ASN Star Parties
- Category: President
- Created on Friday, 15 August 2014 16:28
Recurring Star Parties
ASN members help conduct weekly star parties at the UNR Redfield Campus MacLean Observatory, off the Mt. Rose Highway, every Friday of the month (weather permitting; event will be cancelled if skies are overcast). Contact the UNR planetarium for cancellation info and other questions.
The ASN provides monthly public telescope viewing (weather permitting) at Sparks Marina on the 3rd Friday of each month. It's on the peninsula on the west side of the Marina.
Fall 2014 Star Parties
- Martis Creek campground, Aug 16th (8:00 Sunset - 11:40 pm Moon rise)
- Girl Scouts Camp Wasiu II overnight, August 23rd: (6 members)
- ASN members only, August 23rd: (location TBD by Andy D)
- Informal ASN member’s meeting, pizza party, Sept 9
- Dangberg Ranch Star Party, Sept 13
- Great Basin Astronomy Festival overnight, Sept 18-20
- Lassen partial solar eclipse and star party, October 24
An overnight bus trip to Lick Observatory is being discussed. We need to check on available dates with Lick.
80th anniversary banquet, January 17, 2015: Please RSVP to Andy D, so we can select a venue.
Honorary ASN Member John Dobson Passes Away at 98
- Category: Other Members
- Created on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 22:05
The Sky Above
- Category: Member Articles
- Created on Saturday, 01 June 2013 05:03
So you ‘ re interested in astronomy ( the study of the cosmos) and you’d like to learn more about the night sky. Let’s start by dividing the celestial sphere (the visible universe) into segments or regions. This has already been done for us by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). There is a finite number of eighty-eight regions (constellations) that cover our visible universe from earth. That’s not such a big number and it gets even smaller if you live in the northern hemisphere because there are quite a few constellations that are not visible to us from here. Let us focus on a very important group.
Many people say to me, especially at public star parties that they don’t know any constellations except the BIG DIPPER ( Ursa Major) and ORION. My reply is usually “ Everybody has heard of the ZODIAC and its twelve constellations.”
Now a little ‘science lesson’ to help you locate these celestial bodies. The sun , moon and planets all travel in a specific path or band across the sky. This is called the ecliptical plane or ‘ecliptic’. Cuneiform writings from Mesopotamia circa 2000 B.C. have revealed to us that ancient astronomers gave names to the groupings of stars (constellations) as they watched the sun, moon and planets pass through them each year. The Greeks adopted them from the Babylonians and passed them on to other civilizations. The word ZODIAC is a Greek word meaning a group of animals. Ancient Egypt adopted many, as well as India and China. As time passed these constellations became known as the Zodiac and over time the number of them has varied between twelve and eighteen.
We now have twelve signs of the zodiac. Each one covers 30 degrees of the sky for a total of 360 degrees which completes the ecliptic. Let’s name these famous constellations: Aries ( the ram), Taurus ( the bull), Gemini ( the twins), Cancer ( the crab), Leo ( the lion), Virgo (the virgin), Libra (the scales), Scorpio (the scorpion), Sagittarius (the archer), Capricornus (the sea-goat), Aquarius (the water-pourer), and Pisces (the fish). You may have noticed that I did not start with Aquarius but instead Aries. Technically the zodiac begins where the sun falls on the first day of spring (the vernal equinox) which is in Aries.
When you go outside and see the path the sun cuts across the sky or the path of the moon, look for the constellations we named before and try to see the creatures that ancient astronomers saw many years ago. In my next article I will focus on a few of these constellations revealing more details about them and objects found within their fixed boundaries as well as constellations nearby. I intend to pick ones that are visible between 9 and 10 PM our time.
Come explore the night sky!
- Category: Programs Committee
- Created on Thursday, 06 May 2010 09:29
Spring, Summer and Fall are typically the best observing times here in northern Nevada. However, as you can see by the list of events to the left, we have events planned all the time. Check out our calendar to see all of the events planned for this year.
We have events planned for all members of the community:
· Public Star Parties. In addition to our regular telescope viewing at Rancho San Rafael Park on the first Friday of every month (weather permitting), we are asked by many park rangers to host activities during the summer months. During these events we pull our telescopes out and view many of the brightest and most fascinating objects in the sky.
Other Observing Opportunities...
- Category: Programs Committee
- Created on Monday, 28 June 2010 14:42
While the ASN offers many activities, we know there may be times that you wish to go star gazing and we don't have anything planned on our calendar. Fortunately, there are other organizations nearby that may have some observing events planned. Following are some of the other observing opportunities nearby: