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Transcript
ASSNE Vol. 20, No. 10!
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October 2014
THE GALACTIC GAZETTE
THE NEWSLETTER OF
The Astronomical Society of Southern New England
“To Educate and Inspire”
http://assne.org
Next Meeting
Club Officers for 2014-2016
Bruce DiDucca
Tom Hannigan
George Huftalen
Spence Blakely
October 11, 2014 7 p.m
Carpenter Museum
4 Locust Ave. Rehoboth, Mass.
Doors open at 6 p.m.
President
Vice President
Treasurer
Secretary
This month’s feature
Rehoboth Skies 2014
and Alan Hirshfeld presents:
From Backyard to Mountaintop: The Three Lives of History's Best Worst Telescope
Letters to ASSNE
To submit your comments or questions of general interest about ASSNE or
to learn more about our public outreach programs, please send an email
to ASSNE Secretary.
Please direct personal club-related business or concerns to the appropriate club officer.
News & Announcements
Content may be edited for clarity.
New book by Alan Hirshfeld
Alan will give a presentation at the meeting, based on his
his new book Starlight Detectives:
How Astronomers, Inventors, and
Eccentrics Discovered the Modern
Universe. The book will be available, for $20, with profits going
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to the UMass Dartmouth Observatory.
About the book
A wondrous tale of cosmic
exploration and the colorful
characters who ushered astronomy into the modern age
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In 1929, Edwin Hubble announced
the greatest discovery in the history of
astronomy since Galileo first turned a
telescope to the heavens. The galaxies,
previously believed to float serenely in
the void, are in fact hurtling apart at an
incredible speed: the universe is expanding. This stunning discovery was the
culmination of a decades-long arc of scientific and technical advancement. In its
shadow lies an untold, yet equally fascinating, backstory whose cast of characters illuminates the gritty, hard-won nature of scientific progress.
The path to a broader mode of
cosmic observation was blazed by a cadre
of nineteenth-century amateur astronomers and inventors, galvanized by the
advent of photography, spectral analysis,
and innovative technology to create the
entirely new field of astrophysics. From
William Bond, who turned his home into
a functional observatory, to John and
Henry Draper, a father and son team who
were trailblazers of astrophotography
and spectroscopy, to geniuses of invention such as Léon Foucault, and George
Hale, who founded the Mount Wilson
Observatory, Hirshfeld reveals the incredible stories—and the ambitious
dreamers—behind the birth of modern
astronomy.
Praise for Starlight Detectives
“Starlight Detectives is just the sort
of richly veined book I love to read—full
of scientific history and discoveries, peopled by real heroes and rogues, and told
with absolute authority. Alan Hirshfeld’s
wide, deep knowledge of astronomy
arises not only from the most careful
scholarship, but also from the years he’s
spent at the telescope, posing his own
questions to the stars.”—DAVA SOBEL, author
of Longitude and A More Perfect Heaven
“Beautifully written, Starlight Detectives reminds us how the wonders of
the modern universe would never have
been possible without the ingenious advances made by pioneering scientists in
the nineteenth century. They were the
ones who first learned how to read the
messages hidden within a star’s radiations. With his poetic eye on the nighttime sky, Alan Hirshfeld engagingly
shows how science arrived, step by step,
at its revolutionary discovery that we live
in but one galaxy amid multitudes flying
outward in an expanding universe. A
must-read for astronomy and history of
science aficionados alike.”—MARCIA
BARTUSIAK, author of The Day We
Found the Universe and Archives of the
Universe
“A delightful, detailed chronicle of
great men (and a rare woman) whose fas-
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cination with the night sky and the technology necessary to study it led to today’s dramatic discoveries.”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)
"Hirshfeld tells this climactic discovery of
the expanding universe with great verve
and sweep, as befits a story whose scope,
characters and import leave most fiction
behind."—Wall Street Journal
"Hirshfeld sums it up: The classical astronomer's question, Where is a
star? evolved into the astrophysicist's
more profound inquiry, What is a star?"—
Boston Globe
“A masterful balance of science, history
and rich narrative.”—Discover magazine
(“Top 5 Summer Read”)
“From 1850 to 1930, a handful of
technological adepts transformed astronomy. That race to see deep space is
told with palpable relish by physicist
Alan Hirshfeld.”—Nature
“A well-written and enjoyable title
for astronomers—professional and amateur alike—as well as science history
fans.”—Library Journal
“Far from a dry scientific text, the
book contains prose that is light even
when didactic, engaging in its personification of these unjustly forgotten astronomers as determined, obsessed, stalwart, and sometimes just plain strange.
