DAS Activities

DAS Public Nights

Public Nights
Tuesday and Thursday at
DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
Current start time is 8:30 pm.

Costs to the public are:
$4.00 adults, $3.00 children

To book, please click:

Public Night Reservations

DENVER OBSERVER

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DAS News

Van Nattan-Hansen Scholarship Fund 2019

The Van Nattan-Hansen Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for 2019. Denver Astronomical Society’s VNH Scholarship program provides support for worthy graduating high school students or undergraduate college students majoring in astronomy and the physical sciences.
Applicants must either be graduating high school seniors or undergraduate college students in good standing. Enrollment must be equivalent to at least a half-time load for the academic term as defined by the institution. All requests for consideration should be accompanied by the following information:
1) Official Transcripts showing a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) including the final transcript of the applicant’s last semester.
2) A dated and signed letter of intent demonstrating the applicant’s interest and the declared major.
3) Letters of recommendation from at least two reputable sources.

Application Deadline: July 1, 2019.


Awards will be made by August 1st.
E-mailed applications will not be accepted.


Mail your application to:
Naomi Pequette, Chair Person
Van Nattan-Hansen Scholarship Committee
Denver Astronomical Society
PO Box 102738
Denver, CO 80250
For more information, visit the Denver Astronomical Society’s Scholarships page.

May 2019 Skies

Along with the planets this month, we’ve got two targets in the constellation Canes Venatici—one is a sun-like star, and the other a bright spiral galaxy. Let’s get going… …Continue reading “May 2019 Skies” »

April 2019 Skies

by Zachary Singer

For April, we’re looking at a beautiful binary in Leo, and some galaxies in a tight grouping—but perhaps not the one you’re guessing! First, though, we have the planets….

…Continue reading “April 2019 Skies” »

President’s Message, April 2019

Volunteerism

by Ed Ladner

First, let me express my appreciation to all the DAS members who participated in the most recent elections. Without your support, this Society could not exist.

 

I’d like to talk with you about volunteerism—the only thing that makes our Society work. We have volunteer needs for tasks big and small, once a year and monthly, for the experienced astronomer or the complete beginner. At last count, …Continue reading “President’s Message, April 2019” »

Astro Update, April 2019

Selected Summaries of Space News

by Don Lynn

Asteroid Sampled

Hayabusa2 (a Japanese spacecraft) has touched down on its target, the asteroid Ryugu, and completed a procedure to fire a projectile into it and collect the debris blown off. Another sample will be taken from inside a fresh impact crater to find out what the inside of the asteroid is made of. (Material on the surface has been subjected to millions of years of space weathering caused by radiation and micrometeorite impacts, so it won’t chemically be the same as the interior.) How will the spacecraft controllers find a fresh impact? They will make it by firing a huge impactor that is expected to make a crater two yards across.

Martian Air Pressure

InSight landed on Mars in November and has been sending weather reports back to Earth. Among its instruments is the most precise …Continue reading “Astro Update, April 2019” »

March 2019 Skies

© Zachary Singer

In March, we have a relatively quiet month for planets: Most of them are now early-morning objects, but they are at a greater angle from the Sun, allowing better observing. In the “Stars and Deep Sky” section, we’ll look at two stars in the constellation Cancer—the first is a wonderful binary, and the other, a lesser-known carbon star. …Continue reading “March 2019 Skies” »

Astro Update, March 2019

Selected Summaries of Space News

More New Horizons Results

More data has been received from the New Horizons spacecraft since its recent flyby of the Kuiper Belt object informally named Ultima Thule. One new result is that the larger of the object’s two lobes is not so much spherical, as thick-pancake-shaped. This shape was determined from examining what stars were blocked by that lobe in images taken from the object’s night side.

