October 2018 DFAC Update

quidnoviNewsletter of the Desert Foothills Astronomy Club
Captain’s Log: October 1, 2018

Greetings Fellow Stargazers,

Has Autumn arrived? Sure feels like it today, but we’ll see how that plays out after the current storm system moves along. We’ve had triple-digit temps as late as October 23. But our monsoon season “officially” ended yesterday, boding good odds we’ll have clear skies for our next observing event. Speaking of which …

1. Our next observing event
Been on our DFAC Events page for a few weeks now, and our Oct 13 open observing at Heimhenge is now only two weeks away. I’ll take RSVPs up to the day before. Earlier is better to help me plan parking. Featured targets include Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, a young Moon, and Sagittarius on the meridian. Hope to see you there.

2. Speckle interferometry
Also on our calendar, and also only a few weeks away, we’ll have a how-to session on speckle interferometry — a method used for splitting very close binary stars and measuring their separation. This will be hosted by member Richard Harshaw on Oct 20 at his Brilliant Sky Observatory in Cave Creek. Please RSVP directly to Richard. Details and map available on our DFAC Events page.

3. PAS celebrates 70 years
The Phoenix Astronomical Society (of which I was a member) is celebrating their first 70 years with an astronomy gala on Oct 11 at the Black Mountain campus of PVCC. I’ve added this to our DFAC Events page because I thought it might be of interest to DFAC members. There’s a lineup of 7 speakers, and telescopes will be deployed outside (weather permitting) for the enjoyment of attendees. I’ll be giving a shorter version of my usual Light Pollution talk. Map available on our DFAC Events page. Event details are available on the PAS website. NOTE: Despite what you might read on the PAS site, RSVPs are not required for this event.

4. Reflector Magazine
The Astronomical League received our updated club roster last month, so all current members should have received an email with a link to download their September 2018 issue of Reflector. Please let me know if that didn’t happen. Members can access or create their account at: https://members.astroleague.org

Of course, you still have the option to receive the print version of Reflector, but I urge members to select the more environmentally friendly option of “electronic delivery only” (accessible in your account settings).

5. Astronomical Eye Candy
This month’s selection is less “eye candy” and more about science. Don’t know how many of you are aware of the recent large impact in Mare Imbrium, but it was captured on video and is one of the brightest ever seen — equivalent to a magnitude +4 star. Had you been watching, you could have seen it with the unaided eye. This video by NASA Science will explain what happened, and its implications for future lunar colonists. Makes me think about maybe, next meteor shower, watching the Moon instead of the sky.

Till next we meet, clear skies.

Dan Heim
Desert Foothills Astronomy Club

September 2018 DFAC Update
November 2018 DFAC Update