Friday, May 23, 2014

The DC Women's Hiking Group will meet at Pine Mountain on Tues., May 27th and Thurs., May 29th.
Take Ridgebury Rd. and take a right on to George Washington Hwy.
Follow George Washington Hwy. to end and take a right on to Pine Mountain Rd.
Meet at the parking area at the end of Pine Mountain Rd. at 8:30am.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 2014 Constellation of the Month: Bootes

"Arc to Arcturus":  Face north, and find the Big Dipper high in the sky.  The dipper shape is comprised of a bowl formed by 4 stars and an arc-shaped handle of 3 stars. Extend the curve of the arc away from the Dipper – to the East and South.  The very bright star nearby is Arcturus, in the constellation Bootes.

Bootes is shaped like a kite.  Arcturus is at the bottom of the kite.  In Greek mythology, Bootes is either the Hunter or Herdsman – hunting or herding the bear represented by the Big Dipper (Ursa Major, or Big Bear in Latin).  In May 2014, there are two bright planets Mars and Saturn, which are south and east of Arcturus

Arcturus is the 2nd brightest star visible from earth's northern hemisphere.  The brightest is Sirius, which sets around 9 PM in May.  In brightness, Arcturus just edges out the very bright star Vega, in the constellation Lyra, northeast of Bootes.  Arcturus appears orange to the naked eye, and it is classified as a red giant – which is what our sun will become in about 5 billion years, as it nears the end of its life.

There are no exciting nebulae or galaxies in Bootes, but there are some nice double stars which can be seen as such in binoculars.  The best of these is named Izar, or epsilon Bootis.  It has an orange giant close to a white dwarf.  It was given the name Pulcherrima, "most beautiful," by its discoverer. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Tues., May, 13th and Thurs., May 15th at Scott Lot Preserve in Redding, CT.
Coming from the north on Route 7 turn left onto Old Redding Rd. Right after going under RR bear right onto Mountain Rd. Follow Mountain Rd. to end and turn left onto Peaceable St. Parking for the open space will be on the left. If you come to an electrical substation, you went too far.
Meet at 8:30am.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The DC Women's Hiking Group will try out a new trail the week of Tues., May 6th and Thurs., May 8th.
The Knapp Preserve is located on Bennett's Farm Rd. across from Whitlock Lane.
Park on Whitlock Lane and meet at the trailhead on Bennett's Farm Rd. at 8:30am.