Greetings, fellow astrophiles!
The latest article in the Upstate NY Stargazing series, “Upstate NY Stargazing In March: Messier Marathon and the Lunar Occultation of Aldebaran,” has just been posted to newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com.
Direct Link: newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/2017/02/…lunar_occultation_of_ald.html
Direct Link: syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2017/02/…lunar_occultation_of_ald.html
* Prof. Leslie Hebb’s Cazenovia College Science Cafe lecture, “Distant Worlds: What We Know About Extra-Solar Planets And Their Potential For Habitability” was a great success this past Wednesday and we look forward to announcing and co-sponsoring future astro-related events.
* With one day to go and the potential for clear skies, interested parties are encouraged to read up on how to observe – and record – the lunar occultation of Aldebaran on the night of March 4th.
* And, finally, the March article is the perfect time to introduce new observers to Messier Marathons prior to any attempts of the same at month’s end.
Caption: M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, and its satellite galaxies M32 (a hazy star just above-left of M31’s center) and M110 (the oval structure below-left of M31’s center). Photograph taken at Kopernik Observatory & Science Center by Kopernik Astronomical Society member George Normandin. Click for a larger view.
Turning our attention to the North, and in anticipation of a larger discussion about circumpolar constellations, we introduce Ursa Major – a great, easy-to-find constellation with a small fortune in Messier Objects.
Caption: Ursa Major and the Big Dipper, including brightest star labels, the locations of Messier Objects, and an arrow to follow to the north star Polaris. Click for a larger view.
Greetings, fellow astrophiles!
The latest article in the series, “Upstate NY Stargazing in December: Geminid meteor shower, another Supermoon,” has just been posted to newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com.
The discussion is fairly Taurus-centric this month, and very much localized to that part of the sky with the Geminids, Supermoon, and Aldebaran occultation occurring all mid-month. This month also includes more event announcements for several NY astronomy clubs with posted December observing sessions, which reportedly worked out (too?) well for Baltimore Woods attendance.
Direct Link: newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/2016/12/…_meteor_shower_another_supermoon.html
Direct Link: syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2016/12/…_meteor_shower_another_supermoon.html
The Learn A Constellation section also includes one of my all-time favorite images. Among the many treasures in the Lascaux Cave paintings is one that very, very much looks like a simple constellation map of Orion’s Belt, the Pleiades, and the Hyades, with the Hyades superimposed on a drawing of a bull with extra-long horns – all a perfect match for that part of the sky.
Time may never tell if we can track down the descendants of the artist as they migrated through southern Europe and into the Middle East and North Africa, carrying the story of the great Bull in the Sky with them that ultimately became our constellation Taurus. The story of people and animals in the sky may not be in our distant folklore, but it did make its way into our DNA in the way that we see such pictures where none actually exist (better to be safe than sorry when that bump on the savanna turns out to be more toothy than the usual mount of dirt).
Caption: No bull – a Lascaux painting marking the location of an ancient Taurus, c.a. 15,500 B.C. Click for a larger view.