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OBSERVATORY OPEN HOUSE TONIGHT! September 30, 2011

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EIU Observatory

It’s the last Friday of the month so it’s time for the open house at the observatory. It starts at 8:00PM tonight, rain or shine! If the weather cooperates we will be viewing the Ring Nebula through the main 16″ telescope under the dome. The Ring Nebula is one of the most famous planetary nebula, the gaseous remains of a red giant star.

There will also be smaller telescopes and binoculars to view the heavens with.  If this is your first time to visit you can find us on this map.  Park in the university  lot next to the Methodist Church, or if you need closer parking because of movement restrictions drive up the gravel road leading to the observatory.  See you there!

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ASTRONOMY CLUB TONIGHT! September 28, 2011

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Telescope training tonight! No previous knowledge necessary!

Meeting starts in Room 2153, Physical Science Building  at 8:00PM, then on to the telescopes.

NEW PODCAST! : Carnival of Space September 27, 2011

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http://365daysofastronomy.org/2011/09/22/september-22nd-carnival-of-space-215-the-podcast/

Description: The Carnival of Space is a weekly compilation of astronomy, space and general science-related news drawn from science blogs and websites across the Internet.

UPDATE on Satellite re-entry September 23, 2011

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Fri, 23 Sep 2011 06:30:46 PM CDT

As of 7 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 90 miles by 95 miles (145 km by 150 km). Re-entry is expected between 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 3 a.m., Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time (3 a.m. to 7 a.m. GMT). During that time period, the satellite will be passing over Canada, Africa and Australia, as well as vast areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. The risk to public safety is very remote.

Happy Equinox! September 23, 2011

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, satellites.
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Here in Charleston the forecast is cloudy with a small chance of late falling  satellite debris.

What a fragment might look like as it enters the Earths atmosphere. APOD: Credit & Copyright: Howard Edin (Oklahoma City Astronomy Club)

In case you haven’t heard, the NASA UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) is expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere late evening GMT on September 23 or early morning on September 24. It is about the size of a city bus, so some of the denser parts made of Beryllium and Titanium are expected to survive.

Computer simulations estimate about two dozen fragments weighing from 10 to several hundred pounds are expected to hit the Earth.  Now they won’t hit at orbital speeds of 17,000 mph, but some fragments might be traveling up to 200 mph when they hit the ground.

Right now, the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies lists the projected re-entry time as 03:16 on Sept. 24, plus or minus 5 hours.  September 24, 2011 at 03:16 UTC ± 5 hours; or September  23, at 10:16 PM ± 5 hours Central Daylight Time