President's Perspective February 2013
- Category: President
- Created on Sunday, 10 February 2013 18:18
Its been a long time since I wrote a column. December and January were downright crazy, and some of it not in a good way. I spent the first two weeks of January more or less nonfunctional due to two closely spaced illnesses (except for work, of course! It's interesting how the sickness hit mainly on the weekends!). This kept me from being able to participate in a number of club activities, including our Holiday party.
I also found myself 'shading cameras' for a televised basketball game the night of our monthly meeting, something that I had not planned to happen (but it looks like there was a good meeting, anyway).
I have been working on a base for my new observatory, and that project has grown to seemingly take every available resource, especially time. I had planned to do a lot on it in the last week, in actuality I have been unable to do anything. I may have to defer that project to this summer if my schedule gets any more intense.
But I am beginning to get back 'in the groove of things', and have been able to make a couple star parties in the last couple of weeks. That should continue, especially as the weather improves for these activities.
One activity that is really beginning to ramp up is the RECON project. This is a project to observe Kuiper belt objects by measuring star occultations. A couple of people in our club (Dennis Jamison, for one, if I recall) has already tried this. A number of us are going to try another one this evening (February 10th). This should be very interesting, and this will be our first chance to see how well the provided Celestron 11 inch 'scope works, as well as see if our own 'scopes are up to the challenge. The training for this is in early April (4th-7th), in Carson City. Because this is local to us, there are some opportunities for additional ASN members to attend this training. This will be discussed at the February and March meetings.
The Art of Space Imagery
- Category: Other Members
- Created on Saturday, 09 February 2013 17:46
When you see spectacular space images taken in infrared light by the Spitzer Space Telescope and other non-visible-light telescopes, you may wonder where those beautiful colors came from? After all, if the telescopes were recording infrared or ultraviolet light, we wouldn’t see anything at all. So are the images “colorized” or “false colored”?
No, not really. The colors are translated. Just as a foreign language can be translated into our native language, an image made with light that falls outside the range of our seeing can be “translated” into colors we can see. Scientists process these images so they can not only see them, but they can also tease out all sorts of information the light can reveal. For example, wisely done color translation can reveal relative temperatures of stars, dust, and gas in the images, and show fine structural details of galaxies and nebulae.
Getting Busy with ASN
- Category: Membership/Treasurer
- Created on Saturday, 09 February 2013 17:53
I would like to begin by saying Hello to all of the ASN members new and old. I have been a member for a couple of years and really enjoy the indoor events. Especially in the winter. I really enjoy the monthly club meetings. The club Officers make sure that there is always an informative and very interesting topic to discuss at the meeting. After the presentation, there is always an opportunity for questions and discussion and this is the part I love. I love looking at the stars but except for the major constellations I admit I get pretty lost and frustrated.
I have made some great friends with the ASN membership who have always been VERY helpful in teaching me creative ways to not only find objects but give me pointers to find them myself the next time. At the meetings, there are always members to discuss how to find the Orion Nebula or discuss Cosmic String Theory which I did not understand until our Vice President Dennis Jamison discussed it at one of our meetings. I asked questions in what I call "Fourth Grade Terms" and all of the members at the meeting were so helpful.
What I would like to impart to all of you is that this club wants to help everyone have a great experience whether it be by becoming a better viewer with your telescope or understanding how and why those stars are out there.
What to do with a comet?
- Category: Programs Committee
- Created on Sunday, 30 December 2012 21:03
A massive two-mile-wide comet will be visible from Earth in late 2013, possibly appearing brighter than the moon during November and December, according to astronomers.
I would like to brain storm with all members on what ASN could due during this time period.
- Category: Programs Committee
- Created on Sunday, 04 November 2012 18:44
The Astronomical Society of Nevada has received 2 of 11 “Kits” from NASA suitable for classroom teaching. The first is “Our Magnetic Sun” and the second is “Life in the Universe.” If you are a member or a school member you may check out these classroom training aids for your science class. Contact Jim Fahey (356-0102) for check outs. We are getting some lesson plans, and CD’s from NASA with “neat stuff” too. We have a nice lesson plan for Astronomy/Chemistry of atoms. This spring ASN is participating in a research project. If you wish your students want to help please call Jim. Next November (2013) Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) will become the brightest anyone has ever seen (Astronomy p16 December 2012). Therefore adjust your lesson plans for this great event.
The Astronomical Society of Nevada is making an outreach to the schools in the local area. From UNR, TMCC, WCSD, Portola and Douglass County we have several people who can assist your science needs.