- January 18: Telescope workshop
- February 15: Larry Deckman on "Celestial Parallels"
- March 15: Jerry Oltion on the Messier Marathon
- April 19: Jon Schwartz on Electronically Assisted Astronomy
- May 17: Bernie Bopp on Next Generation Telescopes
January 18 Telescope workshop: Got a new telescope for Christmas but the instructions are in Greek? Have an old scope that needs a tune-up? Or maybe you just have some questions about astronomy in general. At our January 18th meeting, the Eugene Astronomical Society will have people on hand to help with just about everything astronomical. This is a very informal meeting, so don't be shy. Just bring your equipment or your questions and come on in for assistance.
February 15, Larry Deckman on "Celestial Parallels": Larry Deckman puts on some of the most beautiful and thought provoking slide shows we've ever seen. This program explores an interesting theme: the many duplicate features found in the night sky. Think the Big Dipper contains the only pair of bright stars pointing at Polaris? Not so! There's another great set of pointer stars on the other side of the sky in Pegasus. Larry points out many other odd similarities and symmetries, and asks us to consider whether there's any meaning to them or whether it's all simply coincidence.
March 15, Jerry Oltion on the Messier Marathon: In the days surrounding the new Moon in March (the 17th this year), it's possible to see all 110 objects in Charles Messier's famous list in one night. You have to start at dusk with the very first objects sinking low in the west and you have to work at it all night, catching the last objects just ahead of sunrise in the east. To succeed in getting them all, you need a plan of attack and you need to know what you're looking for and how to identify them. Jerry Oltion will walk you through a night's Messier Marathon using the planetarium full-dome projector plus slides of the individual objects. Even if you don't plan to run the marathon, this will be a grand tour of some of the most beautiful objects in the night sky.
April 19, Jon Schwartz on Electronically Assisted Astronomy: Jon Schwartz grew tired of hauling his telescope out of town and standing in the cold while he squinted to distinguish one dim fuzzy blob from another. Nowadays he sits in his kitchen with a cup of coffee and does his astronomy on a laptop computer while his telescope and camera out on the back deck provide beautiful images of things he could never see by eye through that same telescope. Come learn how he does it and see some of the fabulous images he captures. This isn't the kind of astrophotography where you spend hours building up a gorgeous image to rival the Hubble Space Telescope; this is short-term photography designed to give you an enhanced real-time image of what the telescope is pointing at. Given the ever-increasing light pollution in our cities, this may well become he way most astronomy is done in the future.
May 17, Bernie Bopp on Next Generation Telescopes: Professional astronomy is growing by leaps and bounds. New telescopes just get bigger and bigger, to the point where the proportions are becoming mind boggling. Mirrors thirty meters wide? That's just one of the new developments in the works. Bernie Bopp, a retired professional astronomer who has worked with some of the world's foremost telescopes, will tell us what's coming, and what science we can expect to do with these new tools.
- January 19, 6:00
- February 23, 6:00
- March 23, 7:45
- April 20, 8:15
- May 18, 8:45
- June 15, 9:15
- July 20, 9:00
- August 17, 8:30
- September 14, 7:45
- October 12, 6:45
- November 9, 6:00
- December 14, 6:00
These "First Quarter Fridays" are held on College Hill Reservoir, 24th and Lawrence in Eugene, either at 6:00 p.m. or dusk, whichever is later.
Total Lunar Eclipse January 31st
We get two full moons this month, and the second one brings with it a cool bonus: a total lunar eclipse. Unfortunately it'll happen in the wee hours of the morning, but the EAS and the Science Factory are teaming up to throw an eclipse party anyway. We'll gather at the Science Factory at 3:30-3:45 a.m. on the morning of the 31st (think of it as the night of the 30th so you won't miss it by a day) and reward the hale and hearty guests who brave the cold and the time of day with telescopic and binocular views of the eclipse. The Science Factory will also have the Most Wanted Espresso food truck on hand that morning to serve hot coffee and breakfast.
The eclipse starts at 3:48, with totality from 4:51 to 6:07. The eclipse ends at 7:11, just before moonset at 7:35. Not coincidentally, that's when the Sun rises.
If you can't make it to the Science Factory, do at least set your alarm for sometime during totality and have a peek at the eclipsed moon. It will turn a deep coppery red while it's inside Earth's shadow, lit by a ring of sunsets and sunrises around the perimeter of the Earth. Well worth getting up to see!
Dark Sky Star Party at Dexter State Park
Also on August 4 we'll have our annual dark-sky star party at Dexter State Park, 15 miles from Eugene out Hwy 58. The star party will start at 9:00 p.m. In addition to showing people the view from a site with really dark sky, we will also be giving away two brand-new telescopes to two lucky youngsters between the ages of 8 and 18. Don't miss this star party!