Saturday, February 19, 2011

Astronomy conference in Greensboro that never disappoints!

Here is an amateur astronomy event in Greensboro that never disappoints!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A Day of Astronomy Speakers & Displays
Presentation Topics Include Galaxy Mergers & Evolution, Supernovae, and the Geology of Titan

Triad Starfest, *Tri*Star* for short, is a gathering of astronomers of all types, from novice to professional, for a full day of presentations, displays, and observing. The event allows astronomy enthusiasts to share ideas, learn about a range of astronomical topics, get together with old friends, and make new ones. The event will draw astronomers from North Carolina and surrounding states.
The upcoming edition of *Tri*Star* will take place on Saturday, 5 March 2011 in the Percy H. Sears Applied Technologies Center on the campus of Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC. In addition to a series of speakers scheduled throughout the day, there will be a wide range of astronomical displays, assorted astronomy-related vendors, prize drawings, "how-to" help for astronomy beginners, an astrophotography exhibition, and daytime and nighttime observing sessions (weather permitting).

*Tri*Star* Speaker Schedule – Saturday, 5 March

9:00 *Tri*Star* Opens
10:00 Mike Malaska, Organic Chemist, SCYNEXIS, Titan's Earthlike Landscape
11:30 Stephen van Vuuren, Local Filmmaker, Outside In – Saturn Flyby film clip
2:00 Stephen Reynolds, NC State Univ., Supernova remnants, Cosmic Rays, and Cosmology
3:30 Sheila Kannappan, UNC-Chapel Hill, Galaxy Evolution by Mergers
4:30 Prize Drawings and Final Announcements
Note: there will not be a pre-*Tri*Star* Friday lecture this year.

Information about *Tri*Star* is posted at

Such is our view from Earth...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The 14th member of the zodiac

It may come as a surprise to many people, but the sun passes through 13 officially recognized constellations on its annual trek across the celestial dome. The 13th constellation is Ophiuchus, in which the sun spends nearly three weeks in December. There is another constellation in which the sun just nicks its boundary, Cetus, the Whale. Only 10% of the disk of the sun crosses into it and its partial border incursion lasts only twelve hours or so. Here are the dates and times that this relatively unknown event occurs:

Year Incursion begins Incursion ends
2010 3/27, 4:10 pm EDT 3/28, 5:40 am EDT
2011 3/27, 10:20 pm EDT 3/28, 11:45 am EDT
2012 3/27, 4:20 am EDT 3/27, 5:50 pm EDT
2013 3/27, 10:40 am EDT 3/28, 12:10 am EDT
2014 3/27, 4:50 pm EDT 3/28, 6:20 am EDT
2015 3/27, 10:50 pm EDT 3/28, 12:20 pm EDT

Keep in mind that the constellation boundaries are artificial constructs created by the International Astronomical Union about eighty years ago. They wanted to divide the sky into standardized sections so when an object in a particular spot in the sky was discussed, all astronomers would know where they were referring.

Such is our view from Earth...