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June 2019

June 23 Solar SUNday!

June 23 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Alton Baker Park, 100 Day Island Rd
Eugene, OR 97401 United States
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Now that the weather is clearing up, we've begun hosting our weekly Solar SUN-day star parties again. We meet every Sunday afternoon in Alton Baker Park from noon to 2:00 and view the Sun through safely filtered solar telescopes. We can see sunspots when there are any (an increasingly rare phenomenon as we approach solar minimum), and there will likely be some prominences standing out from the edges. We'll also have a collection of sundials on display, so you can…

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June 30 Solar SUNday!

June 30 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Alton Baker Park, 100 Day Island Rd
Eugene, OR 97401 United States
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Now that the weather is clearing up, we've begun hosting our weekly Solar SUN-day star parties again. We meet every Sunday afternoon in Alton Baker Park from noon to 2:00 and view the Sun through safely filtered solar telescopes. We can see sunspots when there are any (an increasingly rare phenomenon as we approach solar minimum), and there will likely be some prominences standing out from the edges. We'll also have a collection of sundials on display, so you can…

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July 2019

Star Party July 12, 2019

July 12 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
College Hill Reservoir, 24th Avenue and Lawrence Street
Eugene, OR 97401 United States
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Our monthly star parties have been a success from the beginning! For those of you who are unaware, the EAS holds a monthly star party at the College Hill Reservoir on the Friday closest to the moon’s first quarter. These star parties are free and open to the public, so come join us! The College Hill Reservoir is located on Lawrence Street between 23rd and 25th Avenue. We gather just before dusk and stay as long as there is interest.…

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July 18, 2019 Monthly Meeting

July 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Eugene Science Center Planetarium, 2300 Leo Harris Pkwy
Eugene, OR 97401 United States
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A Time of Great Courage: The Apollo 11 Mission

Bernard W. Bopp Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus

When John F. Kennedy became President of the United States in January 1961, Americans believed that the United States was losing the Space Race with the Soviet Union, which had successfully launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, almost four years earlier. On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth, a feat the U.S. would not duplicate until nearly a year later. In September 1962, Kennedy boldly set a goal for the U.S. of landing a man on the moon “...in this decade.”

It was July 1969, and that goal was ready to be achieved. Three astronauts, Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong were ready to pilot the Apollo 11 spacecraft to the moon and back. The mission had important scientific goals: it aimed to determine the age of the lunar rocks, to examine particles emitted by the Sun (the “solar wind”), to probe the moon’s internal structure, and to precisely determine the moon’s distance and orbit. This last experiment, the “Lunar Ranging Retroreflector (LR3)” was a project that Bernard Bopp had the privilege of working on as a 22-year-old graduate student.

But this first lunar landing was a high-risk mission, with many possible ways to fail. There was the very real possibility of crashing onto the lunar surface or damaging the lander so it could not return to the main spacecraft. In both scenarios, the two astronauts in the lander would be killed. Before the launch, astronaut Mike Collins estimated the odds of a completely successful mission as “...one chance in three.”

On July 20, 1969 at 17:44 Greenwich time, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong undocked Eagle, the lunar landing craft from Columbia, the command module, to begin the descent to the lunar surface. It was a time of great courage.

Come listen to Bernie talk about his experience with the LR3 program and about the Apollo program in general on this evening two days before the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing.

Meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at the Science Center planetarium. We start promptly at 7:00, so come early to visit and get a seat.

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Dark Sky Star Party at Dexter State Park July 27, 2019

July 27 @ 9:00 pm - 11:59 pm
Dexter State Recreation Site, Dexter State Recreation Site
Dexter, OR 97431 United States
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Every year we host a dark sky star party at Dexter State Park. Fifteen miles from Eugene, this site is far enough from the city sky glow to allow us to see many of the galaxies, nebulae, and other deep-sky objects that are obscured by light pollution when viewed from town. If you haven't seen a truly dark sky through a telescope before, you're in for a treat. For that matter, even if you have before, you're still in for…

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August 2019

Star Party August 9, 2019

August 9 @ 8:45 pm - 11:00 pm
College Hill Reservoir, 24th Avenue and Lawrence Street
Eugene, OR 97401 United States
+ Google Map

Our monthly star parties have been a success from the beginning! For those of you who are unaware, the EAS holds a monthly star party at the College Hill Reservoir on the Friday closest to the moon’s first quarter. These star parties are free and open to the public, so come join us! The College Hill Reservoir is located on Lawrence Street between 23rd and 25th Avenue. We gather just before dusk and stay as long as there is interest.…

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