Shadow of Enlightenment

Rene how thou are?
Witness the emergence of a star
We are, and so beguiled
Occulted once and few awhile
A dimming so subtle
To miss would be less
Than a mote of dust past a cathedral spire.
But within the dusty dimness
Kant and Copernicus within us
The tiny disk of Venus
Traversed our nearest star.
Impossibly without braving space
Our essence rose to find a distance
To mark, to measure our existence
Within the frightening wonder
Of our mind's existence

Tony Berendsen
Star Guide and Poet

Tony also invites ASN Members as his guest for a Star Tour session at Northstar. Checkout the website at

Category: Other Members

Book Review

Title: Telescopes, Eyepieces, and Astrographs

Subtitle: Design, Analysis and Performance of Modern Astronomical Optics

Authors: Gregory Hallock Smith, Roger Ceragioli and Richard Berry

Publisher: Willmann-Bell

ISBN:  978-0-943396-96-5

As the title and subtitle state, this is a book on both historic and modern astronomical optics and their performance.  The analysis is…

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Category: Other Members

Don't miss the Transit of Venus!

Don't miss the Transit of Venus!

Now that the annular solar eclipse has passed you can throw away your solar glasses, right?  Wrong!  There is an even bigger event, at least from a historical perspective, coming up on June 5th: the transit of Venus across the Sun.  Take that Tuesday afternoon off from work, because the next transit of Venus will not occur until 2117!  The last time the transit was visible from Reno was in 1882 (unfortunately the 2004 Venus transit occurred at nighttime in Reno).…

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Category: Other Members

Thank Goodness for Magnetism

Thank Goodness for Magnetism

This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Provided to ASN via the NASA Space Place.

By Dr. Tony Philips

Only 93 million miles from Earth, a certain G-type star is beginning to act up.

Every 11 years or so, the solar cycle brings a period of high solar activity. Giant islands of magnetism—”sunspots”—break through the stellar surface in increasing numbers. Sometimes they erupt like a billion atomic bombs going off at once, producing intense flares of X-rays and UV radiation, and hurling massive clouds of plasma toward Earth.

This is happening right now. Only a few years ago the Sun was in a state of deep quiet, but as 2012 unfolds, the pendulum is swinging. Strong flares are becoming commonplace as sunspots once again pepper the solar disk. Fortunately, Earth is defended from solar storms by a strong, global magnetic field.

In March 2012, those defenses were tested.…

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Category: Other Members

Telescopes, Eyepieces and Astrographs

Equipment junkies may be interested in a new book by Gregory Hallock Smith, Roger Ceragioli and Richard Berry, Telescopes, Eyepieces and Astrographs: Design, Analysis and Performance of Modern Astronomical Optics, (Willmann-Bell, Inc.).  Almost 600 pages of information.  One of the authors, Roger Ceragioli, is an optician at the University of Arizona mirror lab I…

Read more: Telescopes, Eyepieces and Astrographs

Category: Other Members