Every researcher presented in this book is
as lively in the text as if they were still
personally scouring the heavens.”—
Foreword Reviews
"Hirshfeld chronicles the radical
changes in our conception of the cosmos
that have accompanied the advent of
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October 2014
modern astronomy over the past century
and a half. Recommended."—Scientific
American
“Tales of pioneering skywatchers
and their discoveries in the 19th century
show how modern astronomy was
born.”—Science News
“Alan Hirshfeld’s wonderful Starlight Detectives is a tour-de-force synthesis of the historic and scientific factors
relating 19th century photography, astronomy, and spectroscopy. … Hirshfeld’s
writing style brings the 19th century back
to life and provides a rich tapestry of astronomical history. ”—American Journal
of Physics
“Writing this book would ideally
require an author with an extensive
knowledge of astronomy, including astronomical instruments, a deep understanding of the ways of thought of astronomers, a broad range of historical
knowledge, and an exceptional skill at
making astronomical ideas clear and engaging. Alan Hirshfeld possesses all of
these skills. His Starlight Detectives is
remarkable.”—MICHAEL C. CROWE,
author of The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750–1900
“Hirshfeld documents how the
practice of astronomy changed between
1840 and 1940 thanks to innovative pioneers whose efforts made it possible to
capture and preserve otherwise faint and
fleeting images, and to decipher the
cryptographic messages found in the
light of celestial bodies. His riveting narrative brings to life their challenges, failures, and successes. It will captivate all
who have observed the night sky.”—
BARBARA J. BECKER, author of Unravel-
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ling Starlight: William and Margaret
Huggins and the Rise of the New Astronomy
“A thrilling historical account of
the rise of astrophysics, the early years of
astronomical photography and spectroscopy, and the innovations that transformed the astronomical telescope in the
nineteenth century. Alan Hirshfeld’s
thoroughly researched narrative is accessible, entertaining, and scholarly, and includes many pioneers who have been
overlooked until now. I greatly admire
this outstanding contribution to the history of astronomy.”—SIMON MITTON,
co-author of Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe and author of Fred Hoyle: A Life in
Science
About the Author
Alan Hirshfeld, Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth and an Associate of the Harvard College Observatory, is the author of
Parallax: The Race to Measure the Cosmos,
The Electric Life of Michael Faraday, and
Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes. He is a regular book reviewer
for the Wall Street Journal and has contributed to Sky & Telescope, the American Journal of Physics, BBC History
Magazine, and American Scientist. He
has made radio and television appearances on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN and lectures nationwide about science history
and discovery.
New Members
ASSNE welcomes returning members
Alan Harris & family.
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Calendar of Events
Your support at these events is greatly appreciated. Even if you don’t own
a scope, you are always welcome to drop by to lend a hand and show
your enthusiasm. You may be surprised at how much fun you can have.
ASSNE thanks Rebekah Bartlett for the Club Event Listings.
ASSNE events
Other events
Club Event Listings
TBA
ASSNE Members’ Advice and Help
Galileo's Gabfest
Observing Reports and Astro Images
Observing is often more enjoyable if it is a shared experience. Everyone
benefits from the exchange of knowledge, tips, and camaraderie. Several ASSNE members observe regularly and send out emailed invitations to those requesting them. If you would like to receive such invitations from someone living near you, please contact a club officer.
Visitors to this site who just want to see what it’s all about should also
contact an officer.
Informal Observing Sessions
Current Observing Reports
The Imager's Studio
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For Sale and Wanted
ASSNE Trading Post
Club Loaner Telescopes
The following telescopes and accessories are available to qualifying
members for one-month loans. If you are interested, contact Bruce
DiDucca beforehand, so he can arrange to have the one you want at the
meeting.
For more information about an item or to check availability, go to
Loaner Equipment.
ASSNE thanks the generous donors.
✯ Meade 8-inch LX-200 GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain (donated by Frank Gosland)
✯ Meade 80 mm, f/5, refractor
✯ Edmund Astroscan rich-field reflector.
