Celebrate! Juno arrives at Jupiter July 4

Image: Launching from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Launching from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Launched from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only 5,000 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) from the cloud tops at closest approach.

Juno’s primary goal is to improve our understanding of Jupiter’s formation and evolution. The spacecraft will spend a year investigating the planet’s origins, interior structure, deep atmosphere, and magnetosphere. Juno’s study of Jupiter will help us to understand the history of our own solar system and provide new insight into how planetary systems form and develop in our galaxy and beyond.

Juno’s principal investigator is Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the mission. Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, Colo., built the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency, Rome, contributed an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment.

For more information about Juno, visit http://www.nasa.gov/juno

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June 13 CAA Monthly Meeting

Photo: Paul Harding - CWRU

Paul Harding – CWRU

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association will conduct its monthly club meeting beginning at 7:30 PM, Monday, June 13 at the Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Nature Center. Nonmembers are welcome to attend.

The night’s speaker Dr. Paul Harding, Observatory Manager, Department of Astronomy at Case Western Reserve University will discuss “Expanding the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to the Southern Hemisphere.”

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Public Star Party Saturday, June 11

Image: Simulated View of Saturn and Some Moons

Simulated View of Saturn and Some Moons

The CAA will host a public star party for the Medina County Park District at 9:00 PM at Letha House Park West. See Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, and more! A cloudy night alternative program will be offered should weather conditions be an issue. Members: please bring your scope to help if you can.

Road closure/detour: Due to a Medina County Highway Engineer’s road improvement construction project, Spencer Lake Road will be closed just east of Richman Road where you would normally access Letha House Park West. This section of road will be closed from June 6 through the end of July 2016. Click HERE for a detour map.

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CAA member photographs Indonesian eclipse

Photo: March 9 Total Eclipse by Steve Korylak

March 9 Total Solar Eclipse by Steve Korylak

CAA member and eclipse chaser Steve Korylak followed the Sun to Indonesia for the March 9 total solar eclipse. He viewed and photographed the event from the deck of a ship positioned for an optimal view of totality. Here are his photographs and his story….

“Not bad for being on a moving ship! The eclipse lasted two minutes, forty seconds; I planned to photograph for one minute, look at the sun visually for one minute and take a movie for the last 40 seconds. I had rehearsed this the day before so I would be prepared. Timing the interval between shots so I did not overload the camera buffer. I had a solar filter on the lens to record the partial phases. Near totality, I looked for shadow bands on the side of the white ship and did not see them. When I took off the filter the focus changed, even though I had it taped so it would not move; this caused me to miss the diamond ring and bailey’s beads. I had to refocus — still slightly off — and started taking pictures. Then the eclipse was over; no visual, no movie. Learning experience!”

Photo Info: Inner corona – Nikon D1500 (APS-size sensor) 1/4000 sec., f/11, ISO 1000, 300mm lens with 2X teleconverter. Outer  corona – same hardware, 1/60 sec., f/11, ISO 1000. The lens was f/5.6 but with the teleconverter it is equivalent to f/11. shot in raw mode for maximum detail.

Photo: March 9 Total Solar Eclipse by Steve Korylak

March 9 Total Solar Eclipse by Steve Korylak – Note Red Prominences over the Sun’s Limb

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There’s a big black spot on the Sun today

Photo: Sun with sunspot AR2529, April 13, 2016. Photo by James Guilford.

Sunspot AR2529

Changing a word from an old Police lyric, there’s a big black spot on the Sun today. Sunspot AR2529 is the dominant feature on an otherwise quiet star. Visible to the unaided eye through solar-safe filters, the sunspot is several Earth-diameters across and roughly “heart” shaped! This image was recorded Wednesday, April 13, at 2:19 PM. The bright orange color resulted from use of a solar filter covering the camera lens.

Here is what SpaceWeather.com says about the sunspot: “Since it appeared less than a week ago, AR2529 has been mostly, but not completely, quiet. On April 10th it hurled a minor CME into space. That CME, along with another that occurred a few hours later, could deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field on April 13th.” A CME is a Coronal Mass Ejection wherein the Sun flings plasma from its atmosphere out and into space. CMEs reaching Earth can cause auroras.

Photo Info: Cropped from full frame, Canon EOS M3: ISO 250, 1/1600 sec., f/8, 400mm lens. Photo by James Guilford.

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April Meeting: Telescope “Show & Tell”

The General Membership Meeting (April 11) will feature telescopes brought in and presented by CAA members. This is an excellent opportunity to compare various sorts of telescopes, especially for those looking to purchase their own. Non-member guests are welcome to attend! A business meeting follows the program. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM in the auditorium of the Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Nature Center; 24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted.

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Starlit North Chagrin Nature Center

North Chagrin Nature Center, Willoughby, Ohio by Alan Studt

North Chagrin Nature Center, Willoughby, Ohio by Alan Studt. Click to enlarge!

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) has several skilled photographers amongst its membership. Taking advantage of a clear, starry night February 6, CAA member Alan Studt spent some time with his camera making this wonderful image. Creating an image as beautiful as this nighttime landscape isn’t as simple as simply pressing the shutter release, even on an advanced DSLR. Here are Alan’s notes concerning this photograph:

The image is a combination of a few shots to get the various dynamic ranges involved.

Camera – Nikon D600 with 14mm Rokinon lens, producing three shots processed in Adobe Lightroom CC, and layer blended in Adobe Photoshop CC:

  • Sky – ISO 1250, 15 seconds, f/2.8
  • Land/Lights – ISO 6400, 15 seconds, f/22
  • Lake/Boardwalk – ISO 1000, 15 seconds, f/2.8

Constellations and objects seen in this image include: Canis Major & Minor, Orion, Lepus, Taurus, The Pleiades, and the lower part of Gemini in the upper left corner.

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