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|Newsletter 87 | August 2018 | www.macastro.org.au ||
Macastro Newsletter - July/August 2018
Welcome to our monthly general newsletter which will reach you, our members and subscribed members of the public, during the week prior to our Macarthur Astronomy Forum each month by simple email.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Welcome to your belated July Newsletter, in fact this will cover August too!
With another very hectic month I was unable to produce this newsletter prior to our "Space Rocks" event, so I will cover that and August's Macarthur Astronomy Forum.
JULY'S MACARTHUR ASTRONOMY FORUM - "SPACE ROCKS"
Last Monday 130 people attended this event at The Acacia Theatre,The Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan - a sellout! This was only the second time since MAS's inaugural meeting in February 1996 that it has been held away from UWS/WSU. This event would not have happened if grants had not been obtained from Inspiring Australia through The Botanic Gardens and Camden Council.
We were entertained with two excellent talks by Geoffrey Notkin (Meteorite Men) and Amy Shira Teitel (Vintage Space).
Geoff kicked off with an amusing look in to his world of meteorite hunting around the world, some harrowing moments and others very lighthearted.
We broke for half an hour for great refreshments provided by the ABG. Also Geoff and Amy were able to do some merchandising!
Amy spoke about a little known subject, which she has just been researching for a new book. the Mercury 13. The 13 were the women who, in 1960-61, went through all the medical testing that the Mercury 7 astronauts were put through but they never made it to the astronaut roster.
Our guests were presented with MAS Jackets, mug and pens.
Thanks to Bob, Greg and Luke for setting up their scopes for people to spot Jupiter Saturn and Mars.
Photos by Dave Manning and Frank Kaiser Lauterbach
See Calendar for 2018 http://www.macastro.org.au/mas/index.php/events/what-s-on/calendar/month.calendar/2018/03/16/- for all our events booked
Saturday 21 July - Our Winter Public program continues at the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory, set up from 4pm. Lecture on the Search for Extra-terrestrial Life with Dr Ragbir Bhathal at 5pm in Building 21.
PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE MONTH: NARELLAN LIBRARY
We are the 'Stars' at the library until the end of July, go along and see our efforts
President, Macarthur Astronomical Society Inc.
Macarthur Astronomy Forum: the NASa Deep sky network
When: Monday 20 AUG 2018, at 7.30 pm sharp.
Where: Lecture Theatre 213, Building 30, Goldsmith Avenue, Western Sydney University - Campbelltown Campus
Speaker: Dr Ed Kruzins
Abstract: The latest information from csiro/nasa at tidbinbilla
MEMBERS OBSERVING SCHEDULE
Photo by Tony Law
Stargard - Saturday 04 August - Gates will open about 4.00pm.
Belanglo Forest - Fri/Sat 10/11 August - Gates open about 2pm
Belanglo Forest - Fri/Sat 17/18 August - Gates open about 2pm -INTERNATIONAL HOUSE STUDENTS
Stargard - Saturday 01 September - Gates will open about 4.00pm.
Belanglo Forest - Fri/Sat 7/8 September - Gates open about 2pm
Mt Annan, Botanic Gardens - Fri 10 August Stars over the Gardens - Set up 4.00pm
Monday 23 July - Saturday 28 July - Macquarie Uiversity Space Technology and STEM Conference and Exhibition, in conjunction with JPL and One Giant Leap Australia
Saturday 28 July - WSAAG/MAS - Setup scopes at 4.00pm for joint viewing night at Werrington Observatory
Tuesday 14 Aug - Broughton College Expo set up from2pm
Saturday 25 August -Bunnings Narellan - MAS Stand 10.00am to 2.00pm
Thursday 13 September - Picton School - set up 4.00pm
PUBLIC OBSERVING NIGHTS
At the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory on the following dates: 21 July 2018 and 15 September 2018
2) China May 2019. Detailed discussions with Roberto Soria and Dr Zheng at the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. We are still awaiting confirmation of dates.A tentative itinerary has been emailed to you all.
Based on the current numbers wishing to join this trip, 15, the cost has dropped to approximately $3,000.00 based on twin share,subject to currency fluctuations and 2019 pricelists. Please contact Tony for any further information.
HEAVENS ABOVE! - Bob Bee
July this year is Mars’s month. If you’ve been watching the sky to the east over the past weeks, you’ll already know that. The really bright orange star rising steadily in Capricornus and outshining everything else except Venus which is far away in the west – that’s Mars.
You may also know that this is the year of a ‘favourable’ opposition. That’s when Mars is its closest to the Earth in its 15 year cycle of favourable oppositions. Opposition in this case simply means that the Sun, Earth and Mars are directly in line in their orbits. That precise moment occurs on 27th July this year.
Surprisingly, to some, this does not correspond to when Mars and Earth are closest, due to the different elliptical orbits of the two. Only if the Earth and Mars orbits were perfectly circular (which they are not) would opposition and closest approach dates be the same. This year, Mars’s closest approach to Earth occurs on 31st July (4 days after opposition) when it will be a ‘mere’ 57,589,196 km (or 0.38496 AUs.)
This compares to the furthest they may be apart at ‘opposition’ such as in the future January 2027 opposition distance of 104.1 million km. An ‘average’ opposition distance would be 78.3 million km based on the difference of the two planets’ mean distances from the Sun. It was very close to that distance in the May 2016 opposition.
So this year astronomers will be trying to make the most of such a close approach. Sadly, such a close approach to Earth means a closer approach to the Sun and that extra warmth traditionally brings on huge dust storms across the entire face of Mars, obscuring views of its main features.
Beanies, Caps, Mugs, Polo Shirts, Pens and Jackets are in stock or can be ordered for you through email@example.com
NEW- Red Light LED Torches are in stock $10.00inc. batteries.
M29 (Trifid) and M8 (Lagoon) - Tony Law Saturn - Dave Manning
LOAN A TELESCOPE - CAMDEN COUNCIL
During November 2015, Camden Council Library Services launched their Telescope loan service to library members. Instigated by the library and supported by MAS, they now have four 8" Dobsonians and four ED80 refractors on loan. An ideal first step for families and individuals to 'try before you buy'. The project is a great success.
Contact MAS if you need asistance.
We still have McDob, our 6" Dobsonian, and. If you would like to borrow it please let a committee member know. We also have a a Celestron AstroMaster 130 Newtonian reflector on a manual drive equatorial mount. Contact Greg Bradford for inf - firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest addition is a Meade ETX125, with GOTO. Will be available once we have completed repairs. Thanks to Greg Bradford for checking it out and compiling a manual.
MAS acknowledges Western Sydney University's generosity in permitting us the use of its facilities to hold MAS events such as the Macarthur Astronomy Forum and the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory for public viewing nights.
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