✯ Coronado PST solar telescope
✯ Meade Digi Eyepiece (donated by Paul Faria)
✯ Astrovid Stellacam (donated by Wayne Prado)
✯ Laser collimator (donated by Ed Couture)
Astro Links
For Kids: Why did it take so long to discover Uranus?
Gravitational wave discovery gives way to Milky Way dust
Greg Stone’s Prime Time for October
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Twinkle, twinkle, variable star
by Dr. Ethan Siegel
As bright and steady as
they appear, the stars in our sky
won't shine forever. The steady
brilliance of these sources of
light is powered by a tumultuous interior, where nuclear
processes fuse light elements
and isotopes into heavier ones.
Because the heavier nuclei up
to iron (Fe), have a greater
binding energies-per-nucleon,
each reaction results in a slight
reduction of the star's mass,
converting it into energy via
Einstein's famous equation relating changes in mass and
energy output, E = mc2. Over
timescales of tens of thousands of years, that energy
migrates to the star's photosphere, where it's emitted out
into the universe as starlight.
Images credit: NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX)
spacecraft, of Mira and its tail in UV light (top); Margarita Karovska (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) / NASA's Hubble
Space Telescope image of Mira, with the distortions revealing the presence of a binary companion (lower left);
public domain image of Orion, the Pleiades and Mira
(near maximum brightness) by Brocken Inaglory of
Wikimedia Commons under CC-BY-SA-3.0 (lower right).
There's only a finite
amount of fuel in there, and
when stars run out, the interior contracts
and heats up, often enabling heavier
elements to burn at even higher temperatures, and causing sun-like stars to
grow into red giants. Even though the
cores of both hydrogen-burning and
helium-burning stars have consistent,
steady energy outputs, our sun's overall
brightness varies by just ~0.1%, while red
giants can have their brightness’s vary by
factors of thousands or more over the
course of a single year! In fact, the first
periodic or pulsating variable star ever
discovered—Mira (omicron Ceti)—behaves exactly in this way.
There are many types of variable
stars, including Cepheids, RR Lyrae, cataclysmic variables and more, but it's the
Mira-type variables that give us a
glimpse into our Sun's likely future. In
general, the cores of stars burn through
their fuel in a very consistent fashion,
but in the case of pulsating variable stars
the outer layers of stellar atmospheres
vary. Initially heating up and expanding,
they overshoot equilibrium, reach a
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maximum size, cool, then often forming
neutral molecules that behave as lightblocking dust, with the dust then falling
back to the star, ionizing and starting the
whole process over again. This temporarily neutral dust absorbs the visible light
from the star and re-emits it, but as infrared radiation, which is invisible to our
eyes. In the case of Mira (and many red
giants), it's Titanium Monoxide (TiO)
that causes it to dim so severely, from a
maximum magnitude of +2 or +3 (clearly
visible to the naked eye) to a minimum of
+9 or +10, requiring a telescope (and an
experienced observer) to find!
Visible in the constellation of Cetus during the fall-and-winter from the
Northern Hemisphere, Mira is presently
at magnitude +7 and headed towards its
minimum, but will reach its maximum
brightness again in May of next year and
every 332 days thereafter. Shockingly,
Mira contains a huge, 13 light-year-long
tail -- visible only in the UV -- that it
leaves as it rockets through the interstellar medium at 130 km/sec! Look for it in
your skies all winter long, and contribute
your results to the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) International Database to help study its
long-term behavior!
Check out some cool images and
simulated animations of Mira here:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/galex/
20070815/v.html
Kids can learn all about Mira at
NASA’s Space Place:
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/mira/en/
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AAVSO Writers’ Bureau
Welcome to the AAVSO Writers’ Bureau Blog. Here we have collected,
from our talented and gracious partners, some of the finest content
available on the Internet each month. These writers have given explicit permission for these articles to be reprinted on other websites
and newsletters.
Dating a Star ... a Few Hundred Thousand, in Fact
by Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy
Globular clusters are too cool. For
one thing, they’re gorgeous. I have proof!
That is IC 4499, a tight ball of tens
or hundreds of thousands of stars located
roughly 60,000 light years away. This image was taken by Hubble, and besides being spectacular, it also was used to nail
down the age of the cluster, which until
recently has been a bit controversial.
This is another reason globulars are cool.
The trick to getting the age for a
cluster is that stars age at different rates.
More massive stars burn through their
nuclear fuel faster, so they run out before
their smaller, more miserly brethren.
