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30 NOVEMBER 2016 @ 19H00:

West Rand Astronomy Club Meeting

  • Dutch Reformed Church,
  • 844 Corlette Avenue, Witpoortjie
  •  AGM
  • After the AGM –  there will be a General Social gathering marking the last meeting of the year.
  • Bring along some snacks, or a plate of eats and or a cooldrink to share and get the fun started.
  • Bring your telescope if you would like to share the evening with the stars ( weather permitting)

Cost: Donation of R10 for the use of the venue which includes tea and coffee.

Telescopes will be set up for viewing (weather permitting). Members are encouraged to bring along telescopes, you can bring along observation sheets and any of your favourite astronomy books for discussion. Ask questions, share information and enjoy!

WRAC YEAR END STAR PARTY  ( Marking the Last Star Party of the Year 2016)

VENUE: Brookwood Lodge: The Shooting Range. The Shooting Range closes at 5 pm.

DATE: Sundown on 10 DECEMBER 2016.  Arrive after 5pm.

Bring along a telescope if you have one, A supper basket including crockery and cutlery a blanket to sit on, or chairs.

Braais are permitted. If you have a braai you are welcome to bring that too.

Please remember, while star gazing the use of white light is not encouraged. Please bring a torch covered with red cellophane or a red headlamp. Also, as part of the star gazers etiquette, please do not litter.


On Line Shopping and walk in shop

www.telescopeshop.co.za


Notice to members:

A very special thank you

The Chairman and Committee wishes to thank all members for their contribution to sharing the load at Scopex on Saturday,15 OctoberA Special thanks also goes to those who manned the tables and worked tirelessly all day long. All the effort you put to make the day such a success is greatly appreciated.


Wrac does on going Outreach programs from month to month throughout the year.

Any members who have telescopes and who wish to enjoy the excitement of  showing others the night skies, please leave your name and number with Jess by e-mail so that you can be included in the program.

  • Secretary@wrac.org.za
  • sales@telescopeshop.co.za

NEXT VIEWINGS

Club members show, talk, tell and help: schools, clubs, old age homes and many who wants to know about astronomy and view the night skies.

School of Merit  Edenvale – Saturday, 5 November 2016  THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Notice for Club members only –  to entertain a church group with the stars on the Friday evening, 28 October.


 IN THE NEWS:

The Puzzle of Mars

Will man, one day, be able to live on Mars? That is a current burning question where half those that are interested say: ” yes” and the other half say: ” no, possibly never”. Many people have even booked their tickets for the first flight.

The question is will man be able to live in iron oxide dust with more carbon dioxide than oxygen. If all these scientific questions can be answered in the affirmative, there is one left and that is Finance? where is that going to come from? Not only for re-location but for making the planet suitable even if life has to be underground.

“After investigating the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet for a full Martian year, NASA’s MAVEN mission has determined that the escaping water does not always go gently into space.

Sophisticated measurements made by a suite of instruments on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft revealed the ups and downs of hydrogen escape – and therefore water loss. The escape rate peaked when Mars was at its closest point to the sun and dropped off when the planet was farthest from the sun. The rate of loss varied dramatically overall, with 10 times more hydrogen escaping at the maximum.

“MAVEN is giving us unprecedented detail about hydrogen escape from the upper atmosphere of Mars, and this is crucial for helping us figure out the total amount of water lost over billions of years,” said Ali Rahmati, a MAVEN team member at the University of California at Berkeley who analyzed data from two of the spacecraft’s instruments.

Hydrogen in Mars’ upper atmosphere comes from water vapor in the lower atmosphere. An atmospheric water molecule can be broken apart by sunlight, releasing the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom that they had been bound to. Several processes at work in Mars’ upper atmosphere may then act on the hydrogen, leading to its escape.”

After investigating the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet for a full Martian year, NASA’s MAVEN mission has determined that the escaping water does not always go gently into space.Sophisticated measurements made by a suite of instruments on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft revealed the ups and downs of hydrogen escape – and therefore water loss. The escape rate peaked when Mars was at its closest point to the sun and dropped off when the planet was farthest from the sun. The rate of loss varied dramatically overall, with 10 times more hydrogen escaping at the maximum.

“MAVEN is giving us unprecedented detail about hydrogen escape from the upper atmosphere of Mars, and this is crucial for helping us figure out the total amount of water lost over billions of years,” said Ali Rahmati, a MAVEN team member at the University of California at Berkeley who analyzed data from two of the spacecraft’s instruments.

Hydrogen in Mars’ upper atmosphere comes from water vapor in the lower atmosphere. An atmospheric water molecule can be broken apart by sunlight, releasing the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atom that they had been bound to. Several processes at work in Mars’ upper atmosphere may then act on the hydrogen, leading to its escape.

read more………http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1944

SPACEX EXPLOSION

By now most of you have probably already heard about the explosion that rocked Cape Canaveral yesterday.

