Home > Astronomical History, Ephemeris Program, GTAS Outreach Event > 02/05/2016 – Ephemeris – Women in astronomy night at the GTAS tonight

02/05/2016 – Ephemeris – Women in astronomy night at the GTAS tonight

February 5, 2016

Ephemeris for Friday, February 5th.  The Sun will rise at 7:57.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 58 minutes, setting at 5:56.   The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 6:12 tomorrow morning.

Tonight there will be a meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory, featuring a graduate from NMC and the astronomy program: Becky Shaw who will present a talk Women in Astronomy.  This is a second presentation of more female astronomers, the last was in November I especially recommend this for girls in school interested in the STEM fields, that is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to find out the wonderful contributions these women have made.  Astronomy, by the way encompasses all the STEM fields.  The meeting starts at 8 p.m. and the observatory is located on Birmley Road, south of Traverse City.  At 9 p.m. the will also be star party if it’s clear.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


Appropriate to our speaker’s topic:  In the news now is Smith’s Cloud, discovered by Gail Smith (now Gail Bieger-Smith) in 1963 as an astronomy student at Leiden University in the Netherlands.   In new studies with the Green Bank (Radio) Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope the velocity and composition of the cloud has been measured.  It somehow was ejected from the Milky Way some 70 million years ago, but it’s coming back!  In 30 million years it will crash back in, hitting the Milky Way’s other gas clouds and will probably cause a burst of star formation of maybe 2 million new stars.

Smith's cloud

Smith’s cloud superimposed on the Milky Way. Smith’s Cloud is only visible at radio wavelengths, while the Milky Way shown is a visible photograph. Credit: Saxton/Lockman/NRAO/AUI/NSF/Mellinger.

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