When that happens the core of the star
contracts and heats up, and the outer
layers respond by inflating hugely, like a
hot air balloon. The heat from the interior gets spread out through the much
Getting the age of the cluster is
possible because globulars have a very
helpful characteristic: The stars are all
the same distance away. That means if
a star is brighter than another in the
cluster, it really is more luminous.
That makes comparing the stars directly to each other easier.
At first it was assumed that all
globulars are very old—as old as the
Milky Way itself, 12 billion years or
so—and that all the stars in each were
born at the same time. But it gets a bit
more complicated. Some, it turns out,
clearly have stars that are old, mixed
in with ones that are younger. The
thinking is that these clusters are
more massive, could draw in more gas
over time, and then could have a second bout of star formation after the
initial one.
Photo by ESA/Hubble&NASA
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larger surface area, so
weirdly the star gets
much brighter but also
much cooler. We call it a
red giant (or a red supergiant if the star is particular massive).
That’s the key. If
you measure the stars’
colors, the ones that have
run through their fuel and
turned (or are currently
turning) into red giants
become very obvious.
Theoretical models are
pretty good at showing
just how old the stars are
that are right at that point
in their lives, so that in
turn must be the age of
the cluster.
Detail in the cluster (taken from the right side of the image above). Note how many faint stars can be seen ... and
far more distant background galaxies can be seen right
through the cluster! Photo by ESA/Hubble&NASA
IC 4499 has always been a problem
here. It has an intermediate mass between the lower-mass globulars that
have a single population of stars and
those heavier ones with two stellar populations. Knowing its age would be very
helpful to nail down the difference between the two. Different studies have
come up with different ages for it, with
pretty large uncertainties, too.
mediate cases, too, if we’re ever to have a
fully filled-in picture of what’s really going on in the Universe. IC 4499 is another
piece of that puzzle for which we’ve
managed to find its place.
The good news is that the Hubble
observations easily cover the stars that
are starting to turn in IC 4499, and the
telescope’s ability to accurately resolve
all the stars really nails down the age: IC
4499 is 12.0 ± 0.75 billion years. It’s old.
This helps. Astronomers like to
study extremes, since that tells us what
physics is doing at the edge of what it can
do. But we also need to figure out interpage 10 of 17
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AstroShorts
The University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HIPACC), based at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is
a consortium of nine University of California campuses and three Department of Energy laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory).
UC-HiPACC fosters collaborations among researchers at the various
sites by offering travel and other grants, co-sponsoring conferences,
and drawing attention to the world-class resources for computational
astronomy within the University of California system. More information appears at http://hipacc.ucsc.edu .
Separated at Birth: Finding our Sun’s Long-Lost Siblings?
Stars are born in groups or
clusters when a cold giant molecular
cloud collapses under its own gravitational force. If many stars form all at
once—that is, if star formation efficiency is high—they will stay together
as a gravitationally bound open cluster (like the Pleiades) or a globular
cluster (like M13 in Hercules).
For more than a decade, it has
been known that any two stars that
are members of the same gravitationally bound star cluster always show
the same pattern of chemical abundances. Stars are made mostly of hydrogen and helium, but they also contain traces of other elements: carbon, oxygen, iron, and even more
exotic substances. By carefully
measuring the wavelengths (colors)
of light coming from a star, astronomers can determine how abundant each trace element is.
“The pattern of abundances is
like a DNA fingerprint, where all the
members of a family share a com-
Two 11-second movies at
http://hipacc.ucsc.edu/PressRelease/sibling-stars_vid
eos.html shows face-on and head-on views of a
computational simulation of a collision of two
converging streams of interstellar gas, leading to
collapse and formation of a star cluster at the
center. The simulation reveals that the gas
streams are thoroughly homogenized well before
stars begin forming. Credit: Mark Krumholz/
University of California, Santa Cruz
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mon set of genes,” said Mark Krumholz,
associate professor at University of California, Santa Cruz. The pattern of abundances, set at birth, is consistent regardless of an individual star’s spectral type.
But most stellar families don’t
stay together: stars don’t form fast
enough for them to remain gravitationally bound, and so groups of stars drift
apart, eventually even ending up on opposite sides of a galaxy. That is likely
what happened with our Sun.