Both lobes display similar reflectivity and color, implying that they formed in the same way and then gently collided. …Continue reading “Astro Update, March 2019” »

President’s Message, March 2019

Passing the Gavel

This month, we have a joint message, with Ron Hranac, our outgoing president, starting off. Ed Ladner, the DAS president-elect, follows…  —Editor

February’s well-attended annual membership meeting had a packed agenda, including election of Executive Board (“E-Board”) officers and trustees to serve a one-year term beginning later this month. A tip o’ the hat to the following individuals, who will be officially seated on Denver Astronomical Society’s E-Board during our March 23rd Spring Banquet (more information about the banquet can be found HERE).

Officers:

President – Ed Ladner

Vice President – Dena McClung …Continue reading “President’s Message, March 2019” »

February DAS In-Reach Cancelled

The DAS In-Reach originally scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd, 2019, has been cancelled. 

DAS News, February 2019

Lunar Eclipse Photos

DAS members were out in droves for the January 2019 full lunar eclipse, and they sent in some of their images…   Here’s a selection of their work:

Image of January 20th lunar eclipse.

This picture shows the Moon every half hour during the lunar eclipse. Each image is aligned with respect to the Earth’s shadow, so you can see the Moon passing through the shadow, as our satellite moves from west to east (from right to left). Image © Don Lynn.

…Continue reading “DAS News, February 2019” »

February Skies 2019

Image of M37, an open cluster.

Open cluster M37, by Joe Gafford.

 

by Zachary Singer

Some of our favorite planetary targets, Venus and Jupiter, are up in the pre-dawn sky this month, and Mercury appears in the evening, as we’ll see in “The Solar System,” below. In “Stars and Deep Sky,” we’ll take a look at two notable open clusters in Auriga, M36 and M37.

The Solar System

Mercury starts off February still lost in the solar glare, but begins to reappear after the first week of the month. It’s still difficult on the 10th, but the party is just beginning—just a few days later, on Valentine’s Day, you’ll see Mercury glowing at magnitude -1.2; look for it low in the west, …Continue reading “February Skies 2019” »

Astro Update, February 2019

Selected Summaries of Space News

by Don Lynn

Kuiper Belt Object Flyby

On December 31st, New Horizons (Pluto spacecraft) flew by the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, since unofficially named Ultima Thule, at a distance of only 2200 miles, fervently taking images and other data. This was the farthest-from-Earth spacecraft encounter with any celestial body.

Ultima Thule turns out to be a contact binary, that is, two roughly spherical bodies barely in contact with each other. The larger, “Ultima,” is about 12 miles across, while the smaller, “Thule,” is about nine. It’s thought that the two bodies came together early in the history of the solar system. The “crash” must have occurred at the speed of a walk, in order for them to have stuck with little damage.

The object is probably mostly water ice, though the surface is fairly dark (about as dark as our Moon’s dark markings) and reddish …Continue reading “Astro Update, February 2019” »

President’s Message, February 2019

Getting Involved

by Ron Hranac

Denver Astronomical Society is a volunteer-based organization that has been serving Colorado’s Front Range for nearly 70 years. Indeed, we wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the countless people who have made and continue to make DAS what it is today.

A couple questions that come up from time to time are “How can I become more active in DAS?” and “How can I volunteer?” …Continue reading “President’s Message, February 2019” »

January 26th In-Reach CANCELLED

Please note that the DAS In-Reach originally scheduled for this evening, Saturday, January 26th, has been cancelled. (Separately, we have some good news about our In-Reach program, and we’ll post that soon.)

Lunar Eclipse Party Update

We’ve been fielding questions these last few days about whether the DAS is hosting any activities for the upcoming Sunday, January 20th lunar eclipse. (Click here for an explanation of the eclipse and its timing.)

While DAS is not having an event, Mile High Astronomy, run by our own Sorin, is—they’re roping off their parking lot, and bringing out their telescopes (including some of their newest models), and eyepieces, too. You can also bring your own ‘scope—just let them know.

They’ll be there from 8:00 PM – 12 midnight.

Mile High Astrononomy is located at 9797 West Colfax Ave. #3VV, Lakewood 80215; 1-877-279-5280.

Directions on Google Maps

 

Click here to sign up (RSVP) on Facebook.