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Keep Looking Up!


“The Sky Is Falling!…Friday Night!” by Gary Fugman
After dark out away from the glare of streetlights and yard lights this Friday night you may notice a strange event.  Every minute you may see one or two bright, long tailed meteors, shooting “stars”, streaming from the northeastern sky.  You linger outside for awhile…and you see more of them!  What’s happening?  Is the sky falling?
In a way, yes.  Sand sized bits of debris from a comet that passed through the part of Earth’s orbit known as August 11-12 are hitting the air you breathe 60 miles above your head.  Friction with the air heats the debris and you see “the sky falling”, the Perseid Meteor Shower every August 11-12.  This is such a wonderful, natural, heavenly display that we’re having a party and you are invited!
All are invited to Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club’s Perseid Meteor Shower Party.  Weather permitting, this Friday, August 11 at 9pm at the Cory and Tracie Martin residence 3 miles south of Lyons, 1519 Highway 77, bring your lawn chairs and blankets, sit back and watch “the sky falling”.  Meteor rates of 1-2 per minute, 120 per hour, are common.  Two large astronomical telescopes will be available to view the Moon, planets, stars and other objects.  You are invited bring your binoculars and telescope along for the evening.  Traditional Perseid Meteor Shower Party refreshments will be served.  A third quarter Moon rising before midnight will blot out dim meteors, but bright meteors will still be able to be seen.
For more information on this and future NENAC events and presentations, google “nenacstars” or call Pastor Gary Fugman at 349-1953 and “Keep Looking Up!”
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Keep Looking Up!


By Gary Fugman

How Do You Say Xi Camelopardalis?”
Did you know that every star you can see with the unaided eye has a name? Some names are interesting: Polaris, Vega, Betelgeuse, Rigel…Others less so: Beta Cancri, Kappa Librae, or Xi Camelopardalis. How do you say those, anyway? This month’s Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club (NENAC) meeting will explore the names of stars and their pronunciations. We’ll also talk a little bit about who named these stars and the constellations in which they reside. The meetings are Friday, March 31st at 8pm at the Lyons Library and Saturday, April 1st at 8pm at the Decatur Sears Center. Then at 9pm, weather permitting, Friday we will go to Cory and Tracie Martins’ south of Lyons and Saturday to Fugman Observatory on the south side of Decatur to observe the night sky through large astronomical telescopes. You are invited to bring your binoculars or telescope as well.
For more information on this and future NENAC presentations, please call Cory Martin at 687-2631, and Keep Looking Up!

Keep Looking Up!


“Your Lunar Learning Curve; Get Started Observing the Moon” By Gary Fugman

 

Photo Courtesy of Gary Fugman.

Photo Courtesy of Gary Fugman.

Happy New Year!  How about starting 2015 with a fun project that cam be accomplished in just four weeks?  This fun project will teach you much about our nearest neighbor in space, the Moon.  The project is well suited for young or inexperienced observers and develops your visual, binocular and small telescope skills.  Besides, after this experience, you could take your “date” outside on a perfect evening, promise him/her the Moon and stars…and really deliver!
This Friday, January 16 at 7pm at the Lyons Library and Saturday, January 17 at 7pm at the Decatur Sears Center, Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club (NENAC) with Pastor Gary Fugman will lead a discussion on completing a one month Astronomical League project to observe the Moon.  We will explain what features on the Moon can be seen with the naked eye, binoculars and a small telescope.  Then the discussion will center on what particular features to observe the third week of January, before 1st quarter Moon, the last week of January, 1st quarter Moon, the first week of February, full Moon, and the second week of February, 3rd quarter Moon.  Lists of lunar craters, seas, mountains and other features will be explained.  Ways to log and sketch your lunar observations will be discussed.  Moon maps will be made available and how to obtain your Astronomical League lunar certificate and pin will be explained.  Plus, you’ll be ready on Saturday, February14 to give your Valentine the Moon and the stars!
Later in the evening the January evening sky will be shown to all on free stars charts.  Weather permitting, Friday we will go to the Cory and Tracie Martin residence 3 miles south of Lyons and Saturday to Fugman Observatory on the south side of Decatur to observe the night sky through large, astronomical telescopes.  You are invited to bring your binoculars and telescopes as well.  Please dress warmly as winter evenings cool quickly.
For more information on this and future NENAC programs, google “nenacstars” or call Pastor Gary Fugman at 349-1953 and Keep Looking Up!
Questions to Consider:
Why are humans so intrigued with the Moon?
When you look up at the Moon, why are some areas white and some areas grey?

