Monday, September 15, 2014

The DC Women's Hiking Group will meet at Topstone Park in Redding on Tues., Sept., 16th and Thurs., Sept. 18th.

Take Topstone Rd. off of Rt. 7.
Follow road over RR tracks until it becomes a dirt road.
Shortly after, a parking area will be on the right side of the road.
Meet at 8:30am.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The DC Women's Hiking Group will meet Tues., Sept. 9th and Thurs., Sept. 11th at Lake Windwing.
Now that the children are back at school, come join us for a hike!
Take Rt. 35 to the traffic light at Limestone Rd.
Turn left on to Limestone Rd.
Follow Limestone, it will turn into Bennetts Farm Rd.
Follow to across from Ridgebury Elementary School and turn right on to South Shore Dr.
Turn left into baseball field and parking area.
Meet at 8:30am.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sept. 2014 Constellation of the Month - Sagittarius


We can use our either our July constellation of the month -- the Summer Triangle --  or our August constellation -- Scorpius --  to find our September constellation of the month – Sagittarius.  The Summer Triangle points south to a spot just east of the teapot-shaped Sagittarius, which, in turn, is just east of Scorpius.  Sagittarius is easy to recognize, being compact in shape and comprised of moderately bright stars.
Sagittarius is unique in at least one respect: when you look in the direction of Sagittarius, you are looking toward the center of our Milky Way Galaxy.  Not surprisingly, the band of the Milky Way appears brightest in that direction.  
The center of our galaxy is about 27,000 light years from the Earth – or 27,000 times 6 trillion miles.  At the center is a super-huge black hole with a mass of about 4 million of our Suns.  It is constantly adding to its mass by sucking in everything which is "nearby" by astronomical standards, including stars, nebulae and other black holes.
 
 Sagittarius has several nebulae and star clusters which can be seen in small telescopes, such as those we use in Discovery Center astronomy events.  The most famous of these are the spectacular Lagoon Nebula (below), the Omega Nebula and the Trifid Nebula.

 
 

Monday, September 1, 2014

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Tues., Sept. 2nd and Thurs., Sept. 4th at
Saugatuck Falls Natural Area in Redding, CT.
The entrance is located between
mail box # 65 and 73 on Diamond Hill Road in Redding. Follow
straight in until you see the large sign (entrance marker) on your left.
Meet at 8:30am.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Green Corn Supermoon



For those who missed the July 12 rendition of a supermoon, your second chance is coming up.  It will happen on Sunday, Aug. 10th at 2:09PM ET.  It will continue to look “super” throughout Sunday evening and into early Monday morning.  This will be the largest and brightest moon of the year.  A supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same days as its perigee, when it is closest to the earth in its orbit.  In his case a mere 221,796 miles away.  This is a fairly common occurrence but it does make for a good “Moon Media Event”.   This month’s moon will appear 12% bigger and 30% brighter than the January 2014 event.  However, it is not the brightest of the supermoons.  That occurred on March 19, 2011 at 14% bigger; a fullness that won’t occur again till 2030.  However, to the casual observer, it is hard to tell this minor difference.   To view a supermoon for its maximum effect, look to the distant horizon making sure you have objects such as mountains or buildings in the foreground.  As the moon rises behind these objects, it creates an optical illusion, which makes it look even larger to the naked eye.  Don’t worry if you miss it, the moon will appear full for several more days.  However, if you miss it all together, the next supermoon will occur on Sept. 28, 2015. Enjoy the night sky! (Photo by David Haworth - Nightskyinfo.com)