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3 July – 11 August 2016 – How is the star Sirius connected to the “Dog Days” of summer?       Find out…

Last week of July 2016 – Spot all 5 naked-eye planets simultaneously in the early evening sky. Find out how…

Next Public Star Gazes

Alan Davis —Grassland Lodge Milky WayContinue to check this home page posting as weather and road conditions could change the venue or postpone and possibly cancel a star gaze. Check-in again after 5:00 p.m. on the afternoon of the observing session for the latest info and update. (Image credit: Alan Davis, taken at Grassland Mountain Observatory)

29 July 2016 – Friday night – The location for this star gaze will be Grassland Mountain Observatory in Madison County.  The weather backup night is Saturday, July 30th.  This event is free and open to the general public — registration is not necessary to attend.  A temporary gate code, required for entry, will be posted on this club website home page by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the star gaze.  Directions to Grassland Mountain Observatory can be found here.  Sunset occurs at 8:36 p.m.

5 August 2016 – Friday night – The location for this star gaze will be the Mt. Pisgah trailhead parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The weather backup night is Saturday, August 6th. This event is free and open to the general public — registration is not necessary to attend.  Directions to the Mt. Pisgah trailhead parking lot can be found here. Sunset occurs at 8:30 p.m.

4 August 2016 – Next Club Meeting

Thursday night, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. In the Manheimer Room at the lower level of the Reuter Center on the UNC Asheville campus

Eleanor Taylor Celestial Navigation“Celestial Navigation Education in the Coast Guard – from the Classroom to the Fleet” — Presented by Lieutenant James Toomey, United States Coast Guard

For centuries sailors depended upon a familiarity with the heavens to navigate at sea, and measuring the position of the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets in the sky was the key to determining one’s location. Mastery of tools such as the astrolabe and, later, the sextant was as important to the seafaring traveler as knowledge of rigging and knot tying. As humankind ventured from the seas to the skies, star-sailors (astronauts) even found celestial navigation essential enough to be used on the Apollo missions to the moon.

Modern technology and the remarkable accuracy of Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), however, rendered the art of celestial navigation obsolete and arcane, and the U.S. military completely phased out maritime celestial navigation instruction by the mid-2000s. Read more…

Perseids 201611/12 August 2016 – The Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks.  Read more…