Posted on October 13th, 2014 No comments
Join the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society and the Bozeman High School Astronomy Club at the Bozeman Public Library on Main street on Thursday October 23rd, starting at 2:58 p.m. for the Don’t Look at the Solar Eclipse Event!
As you all should know ~~ You could damage your eyes if you look at the sun.
At maximum, around 4:19 p.m. the Moon will be covering the solar disk 55%
We will be at the library with safe solar viewing using a sun spotter, white light filter telescope, an h-alpha filter telescope and many supplies for making your very own solar projector — also feel free to bring your own projector. All the students in the Bozeman School district have been challenged to make their own solar projector.
What is a solar projector?
Anything with a small hole that you can project the sun through and view the shadows.
Posted on October 9th, 2014 No comments
From the Livingston Enterprise: Published: Wed, 10/08/2014 – 8:50pm
Blood Moon: Fall moon eclipse puts on dramatic early morning show
Enterprise photo by Hunter D’Antuono
Wednesday morning’s lunar eclipse as viewed from Livingston around 5 a.m. This eclipse was the second in a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, known as a tetrad.
A total lunar eclipse, or what was billed as the “Blood Moon” in the media, was visible throughout the western United States in the wee hours of this morning.
Lunar eclipses are the result of the Earth coming directly between the moon and the sun, which leads to the Earth’s shadow being cast on the surface of our celestial neighbor. The light of sun passing through the Earth’s atmosphere before it reaches the moon is what creates the rusty color.
Fall eclipses tend to be more dramatic, according to Eric Loberg, planetarium program manager at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.
“In October sometimes you still have forest fires, so it adds to that red color,” Loberg said. “When the moon’s lower on the horizon, it will look bigger.”
Lynn Powers, who holds a master’s in Science Education and is president of the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society, said eclipses are a great opportunity to address misconceptions about space and the moon.
Powers said it’s common for people to think the moon emits it’s own light, but in reality it merely reflects light from the sun.
“Some people talk about vampires and how they don’t like sunlight but love moonlight,” she said.
She points out that if vampires were real, they’d be in just as much trouble under the light of the full moon, because it is still sunlight.
“We are no longer looking up, but looking down into a scope or at technology,” she said of people’s relationship with the sky. “We are getting more disconnected with our naked eye viewing, which is sad. Events like this get people out.”
This eclipse was the second in what’s called a tetrad — an event in which four lunar eclipses occur in secession without a partial eclipse in between. The events are spaced about six months apart. The next eclipse in the series will occur April 4, 2015, but will not prove as spectacular a display from Montana as Wednesday’s event. The next tetrad will occur through 2032 and 2033.
“It’s still more interesting to see the real thing than watch it online,” said Loberg.
Coming up in other astronomical news, a partial solar eclipse will be visible from Montana at 2:58 p.m. on Oct 23. Powers reminds the public to never look directly into the sun.
Hunter D’Antuono may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on September 18th, 2014 No comments
PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION: Our September 26th SMAS club meeting will be at the Bozeman Fire Station #3. This is the fire station at the Regional Park where we hold our summer star parties. The building is over by the Dinosaur playground.
Enter Vaquero Parkway off of Davis Lane (between Oak and Baxter). Park on the west side of the building, the door should be open, we will be in the meeting room.
Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.
The new Mars mission, MAVEN, inserts into the the Martian atmosphere on Sunday September 21st. We will have a brief overview of the MAVEN mission and discuss the upcoming partial Solar Eclipse in October.
Why the new location?? Come to the meeting and we will discuss this turn of events.
Hope to see you all soon!
Posted on August 4th, 2014 No comments
August is here already! Montana Starwatch is coming up later this month. It starts on Thursday the 21st and runs for 3 dark sky nights. Throw in a speaker or two, Barbecue, catching up with friends and making new friends.
