Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Forum

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PostPosted: February 18th, 2017, 5:32 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3623
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Evening Sky Viewing Plus
Date and Time: Saturday 18 Febuary from 7pm to 10pm

In addition to the standard Saturday night offering, Plus Night includes physical science demonstrations, ultraviolet coloring, a marshmallow roast and a sky tour. The fire will be extinguished no later than 9pm.


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PostPosted: February 24th, 2017, 2:11 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
"Jupiter"
Date and Time: Friday 24 February at 7:30pm


The characteristics and moons of Jupiter♃ will be highlighted. Then an overview of the upcoming evening apparition for this year will be shown. The talk is aimed at a general adult audience and has no admission fee.


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PostPosted: February 24th, 2017, 6:26 pm 
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Joined: May 10th, 2011, 5:15 pm
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Location: Cebu City, Philippines
Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of HRPO..! Always cherished my time when I was there...On those weekend nights...!


Christopher K. wrote:
This year the Highland Road Park Observatory celebrates its twentieth anniversary. The first public night was in the fall of 1997, and HRPO will have a birthday party sometime probably in November.

The idea to bring a public telescope to East Baton Rouge Parish came from a phone call between LSU astrophysicist Greg Guzik and Melanie Hair. Melanie was a member of BRAS, which was founded by Craig Brenden and Wally Pursell in 1981. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at LSU secured the funding for a 50cm (20in) professional-grade reflector from the Optical Guidance Systems company. Greg ultimately became, and remains, HRPO’s official LSU liaison. BREC (under then-Superintendent Eugene Young) agreed to provided grounds, a building, staff and an operating budget.

BRAS members (mainly Walt Cooney) have used the OGS reflector to discover over three dozen asteroids, the first of which was named after HRPO’s home city of Baton Rouge. More of the asteroids have been named for Greg, Craig, Wally, and BRAS members Frank Conrad and Merrill Hess.

HRPO’s Science Academy is an informal program for children aged eight to twelve and focuses on astronomy, physics, the American space program, geology, meteorology, chemistry, mathematics and the history of such. It has existed at HRPO in one form or another since at least the fall of 2001. At this time there are over eighty active Cadets.

The Friday Night Lecture Series began as a campfire program for families and has since morphed into an indoor presentation for a general adult audience. The quarterly “Wonders of the Sky” talks give active local skygazers a preview of the upcoming Baton Rouge night sky; this talk is traditionally given by HRPO’s Education Curator. For over twelve consecutive years P&A professor Brad Schaefer has thrilled audiences with the “Star of Bethlehem” talk in December. “Buying Your First Telescope” and "Skygazing Binoculars" are presented near the end of the year.

HRPO is open annually for the peaks of the Perseid and Geminid meteor showers. Other annual events include NanoDays, the fall and spring Edge of Night (which premiered in 2016), American Radio Relay League Field Day and the Spooky Spectrum. Easily the most well-attended manufactured event of the calendar year is the annual International Astronomy Day. IAD set a new record for itself in 2016 with over 1100 patrons attended.

Probably the two most well-attended celestial events in HRPO history were the close approach of Mars in August 2003 and the Transit of Venus in June 2012.

The three equal and autonomous partners—BREC, LSU and BRAS—have brought HRPO to the public for twenty years and I have every faith that HRPO will continue for another twenty.

This thread will be used to post alerts about upcoming events this anniversary year at HRPO.

Highland Road Park Observatory:
http://hrpo.lsu.edu


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PostPosted: February 24th, 2017, 6:36 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks, Rod! Hope you can make it by HRPO when your in town. We're still trucking along, and we have a lot of special activities planned between this spring and next spring. LSU will begin studying Tabby's Star out here in a few weeks.


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PostPosted: February 24th, 2017, 7:36 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Science Academy
Topic: "Apollo"
Date and Time: Saturday 25 February at 10am


Beginning in the 1960s and lasting (sadly) only until 1972, three-man trips into orbit around and onto the surface of the Moon was accomplished! No child alive today saw them as they happened. Science Academy is for eight- to twelve-year-olds. The cost is five dollars per child who resides in East Baton Rouge Parish, and six dollars per out-of-parish child.


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PostPosted: February 25th, 2017, 12:54 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3623
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Solar Viewing
Date and Time: Saturday 25 February from 12pm to 2pm


As of this posting there are no radio blackouts, solar radiation storms or geomagnetic storms; there are two active regions on the Earth-facing side of the Sun (2638 and 2639). Below is the current NOAA forecast for the planned solar viewing time span...
precipitation potential, 1%
sky cover, 1%
relative humidity, 35%
temperature, 18˚C
surface wind, N 14 km/h


Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that during HRPO's viewing time the the transparency rating will be transparent (5 out of 5) and the seeing rating will be "poor" (2 out of 5).

More information:
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/programs/solar.html


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2017, 1:12 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3623
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
"Stellar Evolution"
Date and Time: Friday 3 March at 7:30pm


A star's life is very dependent on its initial mass. The unaided-eye stars that we see nightly are at different stages in their development. Some are young and blue, some middle-aged and yellow, some elderly and red. Dr. Juhan Frank of LSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy will condense the lives of stars to one hour! The talk is aimed at a general adult audience and has no admission fee.

About Professor Frank:
http://www.phys.lsu.edu/faculty/frank/frank.html


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PostPosted: March 1st, 2017, 1:21 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3623
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Science Academy
Topic: "The Space Shuttle"
Date and Time: Saturday 4 March at 10am


This craft revolutionized satellite deployment and delivery of astronauts to low-Earth orbit. Children will learn the history of the fondly-remembered "flying brick". Science Academy is for eight- to twelve-year-olds. The cost is five dollars per child who resides in East Baton Rouge Parish, and six dollars per out-of-parish child.


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PostPosted: March 2nd, 2017, 1:44 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3623
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The Baton Rouge Advocate was nice enough to acknowledge our anniversary on their website. Thanks to BREC Marketing Manager Chelsea Borruano for assisting with this recognition. From the time of the founding of the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society in 1981 by Wally Pursell and Craig Brenden, to the successful argument made by Professor Greg Guzik for a modern professional observatory in the local area, to the enthusiastic offer of land use and overhead budget coverage by BREC...the Highland Road Park Observatory has a nineteen-year track record (to become twenty years this fall) of bringing astronomy to the people thanks to all of them!

The 1 March article:
http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/communities/mid_city/article_cf0d2ee6-fabc-11e6-a3be-6b7bb1a0c1f6.html

This article is also on pp. 1G-2G of the 2 March print Advocate.


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PostPosted: March 4th, 2017, 5:38 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Posts: 3623
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The Edge of Night
Date and Time: Friday 10 March from 5:30pm to 7:30pm


This is the special twilight viewing session that pre-empts the Friday Night Lecture Series on the last Friday, then later in the year, the first Friday of Standard Time.

There is so much to see during twilight...airplanes, the first stars twinkling into view, maybe Mercury and Venus and the Moon. Sometimes, there is even a visible pass or an Iridium flare! Weather permitting, twilight viewing will take place during this evening. It is for all ages and there is no admission fee (though we encourage patrons to bring binoculars).

More information:
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/programs/edge.html


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