Thus, astronomers have long
wondered whether it might be possible to
tell if two stars now on opposite sides of
the galaxy were born billions of years ago
from the same cloud. In fact, they wondered, might it be possible to find our
own Sun’s long-lost siblings?
Why such family resemblance?
Just one big problem: “Although
we see that member stars of a long-lived
star cluster today are chemically identical, we had no good reason to think that
this would also be true of stars that were
born together but then dispersed immediately,” explained Krumholz. After all, in
a cloud where stars formed rapidly over a
light-year apart, might the cloud not
have had enough time to homogenize
thoroughly, and form stars at the same
time but not uniform in chemical composition?
“We didn’t really know why stars
are chemically homogeneous,” he said.
“Without a solid understanding of the
physical mechanism that produces uniformity, everything was at best a speculation.”
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October 2014
So Krumholz and his graduate
student Yi Feng ran a fluid dynamics
simulation on UCSC’s Hyades supercomputer. They simulated two streams of interstellar gas converging to form a cloud
that, over a few million years, collapses
under its own gravity to make a cluster of
stars. In the simulation, they added red
tracer dye to one stream and blue tracer
dye to the other.
Fast, early mixing
“We found that, as the streams
came together, they became extremely
turbulent, very effectively mixing the red
and blue tracer dyes,” Krumholz recounted. By the time the cloud started to
collapse and form stars, everything was
purple—and the resulting stars were purple as well.
“This was a surprise,” Krumholz
exclaimed. “I thought we’d get some blue
stars and some red stars, instead of getting all purple stars. I didn’t expect the
turbulence to be as violent as it was, and
so I didn’t expect the mixing to be so
rapid or efficient.”
In other runs of the simulation,
Krumholz and Feng observed that even
clouds that do not turn much of their gas
into stars—as the Sun’s parent cloud
probably didn’t—still produce stars with
nearly-identical abundances.
Their findings have given the
“chemical tagging” method a boost.
“We’ve provided the missing physical explanation of how and why chemical mixing works, and shown convincingly that
the chemical mixing process is very general and rapid even in an environment
which did not yield a star cluster, like the
one in which the Sun must have formed,”
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said Krumholz. “This is good news for
prospects for finding the Sun’s long-lost
siblings.” –Trudy E. Bell, M.A.
Further reading: The paper “Early
turbulent mixing as the origin of chemical homogeneity in open star clusters” is
published in the August 31 online issue
of Nature. A UC-HiPACC press release is
at
http://hipacc.ucsc.edu/PressRelease/sibling
-stars.html and a UCSC press release is at
http://news.ucsc.edu/2014/08/star-formati
on.html.
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Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 10h UT (362,476 km;
angular size 33.0').
Full Moon at 10:50 UT.
Total Eclipse of the Moon begins at 9:15 UT and ends at
12:34 UT. Mid-eclipse at 10:56 UT. Partial phases begin at
8:16 UT and end at 13:34 UT. The Moon will appear
red-orange in color during totality (the Earth’s shadow).
Visible from North America, Asia, Australia and much
of the Pacific.
6
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All sales support the production and free distribution of The Evening Sky Map.
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31 First Quarter Moon at 2:48 UT.
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25
28 Moon near Mars (56° from Sun, evening sky) at 12h UT. Mag. +0.9.
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SKY MAP SHOWS HOW
THE NIGHT SKY LOOKS
EARLY OCT 8 PM
LATE OCT 7 PM
!
25 Moon near Saturn (21° from Sun, evening sky) at 16h UT. Mag. +0.6.
25 Venus at superior conjunction with the Sun at 7h UT. Passes
into the evening sky (not visible).
S
23 Partial Eclipse of the Sun at 21:46 UT. Visible from Canada
and the United States. Begins at 19:37, ends at 23:52 UT.
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M13
OCTOBER 2014
!
23 New Moon at 21:55 UT. Start of lunation 1136.
21 Orionid meteor shower peaks. Arises from the
debris field of Comet Halley. Active from October 2
to November 7. Produces very fast (66 km/sec),
generally faint meteors (20 per hour). Radiant located
near Orion’s club asterism. Favorable viewing
conditions this year but rates are expected to be low.
18 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 6h UT
(distance 404,897 km; angular size 29.5').
18 Moon near Jupiter (66° from Sun, morning sky)
at 1h UT. Mag. –2.0.
17 Moon near Beehive Cluster (76° from Sun,
morning sky) at 2h UT.
