Template: Member Intro

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This is an introduction page that will be linked to from the parent page that lists all member blogs; it can describe, for example, the areas of astronomy in which you’re interested and/or your equipment.  Individual blog posts are created separately using the Add New posts button.  The category for this page must be ONLY Member Blogs.  Anything ABOVE the MORE line will appear on the parent member-blog page and should be considered a summary, most of the content should go BELOW the MORE line.

This should also provide a link to your blog postings page, which can be found at https://sdbhas.org/blogs/members/<first name><last name initial>-blog/  (e.g. https://sdbhas.org/blogs/members/hankf-blog/)

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July 28 – Planetary Nebulae

M57 – The Ring Nebula

Evening Highlights:
  • The Ring Nebula (M57) , a planetary nebula nearly 2300 light years from Earth.
  • The Dumbbell Nebula (M27), a planetary nebula, approximately 1360 light years from Earth.
  • Two planets are visible in the sky tonight.  Don’t know which ones or how to find them?  You will after tonight.
  • Video: A video on nebulae will be shown at 8:15 PM (bring a chair!).

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July 14 – Star Clusters

m13

M13 in the constellation Hercules

Evening Highlights:
  • M13 – First discovered by Edmond Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame) in 1714, and one of the oldest and most densely populated globular clusters with nearly one million stars.
  • M15 – 32000 light years distant, may have a 4000 solar mass black hole at its core.
  • M3 – First discovered by Charles Messier in May 1764.  Thought to contain over 500,000 stars, and is 190 light years across.
  • M80 – Several hundred thousand stars, 32000 light years distant, and one of the densest clusters.
  • Three planets are visible in the sky tonight- Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn (Mercury sets very early, shortly after dusk).
  • One iridium flare will be visible.
  • Unlike most deep sky objects, all of the globular clusters listed above are visible through both telescopes and  binoculars.  Please feel free to bring a personal pair of binoculars to tonight’s workshop.
  • HVO opens at 7:30PM, a video on star clusters will be shown at 8:15 and observing will begin by 9PM.  Bring a chair!

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June 30 – Emission/Reflection Nebulae

NGC6960, The Veil Nebula, in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan)

Evening Highlights:
  • The Ring Nebula (M57) , a planetary nebula nearly 2300 light years from Earth.
  • The Veil Nebula (NGC6960), a supernova remnant, approximately 1470 light years from Earth.
  • The Dumbbell Nebula (M27), a planetary nebula, approximately 1360 light years from Earth.
  • The North America Nebula (NGC7000), a very large emission nebula, approximately 1600 light years from Earth.
  • Four planets are visible in the sky tonight.  Don’t know which ones or how to find them?  You will after tonight.
  • One iridium flare will be visible.
  • The observatory will be open at 7:30PM, a video on nebulae will be shown at 8PM.

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June 16 – Galaxies

M81 in the constellation Ursa Major (Big Dipper)

M81 in the constellation Ursa Major (Big Dipper)

Evening Highlights:
  • M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy, which is actually two galaxies colliding – M51A and M51B – is a beautiful grand-design spiral galaxy found in Ursa Major, and is over 23 million light years away.
  • M81: A spiral galaxy in Ursa Major, over 12 million light years away.
  • M82: A starburst galaxy in Ursa Major, over 12 million light years away.  M81 and M82 can often be seen together in a single field of view.
  • M31: The Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy and only 2.5 million light years from Earth.  M31 is also the only galaxy that can be seen with the naked-eye.
  • Three planets are visible in the sky tonight.  Don’t know which ones or how to find them?  You will after tonight.
  • See the International Space Station cross the night sky, as well as two iridium flares.
  • Frank will give a presentation on the upcoming August 21 solar eclipse, including how to view it safely.  The presentation starts at 8PM.

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June 2 – Moon, Jupiter and Saturn

June 2 – The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn

Evening Highlights:
  • Jupiter is the brightest object in the night sky at magnitude -2.23 (smaller number means brighter), find it in the south-western sky.
  • Ringed Saturn will be magnitude 0.06, and can be seen left and below Antares (the heart of Scorpius the scorpion) in the south-east, and is low on the horizon in the early evening.
  • Mars is the dimmest of the planets tonight at magnitude 1.68, and is directly west and visible only briefly as it sets shortly after the sun.
  • Finally, the setting moon to the west, is a waxing crescent (meaning  expanding in illumination) and will be 66% illuminated.
  • HVO opens at 8PM.

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June 10 – The Moon and Planets

June 10 – The Moon and Planets

Evening Highlights:
  • Jupiter is the brightest object in the night sky at magnitude -2.0 (smaller number means brighter), find it in the south-western sky.
  • Mars is the second brightest object in the southern sky at magnitude -1.86, and is almost directly south.
  • Ringed Saturn is the dimmest of the planets at magnitude 0.03, and can be seen just left and above Antares (the heart of Scorpius the scorpion) in the south-east.
  • Finally, the setting moon to the west, is a waxing crescent (meaning  expanding in illumination) and will be 32% illuminated.  See the moon first because it sets early!

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June 24 – Constellations

Evening Highlights:
  • Jupiter is still the brightest object in the night sky at magnitude -1.9 (smaller number means brighter), find it in the western sky.
  • Mars is the second brightest object in the southern sky at magnitude -1.54, and is almost directly south.
  • Ringed Saturn is the dimmest of the planets at magnitude 0.12, and can be seen almost directly above Antares (the heart of Scorpius the scorpion) to the south.
  • Learn the major constellations of the night sky, such as the Big Dipper/Ursa Major, Little Dipper/Ursa Minor, Scorpius, Sagittarius and Cassiopeia, and and how to find them.
  • Video: TBD.  Starts at 8:45PM.
  • Presentation: Following the video, Jim will present how to find the common summer constellations using a planisphere, using markers to hop between constellations, and software that can help locate constellations throughout the year.

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