Your Astronomy to the Next Level


Keep Looking Up! by Pastor Gary Fugman
Bill and Joel with the C11 telescope in Hedges Lost in Space Observatory. Photo Courtesy of Nenacstars.

Bill and Joel with the C11 telescope in Hedges Lost in Space Observatory. Photo Courtesy of Nenacstars.

OK.  So, you look up at the night sky and are familiar with some of the constellations.  Maybe you have come to a NENAC (Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club) meeting or two and have learned more about some of what you see in the night sky.  So, what could help you take your interest in astronomy to the next level?

All are invited to this Friday, July 25 at 9pm at the Lyons Library and Saturday, July 26 at 9pm at the Decatur Sears Center to this month’s NENAC.  There Pastor GaryFugman will lead a discussion on the opportunity for you to participate in observing programs for children, new observers and experienced telescope owners alike.  Wow, all this in one evening!  The Astronomical League, a national organization, has an observing activity for everyone interested in astronomy.  Options for joining the Astronomical League will be investigated at NENAC this weekend.  This month’s night sky will also be discussed complete with free star charts.
Then, weather permitting, at 10pm Friday we will travel 3 miles south of Lyons to the Cory and Tracie Martin residence to observe Saturn and deep sky objects through Cory’s powerful telescope.  Saturday, we will travel to the south side of Decatur to observe through Pastor Gary’s powerful telescope.  You are encouraged to bring your binoculars or telescope as well.
For more information on this and future NENAC presentations, google “nenacstars” or phone Pastor Gary Fugman at 349-1953, and Keep Looking Up! 
Questions to Consider:
What would help you to increase your interest in the night sky?
How can you share with others and learn from others’ experience in astronomy?

Keep Looking Up!


By Gary Fugman

Cory Martin observing through the 17.5″ reflector at Fugman Observatory. Photo courtesy of Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club.

Cory Martin observing through the 17.5″ reflector at Fugman Observatory. Photo courtesy of Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club.

“Jupiter To Be Seen At It’s Best This Week!”
Young and old alike are invited to Northeast Nebraska Astronomy Club (NENAC) this weekend for a close up look at the “King of the Planets”, Jupiter.  Pastor Gary Fugman, member of NENAC, states, “Here in January 2014, Jupiter is now about as good as we ever see it from Earth.  Jupiter is an active, giant planet that easily displays cloud belts with various changing details and four Galilean moons that cross the planet regularly.”  It is no wonder that when Galileo first turned his telescope to the night sky and spied Jupiter and it’s moons that astronomy and the Earth’s place in the heavens was changed forever.
Share the thrill of seeing Jupiter for yourself!  This Friday, January 17 at 7pm at the Lyons Library and Saturday, January 18 at 7pm at the Decatur Sears Center Pastor Gary will take you on a tour of Jupiter.  First, we will start inside with computer projections of Jupiter and free star charts, then, weather permitting, we will go outside to view Jupiter at the Hedges Observatory Friday and the Fugman Observatory Saturday.  Please dress warmly as the temperature drops quickly after sunset.
For information on this and future NENAC presentations, call Pastor Gary Fugman at 349-1953 or google “nenacstars” and Keep Looking Up!
Questions to Consider:
We observe volcanoes on Earth.  Where was the 2nd place humans observed volcanoes in the Solar System?
Why are the volcanoes on this other place in the Solar System active?
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