PLACITAS PUBLIC STAR PARTY
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17th - PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY
The annual free public star party at the Placitas Library grounds will be co-hosted by The Albuquerque Astronomical Society, Rio Rancho Astronomical Society, Las Placitas Association and the Placitas Community Library from 6:30-10:00pm.
Telescopes will be provided by TAAS and RRAS, Solar Observing of our closest star, the Sun, will take place from 2-5pm and Night Observing will begin at dusk. Please arrive early to park and get oriented in daylight--providing time for the members of TAAS and RRAS to show the set up of their fine telescopes and share their knowledge.
The Library kindly offers hot apple cider and cookies to the visitors and provides volunteers to help with parking--both services highly appreciated by all!
Nights will be chilly so come prepared with jackets. The usual note that only red headlamps, flashlights are to be used in the observing area and dimmest lights possible for headlights into and out of the parking area.
Please see the link to the Placitas flyer and directions to the site below
TELESCOPES! MAKE THEM-USE THEM-FIX THEM!
Next session - Wednesday, October 21th
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, OCTOBER 24th, 7:00PM
SCIENCE AND MATH LEARNING CENTER, UNM CAMPUS
"THE LAST GENERATION OF VISUAL COMET HUNTERS"
Our speaker will be comet discoverer, Howard J. Brewington. An abbreviated version of his talk was published in the November 2015 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine: "The Last Visual Comet Hunters." (Focal Point, Page 76)
As an amateur astronomer, Brewington discovered or co-discovered five comets while manually sweeping the night sky with his home-built reflecting telescopes. He specifically designed these scopes himself, which included hand grinding and polishing their 8 and 16-inch primary mirrors.
After finding his first comet from South Carolina in 1989, Brewington moved to southern New Mexico in the fall of 1990 and built a comet-hunting observatory on a mountain ridge east of Cloudcroft. The relocation paid off with four more discoveries by 1996. Two of his New Mexico comets, 97P/Metcalf-Brewington and 154P/Brewington, have short-period orbits of about ten years.
Brewington graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina in Columbia during the summer of 2002. He worked as a 2.5-meter telescope operator for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey from 2002 to 2015. Now retired, he lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico with his wife, Maya. He is a member of the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces and often attends national star parties. Five comets and one asteroid bear his name.
A continuing series on the basics for amateur astronomers
Saturday, October 24th, 6:00pm (preceding the General Meeting)- Science and Math Learning Center-UNM Campus
Sigrid Monaghan will offer beginner stargazing basics:
. What to take (checklist of equipment, materials, the little things one always forgets) . What to wear (for weather and comfort) . Where to go for decent observing close to or in the Albuquerque area . What to expect from the first viewing experiences.
See map with General Meeting article; firstname.lastname@example.org with questions,/p>
NO OBSERVATORY SESSION ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 9TH--FALL BREAK
Friday Nights at the UNM Observatory are on for the fall semester!
Observing at the dome and with the TAAS telescopes will be on for every Friday evening, except for fall break and UNM announcements.
See below for full details and map
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!
Keep reading to take the Challenge.