"For the sage, time is only of significance in that within it the steps of becoming can unfold in clearest sequence."

— I Ching

NASA

February Meeting: James Webb Space Telescope

Event Date: 
Tue, 02/08/2022 - 7:30pm - 9:30pm

JWSTMonthly meeting of the North Jersey Astronomical Group. Details below. Our meetings are being held virtually on Zoom until further notice. Free; registration required.

 

Hubble at 30: Three Decades of Cosmic Discovery

 Hubble Telescope

Hubble at 30: Three Decades of Cosmic Discovery

David Prosper

Springtime Planet Party

Springtime Planet Party

David Prosper

                                  

March brings longer days for Northern Hemisphere observers, especially by the time of the equinox. Early risers are treated to the majority of the bright planets dancing in the morning skies, with the Moon passing between them at the beginning and end of the month.

Earth EquinoxThe vernal equinox occurs on March 20, marking the official beginning of spring for the Northern Hemisphere. Our Sun shines equally on the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during the moment of equinox, which is why the March and September equinoxes are the only times of the year when the Earth’s north and south poles are simultaneously lit by sunlight. Exacting astronomers will note that the length of day and night on the equinox are not precisely equal; the date when they are closest to equal depends on your latitude, and may occur a few days earlier or later than the equinox itself. One complicating factor is that the Sun isn’t a point light source, but a disc. Its edge is refracted by our atmosphere as it rises and sets, which adds several minutes of light to every day. The Sun doesn’t neatly wink on and off at sunrise and sunset like a light bulb, and so there isn’t a perfect split of day and night on the equinox - but it’s very close!

 

 

 

A Trip Through the Milky Way

A Trip Through the Milky Way

By Jane Houston Jones and Jessica Stoller-Conrad


Feeling like you missed out on planning a last vacation of summer? Don’t worry—you can still take a late summertime road trip along the Milky Way!

The waning days of summer are upon us, and that means the Sun is setting earlier now. These earlier sunsets reveal a starry sky bisected by the Milky Way. Want to see this view of our home galaxy? Head out toyour favorite dark sky getaway or to the darkest city park or urban open space you can find.

While you’re out there waiting for a peek at the Milky Way, you’ll also have a great view of the planets in our solar system. Keep an eye out right after sunset and you can catch a look at Venus. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you’ll see Venus’s phase change dramatically during September—from nearly half phase to a larger, thinner crescent.

Dimming stars, erupting plasma, and beautiful nebulae


Dimming stars, erupting plasma, and beautiful nebulae

By Marcus Woo

 

Boasting intricate patterns and translucent colors, planetary nebulae are among the most beautiful sights in the universe. How they got their shapes is complicated, but astronomers think they've solved part of the mystery—with giant blobs of plasma shooting through space at half a million miles per hour.

Planetary nebulae are shells of gas and dust blown off from a dying, giant star. Most nebulae aren't spherical, but can have multiple lobes extending from opposite sides—possibly generated by powerful jets erupting from the star.

The Loneliest Galaxy In The Universe

Spaceplace LogoThe Loneliest Galaxy In The Universe

By Ethan Siegel

 

New Horizons Plans to Return to Normal Science Operations

July 5, 2015New Horizons Plans July 7 Return to Normal Science Operations

Cool Astronomy News

Lots of cool astronomy news coming out of Washington this week!

See: NASA at AAS

The $150 Space Camera

MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget

Bespoke is old hat. Off-the-shelf is in. Even Google runs the world’s biggest and scariest server farms on computers home-made from commodity parts. DIY is cheaper and often better, as Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh found out when they decided to send a camera into space.

Giant Rockets from NASA in our future

 


 

From the days of our previous moon landings, we felt nothing could be larger than the Saturn V rocket, hurling the Lunar Lander and appendages towards the moon.

We then create a fabulous space telescope, "Hubble" and over the following years it has given us stupendous views of the cosmos.