TELESCOPES! MAKE THEM-USE THEM-FIX THEM!
Next session - Wednesday, February 17th
TAAS has a wonderful special interest group-Amateur Telescope Making/Maintenance-which meets the first and third Wednesdays of each month (see our calendar). Members and the public alike are welcome to visit, learn more about the opportunities, bring in a telescope for assistance, begin a telescope from scratch or just ask questions.
TAAS GENERAL MEETING- SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH - 7:00PM
NM MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY-PLANETARIUM
Free And Open To The Public
DR. TOM PRETTYMAN "CERES IN FOCUS"
The Dawn spacecraft was the first to travel to, and successively orbit, two solar system bodies – Vesta and Ceres – the largest objects in the main asteroid belt. They are thought to be surviving protoplanets that formed in the dawn of the solar system. As such, they provide clues about how the terrestrial planets formed. Since their discovery in the 19th century, our understanding of asteroids has changed with technological advances in astronomy and space exploration. Once seen as blurry patches of light in Earth-based telescopes, the Dawn mission has revealed the complex geologic processes that shaped Vesta and Ceres.
Now in its lowest altitude orbit, Dawn is acquiring high-resolution images of Ceres' surface. Dr. Prettyman will describe some of the latest observations by Dawn, including bright spots and haze within Occator crater and widespread detection of ammoniated clays. The implications for Ceres’ formation and evolution are discussed.
See below for Dr. Prettyman biography
TAAS ASTRONOMY 101
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 - 6:00PM - NM MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY-PLANETARIUM
(Preceding General Meeting)
"Mars Opposition of 2016 and How to View It"
For the first TAAS Astronomy 101 of 2016, our presenter will be Kevin McKeown, TAAS member and outstanding observer, with a talk on Mars as it approaches May opposition, with a brief mention of Martian lore and history.
Mars statistics--how big will it get at opposition, how the poles are oriented towards Earth and more--and what Mars will present at this May's opposition--a small North polar cap, Martian N-ern Summer, Martian equinox, and all the features seen best at the equatorial (tropics) zone of Mars.
How to observe Mars: The minimum scopes needed to to see good detail at opposition, the elusive Moons; the best eyepieces for maximum detail; what filters bring out which features; best observing sites locally for Mars, and best observing conditions for best views
Friday Nights at the UNM Observatory resume on January 22, 2016!
See below for full details and map
Solar Astronomy, observing our nearest star, the Sun, is a very active and popular part of TAAS. Its events are too numerous to list here, so please go to the "Solar Astronomy" link on the left of the main page for a full schedule of solar observing.
Remember, you don't have to stay up late at night to see a star!
Each month, there is a test for Binoculars, Double Star, Deep Sky Object and the Challenge Object--think of it as a game for your telescope or binoculars. If you combine this with your GNTO, Star Party and Observer SIG stargazing, you are getting quite a workout!
So take the Challenge.