Maui Astronomy Club

Current Moon Phase

Waning Gibbous Moon
Waning Gibbous Moon

The moon is currently in Virgo
The moon is 16 days old

Distance: 56 earth radii
Ecliptic latitude: 4 degrees
Ecliptic longitude: 178 degrees

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    Romancing the Stars

    Aloha Star Lovers!

    You know in romantic movies where they show a man and woman running towards each other in slow motion?

    Eventually to embrace after much anticipation?
    Well…. this is the drama happening in the night sky after sunset!
    Look west and see Venus the goddess of Love and Beauty and Jupiter the King of the gods blazing through the twilight as the first “stars” that pop out after sunset.
    Venus is the brighter of the two and Jupiter sits above her…..reaching for her warm embrace.  Look how Venus is dazzling with rays….she really looks like a star!
    Watch in the next coming nights as Venus and Jupiter appear to travel towards each other night by night…..slowly closing the gap between them.
    On June 19,  behold the Magic Triangle….Venus, the crescent Moon and Jupiter forming a triangle in the west.
    file file
    Then, the big event, June 30 when Venus and Jupiter kiss!  It will be a beautiful sight to behold!  Mark your calendars.

    Venus in a Star Trap

    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.
    MercuryfinderchartRead full article:

    Free Astronomy Talk Tonight

    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.

    Total Lunar Eclipse Pics 4.4.15


    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.
    Becky Sydney
    total-lunar-eclipse-april-15-mt-lemmon-skycenter-3Maui Astronomy Club

    2014 Year in Review

    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 🙂

    January 2014: 

    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
    John Dobson

    John Dobson

    donut rock on Mars

    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
    Maui Sky 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

    A perigee moon rises in Washington, DC,

    PastedGraphic-1 3   tumblr_n5mkbcH5Ls1qjzvh2o1_500

    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

    makahiki-pleiades-offerings-hawaiian-culture 2-photorelease

    Geminid Meteor Shower at La Perouse.  12/14/14
    Green Comet Lovejoy under Sirius.  12/19/14

    Lovejoy1-550px  PastedGraphic-1 3

    Makahiki in Hawaii

    makahiki-pleiades-offerings-hawaiian-culture 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.
    Becky Sydney
    Maui Astronomy Club


    Aloha Totality Troopers!

    October 7, 2014 is another TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE seen from Maui!
    This will be number 2 out of 4 TLEs happening back to back to back to back!  hee, hee, hee.
    We sure do live in exciting times!
    You can see on the map below that Hawaii will have the BEST VIEW!!! Yay.
    The Maui Astronomy Club doesn’t have a site chosen yet where to observe because
    it is all dependent on the weather.  Possibly Haleakala?  Or a beach area that’s cloud free?
    Event UTC Time Time in Honolulu* Visible in Honolulu
    Penumbral Eclipse begins Oct 8 at 8:17 AM Oct 7 at 10:17 PM Yes
    Partial Eclipse begins Oct 8 at 9:18 AM Oct 7 at 11:18 PM Yes
    Full Eclipse begins Oct 8 at 10:27 AM Oct 8 at 12:27 AM Yes
    Maximum Eclipse Oct 8 at 10:55 AM Oct 8 at 12:55 AM Yes
    Full Eclipse ends Oct 8 at 11:22 AM Oct 8 at 1:22 AM Yes
    Partial Eclipse ends Oct 8 at 12:32 PM Oct 8 at 2:32 AM Yes
    Penumbral Eclipse ends Oct 8 at 1:32 PM Oct 8 at 3:32 AM Yes
    Lunar_eclipse_April_15_2014_California_Alfredo_Garcia_Jr1      PastedGraphic-1

    Institute for Astronomy OPEN HOUSE

    Mark your calendar for the annual Open House of the IfA, located at 34 Ohia Ku Street, Pukalani, Maui.

    FRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 19, 2014   –   6:00PM – 8:00PM  –  INSTITUTE FOR ASTRONOMY

    The fun kicks off at 6pm  with interesting guest speakers, science demonstrations, liquid nitrogen ice cream and telescope observation.

    For more information please email JD Armstrong jd@IfA.Hawaii.Edu

    Or call 573-9500 or visit our web site:

    Hope to see you there!


    Institute for Astronomy

    Institute for Astronomy

    Astro Talk Next Friday

    Thanks to those who made it to the crater last night! Wow! It was an 11!!!! Can’t wait to show you Johanna’s picture of the Milky Way!

    We met for sunset at the summit and stayed there until 7:30pm meeting up with the Club then we voted to go to the crater parking lot near the restrooms because it was less windy.

    We observed until after 9pm seeing Saturn, M6, M22, M16, NGC6231, M8 looking their best! Lots of satellites and meteors too.

    Hosmer’s Grove was a rare sight! You could read by the light of the Milky Way!!! Got to campsite after 10pm and built a wondrous fire. Stayed up with Johanna, John and Chica talking story.

    I had so much fun I will probably camp there again next Thursday night if anyone wants to join me 🙂

    FROM JD ARMSTRONG: The next Maui IfA Public talk will be help on August 29th at 6:30 pm. Dr. Hiromu Nakagawa will be talking about “Remote Sensing of Martian “Life”: Evidence From Haleakalā”.

    The Maui IfA is located at 34 O’hia Ku Street in Pukalani — between the upcountry Longs and Kamehameha schools.

    “Remote Sensing of Martian “Life”: Evidence From Haleakalā”
    Dr. Hiromu Nakagawa

    Recent extensive exploration of Mars by the US and Europe has provided a wealth of new information about our neighbor and has significantly changed our perspective on the red planet. Mars is sometimes called “a frozen water planet,” but it almost certainly experienced a warm and wet climate in the past. The question, “Why and when did Earth and Mars diverge?” is essential for understanding how the the development of life depends on environment. Here we discuss our attempts to find evidence of life on Mars using dedicated instruments on Haleakalā.

    Live video of the talk will be available at:

    and the flier can be found at: