Saturn at Opposition: June 27th

Saturn with 2.5x Powermate™™
Moons Enceladus & Tethys visible on original.
©Ed Grafton

Saturn is in opposition tonight: it  glides above the horizon around sunset and will be over 18-arc-seconds in diameter for a few weeks. At about magnitude 0.0, it will pair well with the full moon that accompanies it across the sky this evening. 

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Cherry Springs Star Party Recap!

Cherry Springs Star Party sponsored by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, PA., scope domes, and entrance. Blue International Dark Sky Association (IDA) sign at entrance designates this as an International Dark Sky Park.  (A. Martinez)
Tele Vue’s crew at the Cherry Springs Star Party (CSSP) event included Al Nagler, Jon Betancourt, and Paul Dellechiaie along with Alvaro Martinez from AstronSCIENTIFIC.
 

The Passing of Alan Bean, 4th Man to Walk on the Moon

At Stellafane 2009 Alan Bean (left) shakes hand with Al Nagler (right).

From New York Times OBITUARIES

Alan Bean, who became the fourth man to walk on the moon and turned to painting years later to tell the story of NASA’s Apollo missions as they began receding into history, died on Saturday at Houston Methodist Hospital. He was 86.

His death was announced by his family in a statement released by NASA.

Mr. Bean stepped onto the lunar surface preceded by Pete Conrad, the mission commander of their Apollo 12 flight, in November 1969, four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first lunar explorers.

— Goldstein, R. (2018, May 26) Alan Bean, 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, Dies at 86. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/obituaries/alan-bean-astronaut-dies.html

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Mars Madness 2018 Eyepiece Rebate for U.S. Customers!

Official Rebate Form

Mars will be growing rapidly in apparent diameter in the weeks up to the big Mars Opposition on July 27, 2018. With Mars peaking this summer, Tele Vue Optics is making it easier to take a peek with rebates on 13mm and shorter focal length eyepieces for customers in the USA, US Territories, and those with APO/FPO Addresses.

It’s important to understand that Mars Opposition is not a one-day event. From June 18th to September 15th – basically the whole summer – the angular diameter of the planet will match or exceed the 18.38-arc-sec diameter  it achieved at the 2016 Opposition.

Furthermore, the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers notes that “Mars will exceed 24-arc-sec in diameter between July 23rd and August 9th, 2018. This is 97 percent of the maximum of 25.13-arc-sec diameter attained during the last of the ‘favorable’ apparitions, which occurred in 2003.” In fact, due to orbital eccentricity, Mars and Earth continue to draw ever-closer after this opposition, with the distance shrinking by another 111,000-miles / 179,000-km when they are nearest on July 31, 2018!

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