March 2022

The HAS Messier Marathon is a GO!

Rene Gedaly, Field Trip & Observing Chairperson

Yes! We will have a 2022 Messier Marathon this Saturday, April 2. So get your astro bag ready!

Binoculars? Check. Scope? Check. Eyepieces? Check. Log sheet in marathon sequence order? Check out the Messier Marathon Resources page on the website or the files section of the HAS Facebook Group. Don't forget chairs, tables, books, laptops, power cords, and all the other visual or astrophotography paraphernalia you need. Make sure you have all your red stuff to cover screens and read charts.

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Sunset is at 7:40 p.m. so get to the Dark Site early enough to set up and schmooze. Speaking of setting up, we will be running a multi-track marathon: star hop and GoTo, telescope and binocular, astrophotography and electronically assisted. We'll even have sections of the field flagged for these groups.

Your point persons are the HAS Special Interest Group Coordinators: Visual SIG (Stephen Jones), EAA SIG (Carlos Arieu), and Binocular SIG (Craig Lamison). The point person for the AP SIG is Simon Tan. If you check the HAS Facebook group, you know Simon has already run an astrophotograpy marathon. To my knowledge, this is one of the first to be publicized anywhere! Check out his great photos and other details he’s posted in the Facebook group. 

If you’re new, feel free to look around—just keep moving if you see heads down. Consider visiting Craig at the Binocular SIG and Carlos at the EAA SIG. They’re each looking forward to engaging with members interested in what they’re doing with their specialty.

We'll also be running the Dob Shed Café all night long and into the morning. After all, if you fall asleep in your zero gravity chair, you'll need a cup for the trip home. 

Good luck everyone!
Rene Gedaly

Springtime Catspotting: Lynx and Leo Minor - Night Sky Network

by David Prosper

LeoMinorAndLynxAprilweb.jpg

Many constellations are bright, big, and fairly easy to spot. Others can be surprisingly small and faint, but with practice even these challenging star patterns become easier to discern. A couple of fun fainter constellations can be found in between the brighter stars of Ursa Major, Leo, and Gemini: Lynx and Leo Minor, two wild cats hunting among the menagerie of animal-themed northern star patterns!

Asterisms – Greg’s “3” Asterism

By: Steve Goldberg

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
 
Constellation: Leo
Right Ascension: 09h 38m 00.0s
Declination: +15° 17' 00"
Magnitude:  8 to 11
Size: 15’ (minutes)
.
 

This asterism is called “Greg’s 3” because it was discovered by Greg Parker. It is located inside a triangle with stars Regulas α Leo, Eta η Leo and the “center” star in Cancer, Delta δ.  

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
In this eyepiece view, you can see the bright stars that make up the asterism. The circle FOV is with an eyepiece giving 80x.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here is the asterism with the “3” drawn in.

 

Here is an article from 2013 in “Earth Science Picture of the Day” publication. Read the article here.

 

Asterisms – Greg’s “3” Asterism

By: Steve Goldberg  (Posted 3/18/2019)

Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.
 
Constellation: Leo
Right Ascension: 09h 38m 00.0s
Declination: +15° 17' 00"
Magnitude:  8 to 11
Size: 15’ (minutes)
.
 

This asterism is called “Greg’s 3” because it was discovered by Greg Parker. It is located inside a triangle with stars Regulas α Leo, Eta η Leo and the “center” star in Cancer, Delta δ.  

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
In this eyepiece view, you can see the bright stars that make up the asterism. The circle FOV is with an eyepiece giving 80x.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here is the asterism with the “3” drawn in.

 

Here is an article from 2013 in “Earth Science Picture of the Day” publication. Read the article here.

 

Messier Column - April 2022

by Jim King

220325km_M51_km-for-JKing.png

M51 Spiral Galaxy (Observability: Detectible*) M51 is the finest example of a face-on spiral galaxy.  It is a highly metallic system with a well-defined spiral structure.  A near neighbor of our own Galaxy, just 27 million light-years distant, this graceful pinwheel of stars, dust and gas measures about 87,000 light-years across and shines with a luminosity about 10 billion times that of the Sun’s.   According to scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute, M51’s central area is about 400 million years old and has a mass 40 million times that of our Sun.  The concentration of stars is about 5,000 times higher than our solar neighborhood, the Milky Way Galaxy.  We would see a continuously bright sky if we lived near the bright center.

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