Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Forum

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PostPosted: November 29th, 2016, 2:55 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3627
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
HRPO's twentieth anniversary is soon upon us, and the three partners in the venture (BREC, LSU, BRAS) are working to make this the best calendar year of public offerings in the facility's history!

There's really nothing comparable to catching a "visible pass" on your own, before anyone shows you where the object is in the sky. It could be a legend-in-its-own-time (like the staffed International Space Station or the Hubble Space Telescope), any of China's past or present space stations, a rocket body, a military satellite, a weather satellite, a relatively new piece of machinery or a decades-old and now-defunct corpse. Of course, we can't forget the incredible "flares" caused by the Iridium communications satellites!

On two Fridays in 2017 (the Friday before Daylight Time starts, and the one after CDT finishes) HRPO will host a special twilight viewing session called The Edge of Night. Among other things, patrons will learn to generate a list of visible passes for any specific locations, and how to actually spot the craft and rocket parts passing overhead. The 2017 dates will be 10 March and 10 November; exact times will be announced later. The sessions have no admission fee and are for all ages; we encourage patrons to bring binoculars.


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PostPosted: March 10th, 2017, 3:43 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3627
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Below is the NOAA forecast for HRPO's viewing time of 5:30pm to 7:30pm tonight...
precipitation potential, 14%
sky cover, 88%
relative humidity, 73%
temperature, 22˚C
surface wind, NE 6 km/h


The Edge of Night event will still take place, but many planned views of objects and events in the sky will be exceedingly difficult if NOAA's sky cover prediction is accurate.


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PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 7:47 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3627
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The second Edge of Night of the year will take place this Friday from 7:45pm to 9:45pm. Here are some of the high points of the evening…
8:02pm = "civil twilight" begins
8:34pm = "civil twilight" ends; "nautical twilight" begins
8:52pm = Full Moon and Saturn in tight conjunction at 6˚ altitude
8:56pm to 9:04pm = magnitude 1.8 pass of Lacrosse 5 rocket
9:04pm = magnitude -2 flare of Iridium #98
9:08pm = "nautical twilight" ends; "astronomical twilight" begins
9:39pm to 9:43pm = magnitude 2.1 pass of GPS 2-04 rocket 1
9:41pm to 9:44pm = magnitude -1.5 pass of International Space Station
9:43pm = "astronomical twilight" ends
The various twilights will be explained.

Patrons are encouraged to bring binoculars. With them they can see the Galilean moons; the oblong shape of Saturn; the separation of Mizar and Alcor; Coma Berenices; and the "head" of Draco. Unaided exercises will include introducing the Sickle of Leo and Corvus the Crow. The magnitude scale will also be illustrated with stars of magnitude zero (Vega), one (Antares) and two (Polaris).

Below is the current NOAA forecast for this viewing time...
precipitation potential, 3%
sky cover, 18%
relative humidity, 59%
temperature, 27˚C
surface wind, SE 3 km/h


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