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Archive for the ‘GTAS Outreach Event’ Category

03/01/2019 – Ephemeris – GTAS topic tonight: Spring sky wonders

March 1, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, March 1st. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 6:30, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:18. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:23 tomorrow morning.

I will be previewing the skies of Spring this evening at this evening’s meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory. The spring stars seem to get away from us with the rapid advance of sunset and the big bump of daylight saving time on the tenth. After the meeting there will be a star party starting at 9 p.m. On tap if its clear will be Orion and its great nebula, a star nursery only 1400 light years away. It will be a wonderful sight with its clouds and wisps of gas and dust illuminated by a clutch of hot baby stars. The Observatory is located south of Traverse City on Birmley Road off either Garfield or Keystone roads.

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

Addendum

Spring Constellations

The constellations of spring with some constellations of winter leaving to the west and those of summer entering from the east. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

02/21/2019 – Ephemeris – Greenspire School’s STEM Night is tonight

February 21, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, February 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 6:19, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:32. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 9:05 this evening.

Tonight the Greenspire School is sponsoring its annual STEM Night from 6 to 8 p.m. at the school on Red Drive at the Grand Traverse Commons. Red Drive is a block west of Silver Drive that connects to Silver Lake Road at Franke Road. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be there for the sixth year with Gary Carlisle finding out what comets are made of by helping the kids create dry ice comets. We’ll have other exhibits too, and telescope kits to raffle off. Other exhibitors have hands on activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for the whole family. There’s also cookies and hot chocolate.

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

Addendum

STEM Night

Grand Traverse Astronomical Society members at STEM Night. Credit: Eileen Carlisle.

02/01/2019 – Ephemeris – The annual Telescope Clinic tonight

February 1, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, February 1st. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:51, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:00. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 6:40 tomorrow morning.

Did you or someone in your family get a telescope for Christmas, or have one in a closet or attic because you don’t know how to put it together or how to operate it? Or maybe you are trying to figure out which one to buy. Well, tonight’s your night. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will host a telescope clinic at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory on Birmley Road, south of Traverse City starting at 8 p.m. Telescope experts from the society will help you set up your telescope and give you observing tips. So bring ’em if you’ve got ’em. If it’s clear, at 9 p.m., there will be a star party to try out your telescope, or try them out on the lights of Traverse City. Can’t make it? We can help you after any meeting.

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

01/04/2019 – Ephemeris – A talk about astrophotography tonight at the GTAS by Dan Dall’olmo

January 4, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, January 4th. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:15. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 7:55 tomorrow morning.

Tonight’s first meeting of the year of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory starting at 8 p.m. will feature an illustrated talk by Dan Dall’olmo who has been quite successful in the field of astrophotography, or photography of the heavens. My own introduction to astrophotography was as a teenager in the day of file and darkroom chemicals. Things have changed a lot since then. Starting at 9 p.m. if it’s clear there will be a star party featuring the dark winter sky wonders including the Great Orion Nebula, a star nursery. Our next meeting, February first will be our annual telescope clinic to help new and otherwise frustrated telescope owners understand and use their telescopes.

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

Addendum

Frame grabs

From a time lapse video by Dan Dall’olmo showing the comet motion as it passed by the Earth the weekend of December 14-16, 2018.
The video is on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/W4GvtPZOE9g

11/02/2018 – Ephemeris – Back to basics tonight at the GTAS meeting

November 2, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, November 2nd. The Sun will rise at 8:22. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 6:30. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:27 tomorrow morning.

Tonight at this month’s meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers observatory we will get back to basics for anyone wondering about the skies visible from one’s backyard. Learn the constellations by building your own star finder that shows where the stars are any night of the year. We’ll also show you how to use it. We will let you experiment with moon-balls, that will show the light and shadow of the Moon’s phases. Afterward, if it’s clear you’ll have a chance to use those star finders during the observation period starting around 9 p.m. The observatory is south of Traverse City, on Birmley Road, between Garfield and Keystone roads.

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

10/19/2018 – Ephemeris – Last 2018 outings for the GTAS this weekend

October 19, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 19th. The Sun will rise at 8:03. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 6:51. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 3:32 tomorrow morning.

Clouds willing, the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will host two events this weekend. The first is Saturday night on the sidewalk on the 200 block of Front Street in Traverse City. It’s the International Observe the Moon Night, celebrated around the world. The event will begin at 8 p.m. Again the sky has to be at least partially clear for this event to happen.

Sunday night, again skies willing, members of the society will be at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Climb for the final star party of the year celebrating the 48th anniversary of the establishment of the park. On tap will be the Moon, Mars and Saturn plus some of the brighter wonders of the heavens including colorful binary stars and star clusters.

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

10/05/2018 – Ephemeris – All about telescopes for the gift giving season

October 5, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 5th. The Sun will rise at 7:45. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 7:15. The Moon, halfway from last quarter to new, will rise at 4:28 tomorrow morning.

We at the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society get asked a lot about what kind of telescope to get for their beginning astronomer, whether young or old. With the gift-giving season coming upon us, now is the time to plan ahead. This month’s meeting at 8 p.m. at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory there will be several types of telescopes there, including one of mine*. There is no right telescope, but there are lots of wrong telescopes, and its not always the telescope itself, but the mounting that’s the problem. Society members will show you what the various telescopes can do, what you need, and don’t need. What’s the best telescope for what price range.

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

* I’m currently suffering from a sprained wrist, so I may not be able to bring in my 11″ Dobsonian telescope, but will bring in a much smaller (3″) telescope of similar design instead.