Some information for the Mars Opposition event. The easiest way to find the site is to enter the GPS coordinates into google maps. The entrance off Chautauqua road will have one of the two new Astronomy Observation Area banners posted at it. Public parking is noted on the map inset included below. So far, 3 of the 10 telescope pads have been spoken for so that leaves plenty of room for additional club members and general public to setup on a pad. Feel free to bring your own lawn chairs / blankets to the event and bug spray this time of year is a must. There will be a porta potty at the site, but no other facilities or vending. Personal coolers are allowed.
|There will be a brief introduction on the grapes grown at Alto Vineyards, and a discussion on the production techniques used to create the award winning wines offered by Alto Vineyards. Followed with a review of what stars and constellations that will be viewable tonight. Members of the Astronomical Association of Southern Illinois will have multiple telescopes set up at the Vineyard for viewing starting around dusk. Stars expected to be seen this evening will be Venus (setting in the West), Jupiter and at least 4 of its major moons which will be very close to our moon, with Saturn and possibly Pluto in the low east. Also visible will be several open clusters of stars, including the Butterfly Cluster in the southeast. The public is invited to enjoy the wines, the discussions, and to come out and view the stars with the members of the Astronomical Association.
In case of inclement weather or heavy clouds… Event will be moved to Friday, June 29.
Due to the forecast of clouds, 50% chance of rain and other obligations this public viewing will be canceled. Hopefully clear skys will grace us soon.
Here is some information on the upcoming event of the week. Let’s hope we have clear skys!
Come to the Giant City State Park Visitor center parking lot for a public viewing. If it is a good night we should be able to view the Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, the Double Cluster in Perseus and of course the Moon. The current weather forecast is for clouds and rain Friday night so keep your fingers crossed that they are wrong! Check back Friday for updates and also check our Facebook page http://facebook.com/astroaasi
Articles I have read the last few days indicate this years Geminid shower should be a good one. Expect around 120 meteors an hour. The shower should peak around 2:00 am on the 14th. The Geminid’s are the result of the Earth passing through the debris left behind by a comet/asteroid hybrid named 3200 Phaethon which orbits the Sun about every 550 days. On December 16 it will be passing near Earth about 32 times farther from us than the Moon. While this should not effect this years shower, it may make next years shower even more spectacular.