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|Newsletter 98 | May 2019 | www.macastro.org.au ||
Macastro Newsletter - May 2019
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
Dear Members and Subscribers,
This is my first newsletter as you new President, so please excuse the lateness of getting it out. I had no internet for 4 weeks, so it was impossible for me to communicate.
We have a busy year for the club with the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in July, public outreach events, IlluminArte this Sunday, the usual club viewing nights and much more. We did have another public outreach event last weekend at the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan which was nearly washed out, but eventually the skies cleared just before our time was up and we had to leave.
This year's big event on Sunday 21 July celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Man's first landing and walk on the Moon. Titled "Apollo 11 to STEM and The Next Generation", it takes its title from the official NASA logo and our partners One Giant Leap Australia (OGLA). OGLA are bringing over six current and former scientists from NASA/JPL, for STEM discussions and their bio's and talks will be on our website shortly. We will show "The Dish"! This is an all day event and ticketing opened earlier this week through https://www.trybooking.com/BCBQU. Charges are modest for an event of this size. At this time we have not been able to guarantee outside funding but meetings are in progress. Members should make their bookings ASAP as we have now opened bookings for the public and spaces will go fast. We did give members a grace period before opening to the public.
Our Membership Officer, Henry Swierk. has sent out final reminders to those who have not yet renewed. If you have changed your address or telephone number, please let Henry know. Payment of a re-joining fee will be required after 30 April. There are a few exemptions for long term members of 10 years or more.
On Saturday 20 July, in conjunction with the Casula Powerhouse, MAS will participate in an event displaying members photographs, a talk will be given followed by an observation session of the moon and other celestial bodies (weather permitting).
I hope to see many of you at our public night tonight, the first of our four part winter series. We have a very busy season, please check out the calendar for all of our events http://www.macastro.org.au/mas/index.php/events/what-s-on/calendar/month.calendar/2019/05/18/-
April's MACARTHUR ASTRONOMY FORUM -Dr Angel Rafael Lopez Sanchez
"Dissecting Dwarf Galaxies with The AAT"
It was great to see Angel back with us and an excellent talk as usual. He discussed measuring the metallicity of dwarf galaxies. In astronomy, metallicity is used to describe the abundance of elements present in an object that is heavier than hydrogen or helium. He described his researches which started in Spain and has continued with the AAT since coming to Australia 13 years ago. (Thanks to Frank Lauterbach for the meeting images)
Our new mentoring year is now under way! This year we are working with two schools. Thank you to those members who have taken on students.
PUBLIC OUTREACH 2019
On 20 July, in conjunction with the Casula Powerhouse, MAS will participate in an event displaying members photographs, a talk will be given followed by an observation session of the moon and other celestial bodies.
We just added another event at Cuttaway Wines, Exeter for "Pie in the Sky"! Members bringing their scopes will be treated to pies, wine and music! Bet we get a few takers for this one. Every ticket sold by Cuttaway will generate funds for our MAS Apollo 50 event.
Even though Tony has stepped down from the committee he will still be available as a mentor and will still see you all at our meetings and events. We have over 150 members now and it would be great to see more of you out at our Outreach events. You don't need to have telescope.
President, Macarthur Astronomical Society Inc.
NEXT Macarthur Astronomy Forum:
When: Monday 20 May 2019, at 7.30 pm sharp.
Where: Lecture Theatre 213, Building 30, Goldsmith Avenue, Western Sydney University - Campbelltown Campus
Speaker: Dr Emil Lenc (ASKAP)
TITLE: "ASKAP and its role in the SKA era"
MEMBERS OBSERVING SCHEDULE
Photo by Ric Forster
Belanglo Forest -We at last got a night out at the beginning of May to check out the new horizons at the Cabin Site after most of the tree felling has been done! Next planned weekend is May 31-June 2. Gates open by 2pm.
Stargard - Is next weekend, Saturday May 25th, we'll cross our fingers for good weather.
China - May 2019. 16 members, partners and friends are currently in China having a whale of a time. They left on May 15 and will return on May 29.
All items are now in stock.
See online price list: http://www.macastro.org.au/mas/index.php/members/financial/merchandise
Beanies, Caps, Mugs, Polo Shirts, Pens and Jackets are in stock or if you need another size, can be ordered for you through email@example.com
Red Light LED Torches $10.00 inc. batteries.
"When Galaxies Collide" Prof. Lisa Harvey Smith. $25.00
Dave Manning - NGC42 Dave Manning - Setting up Dave Manning - Moon Tony Law - Leo
HEAVENS ABOVE by Bob Bee
Heavens Above – May 2019 MUSCA - THE FLY
by Bob Bee
This small oft overlooked constellation lies at the foot of the Southern Cross, Crux. It has a very small number of stars and even fewer deep sky objects, but some of them are corkers.
Originally named Apis - the Bee by Bayer in 1603, it was later rebadged as la Mouche (the Fly) by Lacaille in the mid 1700s, then Latinised as Musca in order to prevent confusion with another northern constellation, Apus – The Bird of Paradise.
It is of interest (perhaps) that Musca is the only constellation named after an insect. What about Scorpius, you ask? Well, scorpions are not in fact insects, but cousins of spiders, arachnids.
First the stars:
Beta Muscae, at the top left of the odd shaped trapezium, is a close pair (and true binary) of Class B stars of magnitudes 3.6 and 4.0, approximately 340 l.y. away, with an orbital period of approx 200 years. They are currently 2.2 arc-seconds apart and will require high magnification to split them. A challenge!
At the top right of the fly’s ‘proboscus’ (?) is an attractive wide double mu (mag 4 blue-white) and lambda (mag 5 orange) visible in binoculars.
Theta Muscae: To small telescopes, theta Muscae appears as a double star, with a mag 5.6 blue-cream brighter star and a magnitude 7.3 companion some 5.3 arcseconds away. The primary θ Muscae A is a massive triple star system.
The companion θ Muscae B is not part of the triple system but an optical double which happens to be along the same line of sight. It is a luminous O class Wolf-Rayet giant star. It is suspected of itself being a spectroscopic binary with the companion being much fainter.
Deep Sky Objects:
NGC 4833. Less than one degree above delta Muscae is this fairly large 7th magnitude globular cluster. It is 21,500 ly from Earth. This is discernible in binoculars as a faint smudge but resolvable as stars with telescopes over 100mm aperture.
NGC 4372. About one degree below gamma Muscae lies this 8th mag globular. It is believed to be 12.5 billion years old (compared to 13.8 billion years for the universe.)
Dark Doodad Nebula is a dark nebula located near the globular cluster NGC 4372, having a length of nearly three degrees of arc. This cloud consists of regions of dense gas and dust and is one of the closest star forming regions to the Solar System. As shown in the image, the Doodad lies above and over both gamma Mus. and NGC 4372.
NGC 5189 (The Spiral Planetary Nebula) – a remarkable planetary nebula and one of the brightest and most interesting objects of its type, remaining one of the favourites for deep sky observers. It was discovered in 1826 by John Dunlop. Seen through the telescope it seems to have a distinct S shape, reminiscent of a barred spiral galaxy. However, it is very small in angular size (1.5 x 1.0 arcminutes) and mag 8.2 and a challenge to observe in amateur telescopes. It is located about 5 degrees east of beta Muscae at coordinates RA 13h 34.9m and Dec -66º 4.9′.
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 assistance.
MAS LOAN TELESCOPES
The Society owns four telescopes which, subject to availability, may be loaned under the MAS Education Programme to current members. See website for T's and C's http://www.macastro.org.au/mas/index.php/macdob
MAS 23 YEARS SERVING MACARTHUR
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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