EVENTS FOR FALL 2013
Open Telescope Night
December 14, 2013
Ohio University College Green
7:30 - 10 PM
We will be bringing our telescopes and binoculars to the OU College Green to focus on the waxing gibbous Moon, Venus, Jupiter, and perhaps the tail end of a comet. Feel free to bring out your own astro gear!
Geminid Meteor Shower
December 13/14, 2013
A Dark Sky Near You!
The Geminid Meteor Shower is unique in that these meteors are debris left behind by an asteroid, whereas all other meteor showers can be traced to a parent comet. The Geminids are left behind bits of the asteroid Phaethon. Why this rocky asteroid is leaving behind bits that become our meteors is still under study.
The Geminids seem to radiate from the constellation Gemini. The shower lasts from December 6 to December 18 with the peak being on the night of December 13/14 from midnight until dawn. In 2013, a waxing gibbous Moon will interfere. During the peak, up to 80 meteors per hour can be seen under ideal conditions. Grab a lawn chair (preferably one that reclines), a blanket or sleeping bag (it's cold out there), some hot chocolate and head out to your favorite dark-sky location.
The Geminids were first discovered in 1862. During the early years, rates ran between 10-20 meteors per hour, and rose steadily through the 1970s. The rates have remained consistently in the 80 meteors per hour range ever since. For a more detailed history, click here.
This event is free and open to the public :)
Three Comets in the Morning!
Part of Comet ISON survived its close encounter with the Sun, but it is currently fading as it travels away from the Sun. We are now down to three comets in the early morning sky. Comet Lovejoy R1, Comet LINEAR X1, and newly discovered Comet Nevski. For a wonderful website following all of these comets (including maps on how to find them), and others, click here. The brightest right now is Comet Lovejoy (magnitude 4) - visible with the naked eye from a dark sky location. The others require a telescope or binoculars.
Night Interpretation Class
December 11 or 18, 2013
Travis Milliken and Maryann Hartwick will teach the fall constellations to a wonderful group of students at the Hocking College Nature Center. After the indoor presentation, we will head out to a dark-sky location in the Wayne National Forest focusing our telescopes on Comet ISON, Jupiter, the Double Cluster, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Orion Nebula. Thanks to Steve Roley for inviting us back!
UPDATE: 12/3/13 Clouds have us in a 'wait and see pattern'. We'll wait and see if one of the next two Tuesday nights are clear, because we are clouded out for this evening.
December 21, 2013
12:11 PM EST
Wonder what else we've been up to? Click here.
Athens Clear Sky Chart
The Athens Clear Sky Chart is an astronomers forecast. It shows at a glance when, in the next 48 hours, we might expect clear and dark skies for Athens, Ohio. It's is specifically intended for amateur astronomers.
Thanks to Attilla Danko for this widget.
Most events are held in conjunction with the Ohio University Department of Physics and Astronomy.