« Sunday Evening Open Thread [CBD] | Main | Overnight Open Thread (7-20-2014) »
July 20, 2014

Spaced-Out Challenge: One Giant Leap

Note: the Open Overnight Thread is below. Please direct off-topic convos to it. Enjoy!

FIRST FOOTPRINT ON THE MOON.jpg

Welcome again to the Spaced-Out Challenge! Whether you have a question about equipment, a new astronomical discovery you want to expand on, or just want to kick back and enjoy the cosmos above, come one come all on our weekly astronomical journey.

This week, we remember the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, show off some of twitter's finest astrophotography, invite you to a star party, and enjoy a Christmas-in-July sight in Sagittarius.


Forty-five years ago today, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first of twelve Americans to walk across the surface of another world:


ABC News | ABC Sports News

Two things to consider:




Phil Plait has a great write up on a fantastic “group photo” of humanity, sans one man, here.

HuffPo also has an interesting bit of history: Aldrin's moon communion.

In just the 16 years between Apollo 11 and the year I was born, NASA went to the moon five more times, launched and crashed Skylab, sent probes to the surface of Mars, whizzed past Jupiter and Saturn, launched (and launched, and launched, and launched) the Space Shuttle, and Hubble and Galileo were in development. All followed a step on a surface a quarter of a million miles away. We are capable of incredible things, when we have the will and guts to do them.

And what thread about this momentous occasion would be complete without Aldrin's fantastic knuckular education of a mentally deranged person?

Best of the Supermoon

The supermoon took Twitter by storm last weekend, and here's a round up of its (and your) best shots:













And a friend of the blog got in on the action as well:


Which prompted yours truly to try to impress Animal Mother:


Star Parties!

STARPARTY.jpg

One of the things I encourage people interested in amateur astronomy to do is to attend a star party, and with the new moon on Saturday, hundreds will be held by various astronomical societies across the country. Not only will you enjoy great views through a variety of instruments, but it's a fantastic resource for new tips and tricks, comparing eyepieces, and learning your way around the skies. Most are held on new moon weekends so members and the public can get the best view of deep sky objects, and, keep in mind, most are often held "in the sticks", but clubs will provide clear directions to first-timers.

Where can you find one? NASA's Night Sky Network has a great resource listing all of the astronomy clubs in the United States, with an interactive map that indicates which ones are holding upcoming events. Here's the map for Charlotte:

findastarparty.png

When you contact your local club, be sure to ask if there are any specifics about attending (set arrival times, restrictions on lighting, etc), then just gas up the car and have fun!

A Summer Christmas Tree in Sagittarius

Beyond the glowing wonders and clusters near the heart of the Milky Way lies a beautiful asterism first noted by amateur David Elosser. Since we've already discussed the flashier wonders, here's how to find a hidden gem:

FindTheSummerChristmasTree.png

***

The full Beginner's Buyer's Guide, our Comet Guide (featuring additional grab-and-go telescopes), and any other edition you're looking for can be found in the master index of all Spaced-Out Challenge threads here, but of course you can always inquire about binoculars, telescopes, and all the rest in the comments.
As always, if you have astrophotography, product recommendations, or astronomy news you'd like to see on a future Spaced-Out Challenge, email me at theoneandonlyfinn (at) gmail.com, or tweet me @conartcritic.

If you have any more questions about your new optics, feel free to ask below.
Until next time, clear skies to you, and keep looking up!

digg this
posted by CAC at 10:05 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
JTB: "I continue with the LOTR audio and it is turning o ..."

Trimegistus: "First off: Tolkein's Beowulf. I liked both his ver ..."

OregonMuse, AoSHQ Thought Leader, Pants Monitor & Austere Religious Scholar: "[i]38 That photo of Nads...tell me it's photoshopp ..."

[/b][/s][/i][/u]Muldoon: "[i]...weave a suspenseful tale featuring seafaring ..."

mnw: "24 AHL & Your Holiness My kids are SOL, then, b ..."

Anonosaurus Wrecks, Tyrannosaur Wrangler: "I watched the movie Timeline (which sucked) and re ..."

FloridaMan: "I don't know. A love of reading is a better gift. ..."

Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd: "Mom locks a brother a sister up for years, they ev ..."

saf: " Horny Scotsmen attempting to switch from she ..."

Pine-scented Druid philosopher James Comey: "I'm as honest as the day is long. In Antarctica. I ..."

Secret Square: "Question for the Horde: I've been accepted as a ve ..."

vmom planning her campaign platform: "VC Andrews is still writing books today, long afte ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64