16 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at
21h UT. Not visible. Passes into the morning sky.
15 Last Quarter Moon at 19:12 UT.
12 Moon near Aldebaran (morning sky) at 10h UT.
11 Moon near the Pleiades (morning sky) at 15h UT.
First Quarter Moon at 19:32 UT.
1
CORONA
BOREALIS
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HERCULES
NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
S
Sky Calendar – October 2014
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!
M10
ASSNE Vol. 20, No. 10!
October 2014
Brightest star in Aquila. Name means "the flying eagle". Dist=16.7 ly.
The 6th brightest star. Appears yellowish in color. Spectroscopic binary. Dist=42 ly.
Orange, giant K star. Name means "bear watcher". Dist=36.7 ly.
Cepheid prototype. Mag varies between 3.5 & 4.4 over 5.366 days. Mag 6 companion.
Brightest star in Cygnus. One of the greatest known supergiants. Dist=1,400±200 ly.
Semi-regular variable. Magnitude varies between 3.1 & 3.9 over 90 days. Mag 5.4 companion.
The 5th brightest star in the sky. A blue-white star. Dist=25.0 ly.
Famous eclipsing binary star. Magnitude varies between 2.1 & 3.4 over 2.867 days.
Brightest star in Piscis Austrinus. In Arabic the "fish's mouth". Dist=25 ly.
The Seven Sisters. Spectacular cluster. Many more stars visible in binoculars. Dist=380 ly.
The North Pole Star. A telescope reveals an unrelated mag 8 companion star. Dist=433 ly.
And
Aqr
Aql
Cep
Cyg
Cyg
Dra
Her
Her
Lyr
Lyr
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Peg
Per
Sgr
Sgr
Sgr
UMa
Vul
The Andromeda Galaxy. Most distant object visible to naked eye. Dist=2.93 million ly.
Resembles a fuzzy star in binoculars.
Bright Cepheid variable. Mag varies between 3.6 & 4.5 over 7.166 days. Dist=1,200 ly.
Herschel's Garnet Star. One of the reddest stars. Mag 3.4 to 5.1 over 730 days.
Long period pulsating red giant. Magnitude varies between 3.3 & 14.2 over 407 days.
May be visible to the naked eye under good conditions. Dist=900 ly.
Wide pair of white stars. One of the finest binocular pairs in the sky. Dist=100 ly.
Best globular in northern skies. Discovered by Halley in 1714. Dist=23,000 ly.
Fainter and smaller than M13. Use a telescope to resolve its stars.
Famous Double Double. Binoculars show a double star. High power reveals each a double.
Semi-regular variable. Magnitude varies between 3.9 & 5.0 over 46.0 days.
Close to the brighter M10. Dist=18,000 ly.
3 degrees from the fainter M12. Both may be glimpsed in binoculars. Dist=14,000 ly.
Large, scattered open cluster. Visible with binoculars.
Scattered open cluster. Visible with binoculars.
Only globular known to contain a planetary nebula (Mag 14, d=1"). Dist=30,000 ly.
Double Cluster in Perseus. NGC 869 & 884. Excellent in binoculars. Dist=7,300 ly.
Lagoon Nebula. Bright nebula bisected by a dark lane. Dist=5,200 ly.
Bright cluster located about 6 deg N of "teapot's" lid. Dist=1,900 ly.
A spectacular globular star cluster. Telescope will show stars. Dist=10,000 ly.
Good eyesight or binoculars reveals 2 stars. Not a binary. Mizar has a mag 4 companion.
Coathanger asterism or "Brocchi's Cluster". Not a true star cluster. Dist=218 to 1,140 ly.
page 15 of 17
!
!
The Evening Sky Map (ISSN 1839-7735) Copyright © 2000–2014 Kym Thalassoudis. All Rights Reserved.
Attractive double star. Bright orange star with mag 5 blue companion. Sep=9.8".
Saturn Nebula. Requires 8-inch telescope to see Saturn-like appendages.
Helix Nebula. Spans nearly 1/4 deg. Requires dark sky. Dist=300 ly.
Impressive looking double blue-white star. Visible in a small telescope. Sep=7.8".
Whirlpool Galaxy. First recognised to have spiral structure. Dist=25 million ly.
Yellow star mag 3.4 & orange star mag 7.5. Dist=19 ly. Orbit=480 years. Sep=12".
