If you're not going out to watch fireworks, then I invite you to join some others at our alternate observing location on Tyneside Rd. I'll be heading out for about 9-9:30pm.
The skies will be clear though the gibbous moon will be fairly bright. We may get lucky and see some sporadic meteors which will be our own private fireworks show. Plus with Venus, Saturn and all the other wonderful items in the night sky, who needs fireworks?
Since some have school or work tomorrow, we probably won't stay too late. But even few hours of observing will be fun.
(Wednesday, May 19)
Several club members are taking their telescopes to Hamilton's McQueston Park to do some sidewalk astronomy tonight. We'll probably arrive 8:30-9:00 and stay for a couple of hours. McQueston Park is on Upper Wentworth Street, just south of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, on the east side of the street. Join us if you can.
There were 6 of us at McQueston Park tonight: Jim, Joe, Kevin & Ed, Me and Don. Together we showed the wonders of the Moon, Venus, Saturn, Mars and assorted stars to about a gazillion kids and their families. Many of them had never looked through a telescope before and there were far too many "Galileo Moments" to count! A very satisfying, but exhausting, evening for us.
Last month marked the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission, which was dubbed as a "successful failure". Due to a ruptured oxygen tank on the Service Module, the 3 astronauts nearly didn't make it back.
No doubt many of you have seen the Tom Hank's movie "Apollo 13". While not entirely accurate, it was reasonably close in most regards. (Some artistic license was taken for dramatic effect)
Universe Today has finished their work on a series of web-based articles titled "13 Things That Saved Apollo 13". It's a 13 part (plus introduction) covering various things about what it took to bring these brave men back home. Some things match what was in the movies, and corrects some errors. Plus it has information that you may find new and interesting.
It features lots of fascinating photos and video clips of the events as they unfolded, and from interviews taken on the 40th anniversary celebrations held in Houston last month and elsewhere.
I had thought about preparing a presentation for the club some time, similar to what Randy Attwood did for Apollo 11. But when I saw this, I realized it would be hard to do much better than they did. Well researched and informative. Granted it is primarily through the eyes of a few individuals, but they were at the heart of the events and I don't think they missed much in the areas they covered.
I think everyone will find at least one or two things to take away from this great series. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A phone call from John G.,to go out observing, prompted me to send out an E-mail to the membership to join us at the B.C.A. We opened the gate at 9:00 pm, and shortly after there were 9 HAA members happily setting up scopes. In the group were Ed & Keven Salwach and a new member, Jason Bourne. Also John G.,John M.,Joe M.,Andrew B.,Steve G.and myself. Scopes in use included 3 Schmidt Casagraines, 2 Apo's, Keven's small but mighty Newtonian, as well as various Bino's.
Keven's enthusiasm was infectious amongst the group as we skimmed through many of the spring galaxies and open and globular clusters. Keven's excitement built as his "young eyes" peered through some larger apperture scopes. He was able to pick out details that the rest of us were hard pressed to appreciate with our "aging" vision. The viewing list included the Sombrero and Whirlpool Galaxies, M86 and 85 the Trio in Leo and much of the Virgo Galaxy cluster. M13 was also a stunning sight. There were many other celestial wonders too numerous to mention in this blog.
We wrapped up the night right about 12 a.m. as clouds were starting to roll in on us. Some of us reconvened for coffee and conversation at Tim Horton's.
I invite the others that were present last night to please add to this blog or comment as they see fit.
Photo courtesy of Joseph McArdle
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