FOR THE PROMOTION OF ASTRONOMY AND SCIENCE FOR FAMILIES, SCHOOLS, AND COMMUNITY in GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA AND SURROUNDING REGION
Visit our RMA Club Meeting page for links to previous presentations
Join Us For Our Roper Mountain Astronomers Meeting
Thursday May 21, 2015 at 7:30pm
It will be in the top floor conference room beside the observatory
Rick Boozer will be giving a presentation called “Galileo’s Fingers”. He will also cover astronomical highlights of his recent trip to Italy including photos he shot of books and instrumentation created by Galileo himself.
About Rick Boozer:
RMA T-Shirts are for sale at our General meetings for $18
L and XL Available
Our Star Parties are weather permitting so make sure to check with us Saturday evening for updates on the webpage and Facebook page .
Space Day 2015 at Roper Mountain Science Center
This year several members of the RMA volunteered at Space Day at the Roper Mountain Science Center.
Special thanks to:
- Vince for setting up his Coronado SolarMax solar telescope
- James for setting up a Celestron C8 with solar filter
- Paul for helping with the telescope in the observatory
- Vignesh for helping in the Symmes Hall of Science
As a result we had two telescopes viewing the sun with H-alpha filters and one with a white light solar filter. James was showing visitors a large cluster of sun spots. Sun spot activity was high that day. Vince was showing a large solar prominence. He estimated that 6 or 7 Earths could fit in it. Paul and I were showing a magnified view of that solar prominence to visitors through the 6″ Mogey telescope in the observatory. Visitors were describing the solar prominence as looking like a shark’s tooth and later in the day as a shark’s fin. All of us heard a lot of “Wows!” and “Amazing!” from people of all ages. It was a good event. Let’s do it again next year!
Southern Star 2015
Upper Left: Speaker Jim Mullaney (Astronomy Lecturer and Author) and Dr. John Cox
Upper Right: Frank and Debbie Crowder
Bottom L – R Nancy Mawhinney, Jason Harrison, Ken Randall, Jack Randall,
2 nd Row L-R: Earl, Mawhinney, Dr Neil Easden, Ed Richards, Robert Jones, Ann Richards (back) Laura Randall, Dennis Wilde, Lee Pettyjohn
The most famous flashers in the night are the Iridium satellites. A fleet of more than 60 of these communication satellites was launched in the late 1990’s to provide global satellite cell phone service. The costly service never caught on, and the private consortium went bankrupt. The satellites were to have been de-orbited and intentionally burned up in the atmosphere but were saved at the eleventh hour by the US Department of Defense. Orbiting 780 kilometers up, the Iridium satellites have highly reflective antennas, each the size of a door. The antennas act as flat mirrors, creating brief but intense flashes of sunlight. In a few seconds, an Iridium can rise from it’s normal magnitude of +6 (barely visible to the naked eye) to as high as magnitude -8, which is 25 times brighter than Venus. A brilliant “star” literally appears out of nowhere, then, after a few seconds of prominence, quickly disappears. Iridium flares are visible almost every night but are highly localized. A friend in the next country won’t see the same flare you see. For predictions, see www.heavens-above.com “The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide” by Terrence Dickinson & Alan Dyer
Article Contributed by Ed Richards
Compliments of Telescope.com