Beautiful double star. Contrasting colours of orange and blue-green. Sep=34.4".
Attractive double star. Mags 5.2 & 6.1 orange dwarfs. Dist=11.4 ly. Sep=28.4".
Appear yellow & white. Mags 4.3 & 5.2. Dist=100 ly. Struve 2725 double in same field.
Eclipsing binary. Mag varies between 3.3 & 4.3 over 12.940 days. Fainter mag 7.2 blue star.
Ring Nebula. Magnificent object. Smoke-ring shape. Dist=4,100 ly.
Elongated star cluster. Telescope required to show stars. Dist=2,100 ly.
Trifid Nebula. A telescope shows 3 dust lanes trisecting nebula. Dist=5,200 ly.
A fine and impressive cluster. Dist=4,200 ly.
Omega Nebula. Contains the star cluster NGC 6618. Dist=4,900 ly.
Wild Duck Cluster. Resembles a globular through binoculars. V-shaped. Dist=5,600 ly.
Eagle Nebula. Requires a telescope of large aperture. Dist=8,150 ly.
Fine face-on spiral galaxy. Requires a large aperture telescope. Dist=2.3 million ly.
Beautiful spiral galaxy visible with binoculars. Easy to see in a telescope.
Dumbbell Nebula. Large, twin-lobed shape. Most spectacular planetary. Dist=975 ly.
!
And
Aqr
Aqr
Ari
CVn
Cas
Cyg
Cyg
Del
Lyr
Lyr
Sgr
Sgr
Sgr
Sgr
Sct
Ser
Tri
UMa
Vul
!
Andromedae
7009
7293
Arietis
M51
Cassiopeiae
Albireo
61 Cygni
Delphini
Lyrae
M57
M23
M20
M21
M17
M11
M16
M33
M81
M27
!
Telescopic Objects
M31
M2
Aquilae
Cephei
Cygni
M39
Draconis
M13
M92
Lyrae
R Lyrae
M12
M10
IC 4665
6633
M15
Double Cluster
M8
M25
M22
Mizar & Alcor
Cr 399
!
Conjunction – An alignment of two celestial bodies such that they present the least
angular separation as viewed from Earth.
Constellation – A defined area of the sky containing a star pattern.
Diffuse Nebula – A cloud of gas illuminated by nearby stars.
Double Star – Two stars that appear close to each other in the sky; either linked by
gravity so that they orbit each other (binary star) or lying at different distances from
Earth (optical double). Apparent separation of stars is given in seconds of arc (").
Ecliptic – The path of the Sun’s center on the celestial sphere as seen from Earth.
Elongation – The angular separation of two celestial bodies. For Mercury and Venus
the greatest elongation occurs when they are at their most angular distance from the
Sun as viewed from Earth.
Galaxy – A mass of up to several billion stars held together by gravity.
Globular Star Cluster – A ball-shaped group of several thousand old stars.
Light Year (ly) – The distance a beam of light travels at 300,000 km/sec in one year.
Magnitude – The brightness of a celestial object as it appears in the sky.
Open Star Cluster – A group of tens or hundreds of relatively young stars.
Opposition – When a celestial body is opposite the Sun in the sky.
Planetary Nebula – The remnants of a shell of gas blown off by a star.
Universal Time (UT) – A time system used by astronomers. Also known as Greenwich
Mean Time. USA Eastern Standard Time (for example, New York) is 5 hours behind UT.
Variable Star – A star that changes brightness over a period of time.
Aql
Aur
Boo
Cep
Cyg
Her
Lyr
Per
PsA
Tau
UMi
Easily Seen with Binoculars
Altair
Capella
Arcturus
Cephei
Deneb
Herculis
Vega
Algol
Fomalhaut
Pleiades
Polaris
Easily Seen with the Naked Eye
!
Astronomical Glossary
When observing the night sky, and in particular deep-sky objects such as star clusters,
nebulae, and galaxies, it’s always best to observe from a dark location. Avoid direct
light from street lights and other sources. If possible observe from a dark location
away from the light pollution that surrounds many of today’s large cities.
You will see more stars after your eyes adapt to the darkness—usually about 10 to
20 minutes after you go outside. Also, if you need to use a torch to view the sky
map, cover the light bulb with red cellophane. This will preserve your dark vision.
