Updated Bob Piekiel Observing Schedule And June 15th Chittenango Falls Public Session Reminder

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

Quick reminder that the most recent post below still holds – feel free to RSVP with Chittenango Falls (so they know the early interest), otherwise our Facebook and Meetup event pages are also available.

Also: Bob has secured a few more observing sessions for the Summer at Baltimore Woods and Green Lakes. His complete observing list is available on his 2018 Observing Schedule page.

CNYO Observing Event – Chittenango Falls, Friday, 15 June 2018, 8:30 – 10:30 PM

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

Bob Piekiel and fellow CNYO members are pleased to announce a session at Chittenango Falls (Bob notes that an event here hasn’t happened in quite some time!). It is always best to check-in with Chittenango Falls (because then they know how many in the public are interested), but feel free to also sign up for the event on our Facebook and Meetup event pages.

The weather-alternate for this event is Saturday, June 16. Check back here or on the Facebook/Meetup pages for any updates.

Facebook Event Page | Meetup.com Event Page

Chittenango Falls State Park
2300 Rathbun Rd.
Cazenovia, NY 13035
(315) 637-6111

Event Details: It gets dark late this time of year, so our best viewing targets will be the bright planets Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. We’ll also get to see a skinny crescent moon at the start of the program. When it gets dark we will begin to see some of the Southern Milky Way.

NASA Space Place – What Is The Asteroid Belt?

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. NASA Space Place has been providing general audience articles for quite some time that are freely available for download and republishing. Your tax dollars help promote science! The following article was provided for reprinting in May, 2018.

By Linda Hermans-Killiam

2013february2_spaceplaceThere are millions of pieces of rocky material left over from the formation of our solar system. These rocky chunks are called asteroids, and they can be found orbiting our Sun. Most asteroids are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They orbit the Sun in a doughnut-shaped region of space called the asteroid belt.

Asteroids come in many different sizes—from tiny rocks to giant boulders. Some can even be hundreds of miles across! Asteroids are mostly rocky, but some also have metals inside, such as iron and nickel. Almost all asteroids have irregular shapes. However, very large asteroids can have a rounder shape.

The asteroid belt is about as wide as the distance between Earth and the Sun. It’s a big space, so the objects in the asteroid belt aren’t very close together. That means there is plenty of room for spacecraft to safely pass through the belt. In fact, NASA has already sent several spacecraft through the asteroid belt!

The total mass of objects in the asteroid belt is only about 4 percent the mass of our Moon. Half of this mass is from the four largest objects in the belt. These objects are named Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea.

The dwarf planet Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt. However, Ceres is still pretty small. It is only about 587 miles across—only a quarter the diameter of Earth’s moon. In 2015, NASA’s Dawn mission mapped the surface of Ceres. From Dawn, we learned that the outermost layer of Ceres—called the crust—is made up of a mixture of rock and ice.

The Dawn spacecraft also visited the asteroid Vesta. Vesta is the second largest object in the asteroid belt. It is 329 miles across, and it is the brightest asteroid in the sky. Vesta is covered with light and dark patches, and lava once flowed on its surface.

The asteroid belt is filled with objects from the dawn of our solar system. Asteroids represent the building blocks of planets and moons, and studying them helps us learn about the early solar system.

For more information about asteroids, visit: spaceplace.nasa.gov/asteroid

Caption:This image captured by the Dawn spacecraft is an enhanced color view of Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

About NASA Space Place

With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology. Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov (facebook|twitter) to explore space and Earth science!