Free Astronomy Magazine – January-February 2019 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Jan/Feb 2019 Cover

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (January-February 2019) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at www.astropublishing.com (click the link to go directly to the issue).

Free Astronomy Magazine (website, facebook) was featured as the first of a series of articles on great free online content for amateur astronomers (see A Universe Of Free Resources Part 1) and we’ll be keeping track of future publications under the Online Resources category on the CNYO website.

You can find previous Free Astronomy Magazine issues by checking out our Free Astronomy Magazine Category (or look under the Education link in our menu).

For those wanting a quick look at what the issue has to offer, the Table of Contents is reproduced below.


January-February 2019

The web browser-readable version of the issue can be found here:

January-February 2019 – www.astropublishing.com/1FAM2019/

For those who want to jump right to the PDF download (15 MB), Click here:

January-February 2019

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins: What Makes These Creatures So Amazing and Why They Need Our Help”

Saturday – January 19, 2019, 9:30-11:00am

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Speaker: James P. Gibbs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Director, Roosevelt Wild Life Station; and Adjunct Scientist, Galapagos Conservancy

Talk Overview: Turtles are amazing creatures. They occur in many shapes and sizes, and occupy a variety of habitats (freshwater, deserts, and the ocean) around the world (except the Arctic and Antarctic). All are reptiles and members of the Testudines or turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. Their shell, a complicated and living structure of bones, living tissues and keratin like your fingernails, is what makes them distinct from other animals. And the shell has served them well! Turtles are one of the oldest groups of vertebrate animals in the world -dating back to the time of the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago, and changing little since then. Not only that, but the protection shell enables turtles today to live for almost 200 years in some species. These animals do important things in the environment, eating plants, insects and even jellyfish, shaping the world around them in some cases. But they are also among the most imperiled groups of animals on the planet — about half of the 320 species of turtles today are endangered in some form. The biggest problems and habitat loss, road mortality, poaching and the illegal pet trade. During this TACNY Jr. Café Scientifique, we will learn about these magnificent creatures in detail, examine some turtle specimens together, and learn about two exciting efforts to help turtles – one in the Galapagos with Giant Tortoises and one in the Amazon with Yellow-spotted River Turtles.

BiographyJames Gibbs is currently Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, New York and Adjunct Scientist with the Galapagos Conservancy. He teaches courses each year in conservation biology and herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians). James lives and works in urban Syracuse but travels the world studying and saving turtles and other endangered species. He spends a lot of time in the Galapagos Islands where he helps lead a project to restore the giant tortoise population there and in Brazil helping giant river turtles recover in the Amazon.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2019 Observing Schedule

This event list will be added to as the year progresses. Check back often!

I’m pleased to have obtained the official schedule for Bob Piekiel’s growing observing and lecture programs for the 2019 season. For those who have not had the pleasure of hearing one of his lectures, attending one of his observing sessions, or reading one of his many books on scope optics (or loading the CD containing the massive Celestron: The Early Years), Bob Piekiel is not only an excellent guide but likely the most knowledgeable equipment and operation guru in Central New York.

Notes On Baltimore Woods Sessions:

The Baltimore Woods events calendar is updated monthly. As such, I’ve no direct links to the sessions below. Therefore, as the event date nears, see the official Calendar Page for more information and any updates on the event.

Also…

* Registration for these events are required. Low registration may cause programs to be canceled.
* $5 for members, $15/family; $8 for nonmembers, $25/family.
* To Register By Email: info@baltimorewoods.org
* To Register By Phone: (315) 673-1350

Baltimore Woods:

* January 20 (Sun.), 9:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. (Jan 21st)

Total Lunar eclipse (!!) Plus winter skies, which show some of the brightest examples of nebulae and star clusters visible from the Northern Hemisphere. Stay up late and skip work / school for this one!

* February 1 (Fri.)/2 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Winter skies at their finest. The area surrounding the constellation of Orion has some of the brightest clusters and nebulae visible in the northern hemisphere. This moonless night will give us the best views of these gems!

* March 1 (Fri.)/2 (Sat. weather alternate), 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Note the early start time. This is our best chance to see the elusive planet Mercury, which will be visible low in the west at sunset. After it gets dark, we’ll still have great views of the winter skies.

* April 12 (Fri.)/13 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Come have a look at the 1st-quarter moon, and after it begins to set, a farewell to the deep-sky objects of winter and hello to spring skies.

* May 3 (Fri.)/4 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

This weekend there will be no moon to interfere with viewing, and we may get an early glimpse at some of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, plus the spring skies and their clusters. We may still be able to see Mars low in the west and Jupiter will be rising in the east.

* June 7 (Fri.)/8 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

It gets dark late so let’s look for planets and the moon! We will get a good view of the near-first-quarter moon, Jupiter will be just about ass close to earth as it gets, and there’s a chance we may get one last look at Mars for the year, before it goes behind the sun and out of view. After it gets darker, the southern Milky Way will become visible.

* July 12 (Fri.)/13 (Sat. weather alternate), 9:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Let’s start the program with great views of Jupiter, Saturn, and the waxing quarter moon, then turn our sights on the Summer Milky Way as it gets darker, which has some of the densest concentrations of star clusters and nebulae visible to us in the northern hemisphere.

* August 12 (Mon.)/13 (Tues. weather alternate), 9:00 – 11:00 p.m.

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the year’s best. The near-full moon will interfere with the view of fainter meteors, but brighter ones should still put on a show (we hope!) Also, great views of Jupiter and Saturn, and maybe a look at Venus. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to lie and watch for meteors while you’re not looking through a scope.

* September 6 (Fri.)/7 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Come take in a view of the first-quarter moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Uranus, and Neptune. As the moon sets, we’ll get our last look at the Summer Milky Way.

* October 4 (Fri.)/5 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The Draconids meteor shower peaks around this time, although it is not a very “big” shower. We’ll have another great view of the first-quarter moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Uranus, and Neptune, plus hello to fall skies.

* November 11 (Mon.), 6:00 – 8:00 a.m. – SPECIAL EVENT – no cloud date!

On this day, a rare transit of Mercury occurs at sunrise. These happen only every few years, and the eastern US is one of the best viewing locations for this one! Come early and watch the tiny black disc of Mercury transit across the sun, using specially-filtered telescopes.

* December 13 (Fri.)/14 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Geminids Meteor Shower – the Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th. Unfortunately the nearly full moon will block out many of the meteors this year, but the Geminids are so bright and numerous that it could still be a good show.

Beaver Lake Nature Center:

* Thursday, April 18th (details to follow)

Green Lakes:

Awaiting 2019 scheduling.

Chittenango Falls:

Awaiting 2019 scheduling.

Marcellus Library:

Awaiting 2019 scheduling.

Clark Reservation:

Awaiting 2019 scheduling.