Sky's Up Summer 2016 - Page 2

Sky’s Up Vol. 05 — May-August 2016 Published by the AstronomyOutreach network Founded in 2000, the AstronomyOutreach network (AOn) was created to encourage and celebrate public outreach efforts by astronomers of all levels. This non-profit organization has tasked itself with forging connections between individual astronomers, astronomy clubs and larger astronomy and space education initiatives. Board of Directors: Director: Scott W. Roberts Editorial Staff: Senior Editor: David H. Levy Project Manager: Patricia Smith © AstronomyOutreach network Duplication of contents in full or part is prohibited unless prior authorization by AstronomyOutreach network has been obtained. Unless an advertisement in the publication contains a specific endorsement by AstronomyOutreach network, it has not been tested by, approved by or endorsed by AOn. AstronomyOutreach network 621 Madison Street Springdale, AR 72762 Phone: 949-637-9075 email: ooo Sky’s Up digital magazine is made possible through a generous contribution from Explore Scientific. Catch the astronomy bug T inside Rising star University student leads astronomy outreach efforts in Kosovo — Page 8 Eclipse encounter 2017 will deliver total solar eclipse for U.S. observers — Page 12 10 Questions Astronaut Story Musgrave answers students’ questions about working in space — Page 16 Pushing the Limits Space exploration reveals our Solar System’s secrets & our cosmic commonalities — Page 20 What’s Up in the Sky.............Pg. 4 SETI: Looking for ET...............Pg. 5 On the Horizon......................Pg. 6 Constellation Corner.............Pg. 7 The STEM Zone....................Pg. 30 On the Road........................Pg. 32 Meet the Moon...................Pg. 34 The Art of Astronomy..........Pg. 42 Lunar Calendar....................Pg. 48 Seasonal Sky Calendars.......Pg. 49 on the cover In this NASA file photo from December 1993, Astronaut Story Musgrave, anchored on the end of the Remote Manipulator System arm, prepares to be elevated to the top of the Hubble Space Telescope to install protective covers on the magnetometers. Astronaut Jeffrey A. Hoffman inside Space Shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay, assisted Musgrave with final servicing tasks on the telescope, wrapping up five days of space walks. COURTESY OF NASA 2 Sky’s Up he purpose of my periodic A David column, under the title of “A Levy Sky David Levy Sky” is to add a little inspiration to the idea that there is a sky out there and, on any clear night, that sky beckons to us, is calling to us. Let’s assume that it has been sometime since you have been out under the sky, and that you are unfamiliar with almost all of the stars by David up there. Begin by looking toward Levy the north; if you do not know where north is, try looking up and finding the Big Dipper. At this time of year you should have little trouble detecting the seven lonely stars that forever circle the North celestial pole. Once you find the dipper, move your eyes to the two stars at the end of the bowl. Form an imaginary line from those two stars towards the direction of the horizon. Extend that line about five times the distance between the two stars. It should then encounter a lonely star. Congratulations! You have just spotted the North star — Polaris. Every hour of every night, Polaris will greet you in this position. Next, try looking at Polaris using a telescope, even a simple telescope. Because Polaris is the North star it should remain in the field of view for many hours. If you look closely, it is possible you’ll see a faint star right next to Polaris. That faint star is the companion of Polaris, and it proves that the North star is actually a double star. There! In less than 15 minutes you have located the North star, determined which direction is north and found out that the North Star is a binary system. You do not need a dark country sky to do this because Polaris is easily visible from most cities. By doing a simple exercise like this, you will certainly not become immediately one of the most famous astronomers who ever lived. However, let’s look at this from the other direction. Almost every astronomer who became well-known, and who knows or knew the sky, had to learn this at some point in her or his education. This simple lesson lies at the very basis of thoroughly enjoying the night sky. If you can do that, then move on a little, then a little more, then a little more after that, and you will gain the experience that is needed to fully enjoy the magic of the night sky. If the dipper is high enough, draw an imaginary curved line connecting the three stars of the dipper’s handle. Continue that curved line away from the dipper until you light on a bright, orange star. You have just found Arcturus, my Dad’s favorite star. Now, continue the line in the same direction until you reach another bright, this time blue, star. You have just found Spica. Before you go on, there is one caveat. As you get more and more involved with the sky, you may actually catch a bug, a cold, an illness of some sort. The symptoms are primarily, that you want to spend more and more time out there learning and enjoying the constellations. You may actually see a falling star – actually a meteor – that will get you even sicker. You may even want to join an astronomy club. You may soon realize that there may not be a cure for this, and that it cou