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   November 15, 2014 Meeting

Usually the first optical instrument any of us look through (not counting eye glasses) is a pair of binoculars. Also, one of the most common questions we, as amateur astronomers, get is "What sort of telescope should we buy for our daughter, son, niece, nephew, or grandchild?" Usually our first response is to suggest a pair of binoculars. So tonight's topic is binoculars. We'll look at (and through) a bunch of different kinds of binoculars. And we'll talk about how they work and some good ways to use them to enjoy the night sky.  Feel free to bring any binoculars you might have. If it's clear we'll do some observing afterward.

The Ames Area Amateur Astronomers is a dynamic organization with activities held year-round. Each month at our meeting we present a guest speaker, with exciting lectures about space and astronomy.

   October 23, 2014 Meeting

This Thursday there will be a partial solar eclipse (sibling to the lunar eclipse we saw two weeks before). If weather cooperates, our club is planning to have a couple of observing locations set up for club members and the public to safely observe the eclipse. We plan to set up at McFarland park and in downtown Ames. The eclipse starts around 4:30 p.m. CDT and will be visible until sunset at about 6:30 p.m. CDT. At McFarland the scopes will be set up either by the conservation center or up at the observatory - look for telescopes.
In Ames, we'll be setting up at the small park on west Main St. by the restaurant that used to be Lucullan's.

We plan to have some solar telescopes set up as well as solar projection equipment and solar observing glasses at each site. We have a couple people lined up to help out. But if you were willing to come out to either help or just relax and observe at one site or the other we would love to have you!
It's also a good preview to the total solar eclipse that will be visible to a large part of the country in 2017.

 

Check out Spaceweather for the latest news and information.
2014 IASP logo

Click here for information on this year's Iowa Star Party.  To see the video from IPTV from last year's,  Click here.

   
There are two comets that will be visible yet this year - Comet ISON and Comet Lovejoy. Have you seen them?
In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth.
   
When the sunspot number is high, so is the chance of flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class flares and a 15% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 17-18. Credit: SDO/AIA.
   
 
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