Things went wrong at 9:07 a.m local time. as SpaceX fueled the 230-foot Falcon 9 during a practice countdown, which were a part of preparations for a planned early Saturday launch of a communications satellite for the Israeli company Spacecom.

But before that happened, flames engulfed the rocket’s upper stage, the first in a series of explosions that shook buildings miles away and sent a plume of smoke billowing skyward.

http://deepastronomy.com/video/29/space-fan-news-ep176

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Schiaparelli_descent_data_decoding_underway

SCHIAPARELLI DESCENT DATA : DECODING UNDERWAY

20 October 2016Essential data from the ExoMars Schiaparelli lander sent to its mothership Trace Gas Orbiter during the module’s descent to the Red Planet’s surface yesterday has been downlinked to Earth and is currently being analysed by experts.

Early indications from both the radio signals captured by the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), an experimental telescope array located near Pune, India, and from orbit by ESA’s Mars Express, suggested the module had successfully completed most steps of its 6-minute descent through the martian atmosphere. This included the deceleration through the atmosphere, and the parachute and heat shield deployment, for example.

But the signals recorded by both Pune and Mars Express stopped shortly before the module was expected to touchdown on the surface. Discrepancies between the two data sets are being analysed by experts at ESA’s space operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

The detailed telemetry recorded by the Trace Gas Orbiter was needed to better understand the situation. At the same time as Schiaparelli’s descent, the orbiter was performing a crucial ‘Mars Orbit Insertion’ manoeuvre – which it completed successfully. These important data were recorded from Schiaparelli and beamed back to Earth in the early hours of Thursday morning.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Schiaparelli_descent_data_decoding_underway

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/11/Trace_Gas_Orbiter_Schiaparelli_and_the_ExoMars_rover_at_Mars

 


THE SUN IN NOVEMBER

DATE                       SUNRISE                           SUNSET               LENGTH OF DAY

01/11/2016                 5:18                                 18.25                               13:06

05/11/2016                 5:16                                   18:28                             13:12

15/102016                 5:10                                    18:35                            13:19

30/11/2016               5:07                                    18:46                              13:30

 

 

Looking at the sun through a telescope or binoculars without the necessary equipment or protection Will Blind You.


Moon in November

DATE                     MOONRISE             MOONSET

1/11/2016              06;31                        19:55

14/11/2016            05;07                         18:33        FULL MOON

29/11/2016            05:53                          19:33       NEW MOON

http://www.timeanddate.com/moon/south-africa/johannesburg


Planets in November:

Expect to see Venus, Jupiter, Mars Mercury and Saturn in November

Venus is very low in the western sky and disappears early in the evening.

Jupiter returns in the morning sky, low on the eastern horizon and is well placed for visibility after midnight.

Saturn hovers around Scorpius low in the west and sets fast in November.

Mars is following Scorpious and will be departing from the western sky.

Mercury it is a possibility to spot Mercury low in the west if one looks very carefully

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 Deep-sky objects:

The Large Magellanic Cloud – The Sword in Constellation Dorado

The small Magellanic Cloud

M47 The Toucan in Constellation Tucana.

The Triangulam Galaxy in Constellation Triangulam Australis

NGC 55 The Sculptor in constellation Sculptor

NGC 6744  in Constellation Pavo

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 Meteor Showers

Meteor       Duration                  Max. Date                   Observation Prospect

N.Taurids       1 – 25 Nov.              12 Nov.                         unfavourable

S.Taurids       1 – 25 Nov.               5 Nov.                          good

Leonids         12- 21 Nov.             17Nov.                          unfavourable

Monocerotids  15 – 25 Nov           21Nov                           good


Comets:

November is a quiet month for comets.

To read more visit:    http://www.space.com/16149-night-sky.html


 Satellite movement:

Satellite movement can be viewed on:      http://www.heavens-above.com


CASSINI AND THE TITAN MOON

Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and the second largest in the solar system (after Ganymede of Jupiter). It is the only moon in the solar system with clouds and a dense, planet-like atmosphere.

Scientists believe that conditions on Titan are similar to Earth’s early years (the main difference is that, because it is closer to the sun, Earth has always been warmer). According to NASA, “In many respects, Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is one of the most Earth-like worlds

The typical process for forming clouds involves condensation. On Earth, we’re familiar with the cycle of evaporation and condensation of water. The same kind of cycle takes place in Titan’s troposphere — the weather-forming layer of Titan’s atmosphere — but with methane instead of water.

A different condensation process takes place in the stratosphere — the region above the troposphere — at Titan’s north and south winter poles. In this case, layers of clouds condense as the global circulation pattern forces warm gases downward at the pole. The gases then condense as they sink through cooler and cooler layers of the polar stratosphere.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-scientists-find-impossible-cloud-on-titan-again

 


UPLOAD YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHS

 

All your photographs are uploadable on our WRAC website and your photos are memories worth keeping, so share happiness with others.

 


 

Juipter 17-01-2015 Lourie Bentel


“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Carl Sagan


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Regards Wrac.

www.wrac.org.za

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