Has anyone come up with plans for May 20th at 7:37 PM? That's when we will see the tail end of a SPECTACULAR ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE just before sunset... supposedly the best we've seen in 18 years.
It will be visible as far east as Albuquerque. I created an animation I put together from images taken from the software Stellarium.
I plan to be up in the mountains somewhere with a better view of the horizon, which leads me back to Sunspot. I called their tourist information number, but they had no particular plans for that evening. Perhaps the club could arrange a use of the telescope if enough people are interested in traveling to Alamogordo? Otherwise, we should at least do something up at MRO on South Baldy.
For quick reference.
National Solar Observatory
3004 Telescope Loop, Sunspot, NM
(575) 434-7000 · nso.edu
--- On Tue, 3/20/12, jesse hanowell <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From: jesse hanowell <email@example.com>
> Subject: [astroclub] NMTAC Weekly Newsletter 3/20/2012
> To: "Astronomy Club Mailing List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 4:41 PM
> Welcome once more to the NMTAC
> Today we will look forward to Astronomical events that will
> take place
> this summer, 2012, involving yet again, the planet
> Venus. It and
> Mercury’s position as inner planets enable us to witness
> that is, the passing of the body in front of the Sun.
> This phenomenon
> is similar in nature to occultations, whereupon the body in
> passes behind another celestial body, as Saturn did in
> relation to the
> moon on Sept. 18th 1997.
> This very rare, transit of Venus in front of our star will
> take place
> on June 5th 2012, and enable Astronomers with proper
> equipment to
> image this event and study the Atmosphere of Venus via
> By comparing the spectral information of the sun with that
> of data
> collected while Venus is in transit, Astronomers may be able
> analyze the atmosphere of Venus. Astrophotographers
> will have an
> opportunity to photograph this event depending on your
> location on the
> planet. For those wanting to know the prime location,
> see diagrams in
> the following article by Fred Espenak at NASA:
> This article also
> explains the dynamics of the orbits of these inner planets,
> explains why Venus’ transit is so rare.
> It seems New Zealand is the best location on land. I
> am going to
> contact the Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand to see if
> they plan on
> doing any observations. Also, Sunspot, the National
> Solar Observatory
> on Sacramento Peak in New Mexico, may be a good location to
> visit this
> summer. They have a visitor program and I will be
> contacting them to
> see if they plan on doing related science on the transit and
> visitors will be able to participate. Yet for those of
> us here in New
> Mexico not able to make that journey, we will have a chance
> during the
> sunset hours on the night of the 5th here at Etscorn.
> With this in
> mind, the NMTAC will set up our solar viewing equipment at
> Etscorn, so
> students and anyone interested will be able to witness the
> Information about exoplanet atmospheres and their spectra
> can be found
> at several sites, including these papers and article I found
> with the
> aid of Dr. Westpfahl:
> They use the analogy of Venus’ transit as a model to study
> atmospheres using spectroscopy.
> The NMTAC will meet this Friday for a star party and dinner,
> will follow soon. As for the club meeting, it is
> officially changed
> to Sundays at the same time, 6:30pm. The
> “Spaceballs” movie night
> will be postponed until next week.
> So until next time, keep your eyes on the sky, you never
> know what you may see.
> Jesse, the Hanowell
> Secretary NMTAC
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