Those of you who helped out at our July 4th fundraising booth in Ludington Park might remember meeting amateur astronomer Bill Suriano, from Chicago. I got to talking with him about astrophotography, etc and he mentioned that he does narrow band astrophotography from the Chicago suburbs. He seemed quite knowledgeable and was a bit envious of our dark UP Skies. I asked him for his E-mail address and added him to our DAS e-mail lists. The other day, he sent me this link to some of his astrophotography on Flickr. Get ready to be wowed. Bill is no run of the mill amateur, like myself…rather, he’s an accomplished astrophotographer, who is doing some fine work.
He’s also one of our newest long distance members/supporters. (Thanks, Bill). I am sure we are going to want to get to know him better. To see samples of his astro-photos go to:
NASA announced 8-5-13 that the Sun is beginning to flip its magnetic poles. The Solar North Pole has already changed polarity and the South is in the process of flipping.
As the Sun’s field flips, the lines that spread throughout the Solar System become broken and chaotic. This is a normal occurrence during “Solar Maximum,” and actually results in the Earth being better protected from Cosmic Rays, which normally ride the Sun’s magnetic field lines through the Solar System. Go to: http://www.space.com/22264-sun-s-magnetic-field-will-soon-flip-stormy-space-weather-ahead-video.html, for a NASA video explaining the event.
Reminder: Don’t miss the Perseid Meteor Shower, peaking Aug 12-13. As many as 1 a minute late in the night.
All you need is a comfortable chair, bug repellant and the ability to stay awake into the wee hours before dawn.
Brown Bags with John Burroughs and Dan Young of the Delta Astronomical Society:
Wednesday, October 9 at NOON – Public Welcomed Demonstration of how to use a telescope. Basics of what a telescope is, how it works & what you can see with it. Free One page DAS flyer featuring what’s up in the Oct skies above us. Free Copies of informative and handy “Sky Calendars” from Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, will also be available.
Information on Comet ISON: When, Where and How to see it. Will it be “The Comet of the Century?”
J Burroughs with DAS 22inch Telescope, 2012 c. D Young, DAS.
Wednesday, October 23 at NOON – Public Welcomed
Take a Walk Through the Solar System with DAS. Walk of the Planets – Rendezvous @Bonifas – walk to library & through to H&H. Or, meet at the library at 11:55 (Dress appropriately, this is an outdoor event). Guided tour of the Solar System with commentary by the author of the Planet Walk, Dan Young.
Dan Young DAS, shows Sunspots to an interested passerby. Ludington St, July 12, 2013. c. R Luchay, DAS.
Devil’s Night: A Closing Celebration
Wednesday, October 30 – 4 p.m. – Public Welcomed
Storytelling in the Gallery with astronomer Mary Stewart Adams
Stargazing in the inflatable planetarium with Delta Co. Astronomical Society
*Dress casually, entering the dome requires a short crawl through an inflated “tunnel,” and sitting on pads on the floor. (20 mins per session)
Astrophotography Workshop: Intermediate – Advanced, Back Again, by Popular Demand! With artist Shawn Malone Saturday, November 2 from 6:30 –10 p.m. (New moon phase) Registration Required.
With artist Shawn Malone. Wednesday, October 2 from 6:30 –10 p.m. (New moon phase) Registration Required. Note: weather permitting participants will use their digital SLR cameras to photograph the night skies.
Note: Second class in November.
Thursday, September 26 – 7 p.m. – Public Welcomed
Meet Mary Stewart Adams: Star-Lore historian, artist, writer and Program Director at The Emmet County Headlands International Dark Sky Park outside Mackinac City.
Also her illustrator/ artist Patricia DeLisa will be here to talk about visualizing these folk traditions.
Fairy Tale Moons, Mary Stewart Adams, detail of cover by Patricia DeLisa.
We have had a busy couple of weeks, with the 4th of July and the Escanaba 150th Celebrations.
We held day and night public observing sessions during the two week celebration and also extended our annual 4th of July fundraising booth (we sell homemade lemonade, Sayklly’s Carmel Apples and fudge ) to the 5th, and 6th.
On July 4th we had my 10inch Meade SCT with a solar filter and our digital video feed to our new 24inch flat screen LCD TV for live views of some awesome Sunspot groups, 11am- 6:45 pm. ( photos attached c Rich Luchay, DAS member). Hundreds of people took a look.
On Friday July 12, we had a daylight viewing of the Sun, Venus, and the Moon from 11am-4:30 pm on Ludington St in front of the Library/City Hall entrance. We probably had over 50 people (some as young as 3 years) who had views through both our 22 inch f4.3 Reflector and my 10inch Schmidt Cassie. This was our first outing with our new 10inch glass solar filter used on the 22inch dobsonian. (John built a stop-down cover for the secondary mounting ring (photos attached). Again, we had great public participation, even though we found that the skies were very hazy in the heat & humidity, and finding the Moon was quite a chore! (I could get glimpses of it naked eye, right where my locator data said it should be, but it just kept eluding us in the big ‘scope. We later discovered that our collimation was out.)
That night, we had a public viewing from 8:30 pm until 1am in the grassy field at the Municipal Dock in Escanaba, and again had a live feed from my 10inch SCT to our 24in TV with high power views of the young Moon, Saturn, Ring Nebula, M-13 Hercules Globular etc. Many of the public attending were awed by the live, high power views of the Moon and Saturn. Additionally we find that those with physical challenges such as being wheel chair bound, having poor eyesight, young children etc., can now also easily enjoy astronomical viewing.
We also had our 22inch ‘scope for deep sky observing through the eyepiece, and its views of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), Owl Nebula, Ring, and the rich starfields of Sagittarius with M22 and various open clusters and nebulae were awe inspiring. We probably had upwards of 150 people out from sunset until we sent the last of them home at 1am.
We repeated the Friday viewing on Saturday night the 13th, with fewer participants after Escanaba’s closing 150th celebration Fireworks, from about 10:30pm until about 1:30am.