AAAP January 13 Meeting

AAAP Meeting, 7:30 PM, January 13, 2017:

 

The AAAP Meeting is 7:30 PM this evening at the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center . The first and featured presentation is

“Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth”
Thomas Beatty, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds
7:30 PM, Friday, January 13, 2017 Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Meeting at the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Recent discoveries by the Kepler mission have shown us that Earth-sized planets are fairly common in the Galaxy. We expect to find several “habitable” planets that are the size and mass of Earth over the next decade, but then what? How do we distinguish between a nice temperate Earth, and an acidic metal-melting Venus? What can we learn about the climates, and even the weather, of exoplanets? Could we identify life, or even intelligence?

The second speaker after the break is John Jardine Goss
Astronomical League President www.astroleague.org . John will commemerate the 50th anniversary of the Messier Observing Certificate. The first recipient was former AAAP member Catherine Delaney.

Following the speakers there will be a business meeting with exciting announcements about our club’s upcoming activities.

 

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AAAP January 13, 2017 Astronomy Lecture “Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth” Thomas Beatty, PhD

“Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth”
Thomas Beatty, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds

7:30 PM, Friday, January 13, 2017 Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Meeting at the Science Stage,  Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Recent discoveries by the Kepler mission have shown us that Earth-sized planets are fairly common in the Galaxy. We expect to find several “habitable” planets that are the size and mass of Earth over the next decade, but then what? How do we distinguish between a nice temperate Earth, and an acidic metal-melting Venus? What can we learn about the climates, and even the weather, of exoplanets? Could we identify life, or even intelligence?

Thomas Beatty, PhD Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds

This lecture will start the January Meeting of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, beginning at 7:30 PM on Friday January 13, 2017, at the Science Stage of the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA. Plans are underway to LiveStream the lecture on the AAAP Facebook Page. The meeting is free and open to the public. More information on the meeting to follow here at www.3ap.org, AAAP Facebook and in the January Guide Star AAAP Newsletter.

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2016 Geminid Meteors vs. December Full Cold Moon

A Geminid Meteor. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake

A Geminid Meteor. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake

This year the Geminid Meteor Shower, traditiononally arguably (Perseid Meteor Shower) the best meteor shower of the year, is expected to peak on the night of December 13 into the morning hours of December 14, accompanied by the December Full Moon. In Pittsburgh the Moon is Full, December 13 at 7:05 PM EST with Moonrise at 5:06 PM EST that evening. This year’s mating of the Full Moon with the peak of the meteor shower is disadvantageous for optimal meteor viewing with the bright moonlight expected to wash out all but the brightest meteors.

Early Evening Meteor Viewing Windows on Wednesday and Thursday Evenings, Before 6 PM and 7 PM , Respectively, Punctuated by Spectacular Moonrises

However in the nights immediately following Geminid peak the Moon rises approximately an hour later each night allowing an early evening window with a moonless sky as shown in the Stellarium. org screen capture diagrams below. The bonus at the end of the Moonless window is the opportunity to see the spectacle of Moonrise in the crisp December air. Native Americans named the December Moon the Cold Moon or the Long Night’s Moon. When the Moon is near the horizon an optical illusion makes it appear even larger. This year, this month’s moon is at perigee or a part of its elliptical orbit when it is closer to the Earth giving it an added boost in size. In recent years these perigee moons have been popularly named Super Moons. The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is not planning a public Geminid Meteor Viewing at the time. Geminid viewing opportunities will improve in 2017 when there will be less competition from Moonlight. Read more

AAAP Meeting Program and Speakers 2016-2017

                    AAAP Meeting Program and Speakers 2016-2017  

September 9 – Space Electronics and Robotics, John Branthoover, Senior Engineer, Astrobotic Technology. ~ Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center.

October 14 – New Horizons: The Adventure to Pluto, Mark “Indy” Kochte – NASA New Horizons Mission Specialist, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. OmniMax Theater, Carnegie Science Center. 

November 11 – Astrophotography Contest, Allegheny Observatory.

January 13 –  Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth, Thomas Beatty, PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds,  Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center.

February 10 – Annual Planetarium Show, Buhl Planetarium Theater, Carnegie Science Center. 

March 10 – High-Energy Astrophysics: the fascinating world of supernova explosions and pulsars, Harsha Blumer, PhD, Post-doctoral Researcher, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WVA and Greenbank Observatory,  Science Stage , Carnegie Science Center. 

April 7* – Hunting for powerful monsters: supermassive black holes in distant galaxies, Chien-Ting Chen, PhD, Astrophysicist, Pennsylvania State University, Buhl Planetarium Theater, Carnegie Science Center. 

May 12**- Speaker and topic to be disclosed,  Science Stage.

AAAP meets 7:30 PM, 2nd Friday of the month at the Carnegie Science Center,  Science Stage unless otherwise noted. Meetings open with the speaker followed by an intermission before the business meeting. The November meeting is to be held at the Allegheny Observatory and the April meeting is scheduled to April 7 from April 14ˊand will be held in the Planetarium. For updates, please see the AAAP website www.3ap.orgAAAP Guide Star Newsletter, and Facebook Page . *Nomination of Officers at April Business Meeting. **Election of Officers at May Business Meeting.

Download a pdf of the 2016-2017 AAAP Meeting Schedule  here aaap meeting speakers 2016-2017.

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AAAP Meeting November 11,2016, 7:30 PM, Allegheny Observatory

aoAllegheny Observatory, Pittsburgh, PA   http://www.pitt.edu/~aobsvtry/
Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will meet 7:30 PM, November 11, 2016 at Allegheny Observatory, 159 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15214The featured program is the Annual Kevin J. Brunelle Astrophotography Contest. Photos submitted by members will be voted upon by the attendees with the winners announced at the end of the meeting. Join us to see the results of the area’s best astrophotographers. November business meeting follows the program. If you cannot be there check the AAAP Facebook Page for updates and for possible LiveStream.

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AAAP October 14 Meeting, 7:30 PM, NASA Mission Specialist, Mark “Indy” Kochte, “New Horizons: The Adventure to Pluto.”

AAAP Logo - 0314 x 0314 - photo white on black - rev 2

The October Meeting of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will be held at 7:30 PM, October 14, 2016, at Carnegie Science Center, Riverview Cafe, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212  and features the  NASA New Horizons Mission Specialist Mark “Indy” Kochte*, speaking on “New Horizons: The Adventure to Pluto.”  * Please refer to bio at the end of this post.

Pluto has long been considered an oddball planet since it’s discovery, but over the decades we have learned much about what it is and what it isn’t. Now, after a 9.5 year voyage that covered over 3 billion miles, the New Horizons spacecraft, the first manmade object from Earth to visit this little planet, has shown us that Pluto is SO unique and unlike anything we might have imagined since it’s discovery 70-odd years ago. What new wonders await discovery? Join Mission Operations team member Mark ‘Indy’ Kochte on a journey of wonder to a place in our own solar system that the awesome Hubble Space Telescope can only barely resolve.

The speaker will be at the top of the evening shortly after 7:30 PM.  Following the speaker there will be a brief recess followed by the monthly business meeting. Please check back for updates.

NASA New Horizons Mission Specialist, Mark "Indy" Kochte, Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy

NASA New Horizons Mission Specialist, Mark “Indy” Kochte, Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy

Heads up there is a 21+ Night  upstairs in the Carnegie Science during the meeting. There are also some extra activities going on around the building. It should be great fun!

Carnegie Science Center Parking Lot charges a flat $5 fee. AAAP Meetings are free and open to the public.

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