Aloha Pluto Pals!
PLUTO IS NOT ALONE: New Horizons is now less than 4 days from Pluto. For years, the “dwarf” planet has been little more than a fuzzy blob in the eyepieces of distant telescopes. Not even the Hubble Space Telescope could see it clearly. Those days are over. On July 7th, New Horizons snapped this image of Pluto and its biggest moon Charon from a distance of only 5 million miles:
Neither Pluto nor Charon is a “fuzzy blob.” Moreover, the crisp images reveal many interesting differences: The reddish materials that color Pluto seem to be completely absent on Charon. On Charon, only a dark polar region interrupts the light gray terrain.
“These two objects have been together for billions of years, in the same orbit, but they are totally different,” says Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. Stern is the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission.
Charon is about 750 miles (1200 kilometers) across, about half the diameter of Pluto—making it the solar system’s largest moon relative to its planet. “Charon is now emerging as its own world,” adds John Spencer, another member of the science team at the SwRI. “Its personality is beginning to really reveal itself.”
On July 14th, when New Horizons makes its closest approach to the Pluto-Charon system, the images it beams back will have 500 times better resolution than we see today. Stay tuned!
Here is a Hubble Image of Pluto and it’s 5 moons!!!
Maui Astronomy Club
Becky Sydney, president of the Maui Astronomy Club, has recently started a new business; MAUI ASTRONOMY TOURS.
www.mauiastronomytours.com (808) 868-6020
Tell your friends and spread the word. Becky will meet you for an awesome sunset on Haleakala Volcano and then use a deep space telescope when the star pop out. She provides heavy coats, gloves, hats, blankets, and face cover. Organic snacks and water are also included. See the stars like you’ve never seen! It’s magical.
Haleakala is one of the best places in the world to see the stars. The Milky Way is so bright you can read a book! With 300 clear nights per year, Hawaii is the only state in the USA that can see more than 80% of all stars in the sky AND see the Southern Cross (Springtime), Alpha Centauri (Springtime) and watch the Big Dipper dip beneath the horizon. Amazing.
Aloha all! Mark your calendar.
It is JD Armstrong’s pleasure to let you know about this month’s Maui Astronomy FREE Public Talk.
It will be on Friday June 26th, at 6:30 pm at the Maui Institute for Astronomy in Pukalani (below Longs Drug Store)
Dr. Gary Greenberg will be talking about
“The Art & History of the Microscope”.
Dr. Gary Greenberg
In the year 1600, the existence of a microscopic world was utterly unimaginable. A few years later, Robert Hooke published his famous book, “Micrographia: Or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquires Thereupon”. This was the world’s first best seller, and it revealed for the first time the hidden world that exists beyond our everyday perception. Since its invention, visionaries have used microscopes to save lives and reduce human suffering. Today, microscopes can image individual molecules and atoms, and have spawned the burgeoning field of nanotechnology.
The Maui Institute for Astronomy is at 34 Ohia Ku Street in Pukalani.
It is the big green building between the upcountry Longs and Kemehameha Schools.
We hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it and would like to watch the talk live, we will have streaming video at:
Please feel free to email JD with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. J. D. Armstrong
University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy
34 Ohia Ku Street
Pukalani, HI 96768
Maui Astronomy Club
Aloha and Happy May Day and Lei Day!
The heavens sure are celebrating.
Check out the western sky tonight and the coming week.
It’s going to be crazy busy!
The brightest stars in the sky, Aldebaran, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Castor, Pollux, Capella, etc will act like a web of stars with Super Bright Venus captured inside.
And watch little messenger Mercury …..he will quickly rise into the star web to make things more interesting.
NOTE: Very few people ever see Mercury with the naked eye since its presence is quick, short and low in the sky. (see article below)
FULL MOON PARTY: If you love the Full Moon, be sure to come to Fleetwoods on Front Street Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 7pm – 10pm.
I will be there with my scope showing everyone the magic of the Moon. I’m set up from 8pm -10pm. There’s food, music and dancing.
Mercury climbs quickly into view after sunset in early May as it hits the peak of its best evening appearance of 2015. The innermost planet orbits the Sun a bit like a moth drawn to a streetlight. The Sun’s glare hides Mercury much of the time, but at regular intervals, the world soars far enough from our star to show up just after sunset or before sunrise. This year, Mercury comes into view on evenings in January, May, September, and December; it appears before dawn in February, June, and October.
Read full article: http://www.astronomy.com/observing/sky-events/2015/04/catch-mercury-at-its-evening-best?
April’s Maui Astronomy Public Talk will be given by Dr. Tom Schad.
Tom will be talking about “Life Around Our Active Star”.
The talk will be held at the Maui Institute for Astronomy.
The talk will be on Friday April 24 at 6:30 pm.
“Over the centuries, humanity has tuned its existence to Earth’s seasons, created by our yearly travel around the Sun. At the dawn of the Machine Age, however, the seasons of the Sun itself proved influential to our progressing world. In this talk, we will explore the cycles of solar activity, and study the impact of these cycles throughout the heliosphere and on our modern society. We will learn of the interplay of new and old methods for the study of solar epochs, and anticipate the great advances of the Senator Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) currently being built on Haleakalā.”
The Maui Institute for Astronomy is at 34 Ohia Ku Street in Pukalani — between the upcountry Longs and Kamehameha Schools.
Thanks to those who made it to the Total Lunar Eclipse last night!
What a blast! And very memorable!
The lawn sprinklers came on during totality giving us all a jolt of adrenaline!
