community Center

October 05, 2012: October Monthly Meeting: Abell Planetaries

Novice Meeting: 6:30PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
TBD
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
TBD
General Meeting: 7:15PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Abell Planetaries
General Meeting Speaker: 
Larry Mitchell
Parking and Directions (View Map)

Meetings are held at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, which is located at 1414 Wirt Rd, Houson, TX 77055.

PARKING INFORMATION: Free parking in the lot in front of the TMCC.


Map to Trini Mendenhall Community Center

September 07, 2012: September Monthly Meeting: Archeoastronomy

Novice Meeting: 6:30PM
Novice Meeting Topic: 
An Introduction to Eyepieces & Their Optical Properties
Novice Meeting Speaker: 
Darrin Lewer (Land, Sea & Sky)
General Meeting: 7:15PM
General Meeting Topic: 
Archeoastronomy
General Meeting Speaker: 
Gordon Houston
Parking and Directions (View Map)

Meetings are held at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, which is located at 1414 Wirt Rd, Houson, TX 77055.

PARKING INFORMATION: Free parking in the lot in front of the TMCC.


Map to Trini Mendenhall Community Center

How Many Discoveries Can You Make in a Month?

Original article appears in GuideStar July, 2012.

By Dr. Tony Phillips

This year NASA has announced the discovery of 11 planetary systems hosting 26 planets; a gigantic cluster of galaxies known as “El Gordo;” a star exploding 9 billion light years away; alien matter stealing into the solar system; massive bullets of plasma racing out of the galactic center; and hundreds of unknown objects emitting high-energy photons at the edge of the electromagnetic spectrum.

That was just January.

Shallow Sky Object of the Month: Sun and Venus during the transit

Meg Stewart: A Guidestar Interview

Original article appears in GuideStar July, 2012.
Interview by Clayton Jeter

Clayton JeterI first met Meg Stewart and her parents at a star party in La-Grange about two years ago. She was about 10 years old at the time and I must admit, she had more knowledge and desire for observing the night sky than I did when I was 10.

She also owns her own Newtonian telescope… an astronomical tool that I would have drooled over to have owned back in the hey-day. When I was 10 years old back in 58’ (giving my age away), I only had a used, crude, and optically poor ‘Sears and Roebuck’ 7x35mm binocular.

I’ve heard it spoken that many years ago, the ama-teur astronomer had inky-black dark skies while using their small aperture tele-scopes. Today, we have the opposite. The sky is washed-out with light pollution, but we now use superior large aperture equipment. Go figure.

Let’s read about Meg’s ideas here and get her perspective on how the younger genera-tion and she are pursuing their interest in astronomy. Here’s Meg Stewart…

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