Finally, even though the Moon is one of the most stunning objects to view
through a telescope, its light is so bright that it brightens the sky and makes many of
the fainter objects very difficult to see. So try to observe the evening sky on
moonless nights around either New Moon or Last Quarter.
Tips for Observing the Night Sky
Listed on this page are several of the brighter, more interesting celestial objects
visible in the evening sky this month (refer to the monthly sky map). The objects are
grouped into three categories. Those that can be easily seen with the naked eye (that
is, without optical aid), those easily seen with binoculars, and those requiring a
telescope to be appreciated. Note, all of the objects (except single stars) will
appear more impressive when viewed through a telescope or very large
binoculars. They are grouped in this way to highlight objects that can be seen using
the optical equipment that may be available to the star gazer.
About the Celestial Objects
!
NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
OCTOBER 2014
CELESTIAL OBJECTS
ASSNE Vol. 20, No. 10!
October 2014
ASSNE Vol. 20, No. 10!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
October 2014
MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
for the
ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND, INC. (ASSNE)
The Astronomical Society of Southern New England, Inc. is an amateur astronomy club
organized as a nonprofit corporation. ASSNE is composed of members who share a common interest in astronomy, science, and space. Since being founded in January, 1995, our mission has
been to educate and inspire our members and the general public. We provide schools and other
public venues with educational programs that may foster an awareness of astronomy and an appreciation of the night sky. Our annual Rehoboth Skies event, held each October, is a wonderful
opportunity to share our knowledge and enthusiasm with the public. We also organize member
star parties as well as tours to events and places having relevant astronomical presentations or
programs.
At our monthly meetings, members may participate in discussions and presentations
given by members or by guest speakers, witness demonstrations, and observe the heavens with
other members after meetings.
ASSNE has a constitution and a set of bylaws, so that all members may become aware of
the workings and direction of the club. This club was formed to promote the following goals:
•
Educate members and the general public in the various aspects of astronomy.
•
Allow members to come together and share their astronomical interests with others.
•
Encourage amateur participation in astronomical observing programs and research.
•
Organize, administer, and fund astronomy educational programs within the community.
Our motto: To Educate and Inspire
____________________________________________________________
Membership (be it family or individual) is $20/year. Membership fees shall be pro-rated
for new members by quarter, with no fee to be charged for the quarter in which the member/
family joins. (For example, a family joining in April would pay $15 instead of $20. And an individual joining in November would pay $5.)
Your dues also entitle you to club discounts on subscriptions to Sky & Telescope Magazine, reduced membership dues for the Astronomical League, and access to the assets of ASSNE,
which include books, videos, and free “loaner” telescopes. Be sure to get your S&T discount
coupon from George at the next meeting.
Our monthly newsletter and other information about us can be found on the Internet at
http://www.assne.org. To save costs, the preferred method of communicating with members
(apart from our meetings) is through the web using the club bulletin board at
http://assne.org/board , or by e-mail (please no broadcast emails or BCC’s). Interested members
and nonmembers who do not have Internet access may elect to receive a paper version of our
newsletter, which will be prepared and mailed for the cost of doing so.
page 16 of 17
ASSNE Vol. 20, No. 10!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
October 2014
APPLICATION FOR ASSNE MEMBERSHIP
Please complete member info:
Date: _____________
Name(s): _______________________________________________
Address: ______________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Telephone: (______) ________________
Email:___________________________
Please check membership type as appropriate: (includes emailed monthly newsletter)
___ Single $20.00/yr
___ Donor $30/yr
___ Family $20.00/yr
___ Supporting $50/yr
Optional services:
___ Mail the newsletter to me (Additional $12/year for costs)
___ Add discounted Astronomical League membership ($7.50/yr)
$_______ TOTAL AMOUNT PAID
ASSNE meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month, but members observe together informally throughout the month whenever the sky is clear. Would you like to receive invitations to
observe with those members who regularly issue invitations to observe at their homes? (Even if
you don’t make it, you’ll be emailed a copy of the night’s observing log.)
___Yes ___No
If paying by check, please make it payable to ASSNE, Inc. And if mailing, please mail to:
ASSNE, Inc.
c/o George Huftalen
231 Metacom Ave.
Warren, RI 02885
Or pay dues by PayPal: Go to www.PayPal.com, and follow the instructions. The address
to use for dues or other ASSNE payments is [email protected]
page 17 of 17