We moved all the gear quicker than mercury while Steve (our hero) jumped on the gushing water like a grenade!
Thanks again Steve! We were able to enjoy the remaining hours.
And Paul, thanks for bringing your computer and live steam from the Griffith Observatory with constant commentary by professional astronomers.
That was great!
The astronomers were commenting on how unusual this eclipse was with more bluish colors than expected.
They also said that totality was longer than predicted.
Next Total Lunar Eclipse visible from Maui will be January 31, 2018!
Here are a few of my favorite pics.
If you have a good one, send it along and I’ll share it with the club.
ALOHA! Don’t forget about the Total Lunar Eclipse this Friday, April 3, 2015.
The Maui Astronomy Club will be meeting at Kamaole 3 Beach Park in Kihei.
Meet at 11:00 PM in grassy area – – – park on the road side.
If the weather doesn’t look good, we can CHASE THE MOON! Be flexible.
Maximum eclipse is around 2:00 AM…..I will probably leave Kihei shortly after totality.
Bring a blanket, pillow, flashlight, and any snack or drinks for yourself.
Look for the telescope with red glow sticks.
Bring your cell phone or camera to take photos through the telescope!
Hope to see you there.
Maui Astronomy Club
What a great year of astronomy in 2014!
Many discoveries, a few mysteries and 2 Total Lunar Eclipses visible from Maui!
Here’s a short summary of news and events we experienced this year.
2015 will be just as exciting with 2 more Total Lunar Eclipses and now after sunset, beautiful Venus will shine bright like a diamond!!
Happy Holidays and see you next year, 2015 – Year of the Sheep or Goat 🙂
Hebrew year 5774 – Islam year 1435 – Star Trek star date 308984
Black Moon – 2 New Moons in one month 1/1/14 and 1/30/14
John Dobson (Dobsonian Telescope inventor) died 1/15/14
Strange donut shaped rock appears on Mars. 1/20/14
donut rock on Mars
Valentine’s Day Full Moon – Maui sees a rabbit shape on the Moon. 2/14/14
China’s lunar rover, Jade Rabbit, comes back to life!
Vernal Equinox Party 3/20/14
New Dwarf Planet found in our solar system……planet X?
Declan magically balanced an egg during the equinox sunset.
First asteroid discovered with rings! Asteroid Cheriklo orbits between Saturn and Uranus.
Total Lunar Eclipse 4/14/14
LADEE Moon satellite crashes into Moon 4/18/14
Maui sees Missile Test at sunset 5/20/14
Jupiter, Mars and Saturn visible! 6/18/14
Milky Way at La Perouse. 6/27/14
Lahaina Noon day 7/16/14 – no shadow when sun is overhead.
Super Moon and Perseids and Saturn’s hexagonal cloud 8/11/14
Harvest Moon is another Super Moon! 9/8/14
Moon occults Saturn. 9/27/14
2nd Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014 10/7/14
Makahiki Season begins with rise of Pleiades star cluster. 11/5/14
Rosetta Mission lands on comet! 11/12/14
Geminid Meteor Shower at La Perouse. 12/14/14
Green Comet Lovejoy under Sirius. 12/19/14
Aloha Good Earthings!
What a wondrous synchronicity that Maui’s GMO Moratorium passed right in time for the Makahiki Celebration!!! And the Full Moon!!!!
Makahiki, the rising of the Pleiades star cluster, marks the start of Hawaiian ceremonies that make tribute to HEALTHY LANDS, precious NATURAL RESOURCES, ABUNDANT FOOD and SUSTAINABILITY. Makahiki is the Hawaiian New Year as in Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year)
And the Moon is one of the main agricultural tools used by farmers since time memorial!
Wow, what are the odds!!? Yay to the Pleiades!!! Be sure to watch for this marvelous star nursery in the East shortly after sunset.
And the Full Moon tonight will also rise shortly after sunset!!! Isn’t nature magical?! Happy Happy Joy Joy.
Once a year, as the sun slips into the ocean, a watery blue cluster of stars rises from the opposite skyline. The first appearance of the Pleiades, known in Hawaiian as Makalii, signals the beginning of the Makahiki season in Hawaii, a time of ancient ceremonies celebrating the arrival of Lono — god of thunder, rain and harvest.
Kepa Maly, ethnographer and executive director of Lanai Culture and Heritage Center, says these ceremonial tributes allowed the chiefs and common people to take stock of their resources; abundant offerings signaled healthy lands and reefs. “Makahiki,” Maly says, “is about knowing boundaries — that resources have limitations. If we take too much today we will have zero for tomorrow.” Makahiki was a time of assessment, uniformly observed across the islands. It was, he says, a time of renewal for the people, the land and the sea.
The reflowering of Hawaiian culture has brought with it a growing appreciation for the lessons of Makahiki. “It’s still important,” Kepa Maly says, “because it connects people with the sacred, familial relationship shared with the land and natural resources about them.”
Keeaumoku Kapu, taro farmer and Hawaiian cultural practitioner, says, “In pre-Contact Hawaii we could manage ourselves by identifying different moons, seasons, and stars” to help grow and harvest abundant food — enough to sustain island populations similar to today. Just as the first sighting each year of a single constellation triggered a time for renewal, he sees Makahiki as a “cultural beacon to bring reverence to the ways of the past” that sustain the land.
Kapu helped organize a torch walk that encircled the island of Maui, covering 193 miles over seven days. Kapu says the walk was about enlightening and unifying the people of Maui.
Maui Astronomy Club