A publication of The Oakland Astronomy Club - A member society of the
This website created by
Kevin M. Berg
In The News This Month
Some On-Line Programs well worth a look: Michigan's own Astronomy at the Beach Program and Programs from McDonald Observatory.
If you missed last year's Astronomy at the Beach program, click Here to see YouTube presentations by the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs! To see current and archived McDonald Observatory programs click Here. (Be sure to scroll down.)
May 4th: Bring an Umbrella?
Let's hope not! The Eta Aquariid meteor showers peak on Wednesday night, May 4-5, 2022. It is estimated that it could produce 50 meteors per hour, with the best viewing just before dawn on the morning of May 5th.
May 5th: And THAT is why they TEST, TEST, TEST!
On April 26th the SLS returned to the VAB (vehicle assembly building) for repairs of two small leaks which were detected in the course of the third "Wet Test". At today's news conference NASA reported that the repairs and room-temperature tests are progressing; they explained that Wet Tests--conducted at cryogenic temperatures, just like the real high-speed pre-launch fuel fill--are critical for the safe deployment of these complex systems. The next Wet Test should occur before mid-June and August, though not official, is the current target for launching the Artemis I phase of the program. The SLS will do the heavy lifting for the re-usable Orion space capsule which will see its debut in the Artemis program. To follow the progress of the Artemis Mission, visit HERE.
May 7th: It's International Astronomy Day!
Our club will be celebrating this event next week with the Lake Orion High School Astronomy Club as we observe the upcoming First Quarter Moon together. Spring is in the air!
May 12th: Imaging the Heart of our Galaxy!
Further solidifying Einstein's "new understanding of gravity", scientists of the multinational Event Horizon Telescope Collaborative (EHT) released the first ever image of the event horizon surrounding the black hole at the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy. See the image at the Astronomy Picture of the Day HERE. Watch the press conference on Youtube HERE.
May 15th: Seeing Red!
Astronomically speaking, this protracted eclipse is the event of the month! As the eclipse begins, the Moon will be low in the South/South-East; a clear view of these horizons will enhance the experience. The gradual dimming begins at 9:32pm and the Moon returns to full brightness by 2:50am early Monday morning. Nestled among the faint stars of Libra, the ruddy Moon will be totally eclipsed by Earth's shadow from 11:29pm Sunday night to 00:53am on Monday morning--almost an hour and a half! I can't wait to see the previously hidden stars pop into view when this occurs! What a breathtaking sight combined with the filtered and refracted light of the Sun passing through Earth's atmosphere coloring the Moon with shades of orange and red. Fear not! If the skies in our area are not friendly, NASA comes to the rescue with a live broadcast of the eclipse from around the world!. Watch NASA TV HERE.
May 29th: Close, but no Cigar!
Jupiter and Mars are separated by less than one degree in the hour before sunrise this morning. Their close encounter runs from the 27th through the 31st, but they are closest on the 29th.