Be sure to visit the website for more information, including schedule, directions and registration: http://montanastarwatch.org/
UPDATE: Skies were cloudy and even a bit of snow on Saturday night. However, the talk was great and entertaining, much was learned – thanks Robert Howell. Many thanks to all of those that came. It was so much fun catching up with everyone. With the inclement weather we stayed inside and shared ideas and tools of the trade. The food and the hospitality was fabulous! Thanks to Russ, Gwen and Joe for all the prep work to make this another successful event.
Posted on August 3rd, 2014 No comments
Update: We had around 350 stomp rockets made on Saturday and 200 made on Sunday – with multiple launches for each rocket. Lots of help, thanks to everyone who came to help and those who came to make rockets. Very fun event!
Posted on May 31st, 2014 No comments
Join SMAS on June 22nd at the Bozeman Public Library on Main Street from 3-5 for the first International SUN-day event! Come celebrate the Sun with activities, education, speakers and safe solar observing.
TALK: The Dynamic Sun
Speaker: Dr. Mark Weber, Astrophysicist (Harvard-Smithsonian Center forAstrophysics)
As children, we learn to think of the Sun as a yellow ball. As students, we’re taught that the face of the Sun is occasionally blemished by sunspots. As adults, we hear about solar storms that can affect us here on Earth. But the Sun is even more varied and dynamic and mysterious and beautiful than you probably imagine. Let’s look at this incredible star with observations from some of the most advanced telescopes. We’ll explore the Sun as a dynamic system, touching upon what scientists have learned and what they are only beginning to understand.
Posted on May 2nd, 2014 No comments
NOTE: New time, one hour earlier. Our May SMAS club meeting will take place on Friday May 30th, 6:00 pm in the Redstart room, downstairs at the Museum of the Rockies.
With nice weather, it’s time to take out your telescope and start using it. We will learn how to collimate a Newtonian dob type and a Schmidt Cassegrain type of telescope. Having a properly collimated telescope enhances your viewing. We will have club members demonstrate how to collimate a telescope and what tools to use. Take out the eye piece from your telescope and look into your telescope, see diagram to the left… hopefully it doesn’t look like view A or B above. If it does, don’t worry, that is what we’ll help you to fix. A properly collimated telescope should look like view C. Bring your telescope and you can work along side as you listen to our members show you how to get the best out of your telescope. We will be inside as we do this class. Weather permitting we may go and try out our properly aligned telescopes. Come prepared in case we do. Class from 6-8, sun set at 9:05 pm.
Posted on April 23rd, 2014 No comments
As promised, TEDx info for Shane and Michelle Larson. Shane gave a presentation at Northwestern on Pluto and Michelle was in Bozeman and talked about verbs, aka action words. Also a link to Shane’s blog.
Shane TEDx: http://youtu.be/859KP3HNuto
Shane blog: http://wp.me/p19G0g-lQ
Michelle’s TEDx: http://youtu.be/oS_5kbt6T3I
Posted on April 23rd, 2014 No comments
There has been several great astronomical events recently, and Mike Heard at KBZK helped to get the word out. A short clip for Astronomy Day was shown the first week of April, followed by a live appearance for the eclipse on the KBZK studio patio. Jacob Kushner had first light on the Hiscock Telescope on April 14th live on TV as we were waiting on the eclipse. Jacob has been building the scope from the MSGC grant with the help of several high school students and some members of SMAS.
Posted on March 30th, 2014 No comments
There are some events that are coming up that we wanted to let you know about.
April 5 – Astronomy Day at the Museum of the Rockies 12-4pm
April 14-15 – Total Lunar Eclipse – no local event planned, but be sure to get out and observe.
April 25 – Next SMAS meeting at the Museum of the Rockies, 7pm
June 22 – the First International SUN-day, at the Bozeman Public Library 3-5pm
June 27-28 – Stars Over Yellowstone June weekend at Madison Amphitheater, with Jim Manning
July 25-26 – Stars Over Yellowstone July weekend at Madison Amphitheater, with Mike Murray
August 21-24 – Montana Starwatch: go to http://montanastarwatch.org/ for more information