Stargazer: Countdown to 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 - Brownsville Herald: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Stargazer: Countdown to 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, July 8, 2019 10:40 am

Your media services are going to be filled with the Apollo 11 mission’s 50th anniversary information over the next few weeks. Let me tell you that a big event is being planned at the Christina Torres Memorial Observatory and Resaca De la Palma State Park from 8-11 p.m.

There will be several speakers associated with a variety of space missions, activities for kids, and viewing objects via the telescopes. We hope to see you there. If you have a memory of viewing the Apollo missions that were televised, share with your neighbors or with folks at the park that evening.

Those folks who say we never went there are ignoring the fact that for years the laser telescope at McDonald Observatory has been beaming lasers to reflectors placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo 11 astronauts. The laser beam measured the distance between Earth and the moon with exquisite precision and provided tests of General Relativity. Besides, how in the world could 40,000 people keep a secret?

The Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston has been completely refurbished in anticipation of the celebrations; if you have never taken your family to JSC, I urge you to make plans to visit soon. The magnificent endeavor will be visual, and you and your family will each take away memories of a bygone era of unprecedented scientific success and excitement. The impressive Saturn V rocket alone will knock your socks off, if you are wearing any.

Have you gone to the Send Your Name to Mars site yet? The deadline is approaching. Names submitted online will receive a frequent flier pass to print out and keep while the name will be engraved on a dime-sized microchip that will be attached to the outside part of the lander.

The website is go.nasa.gov/Mars2020Pass A souvenir you may want to have is the July issues of Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines. These standard astronomy magazines devoted the issues to the Apollo 11 mission, and they are good reads.

When you are able to glimpse the waxing moon or other heavenly objects this week, you may want to keep track of what you see. A tracking list of familiar constellations and visible planets is available if you send an email c/o carolutsinger@att.net.

Keeping track of constellations might also be a possible science fair project for the, dare I mention school during summer? Yes, I do, school science fair. No cost would be involved, and it would be a family centered activity that just might spark a career with astronomy, writing, physics; literally the sky is the limit. By late evening Jupiter is almost due south, between the constellations Scorpius and Ophiuchus.

Saturn will be above the Teapot asterism of Sagittarius. The keystone stars that mark Hercules will be almost directly overhead in a crowded area above Ophiuchus.

The northern sky harbors the Dippers or Bears, the King of Ethiopia, Cepheus, and his consort Cassiopeia to the east of the North Star, surrounded by stars of the Milky Way galaxy. Until next week, do let some stars get in your eyes.

CAROL L UTSINGER American Astronomical Society

Follow us on Facebook

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>