If you live in the Midwest, especially in southeastern Michigan, this weekend is the annual Astronomy at the Beach event – both Friday and Saturday (13th and 14th of September). I’ll be crewing the Warren Astronomical Society’s table again this year – stop by, and I’ll chat your ear off! For the first time I’ll be presenting at AATB! I’m giving my Sun lecture, and maybe squeezing in some demos of space simulation software. There will be astronomers from clubs and societies across southeastern Michigan who set up their telescopes, presentations and hands-on activities, a sky scavenger hunt, club tables with freebies and enthusiastic astronomers to chat with. The 2018 Astronomy at the Beach events had 5000 attendees! I expect to be pretty tired on Sunday. I feel like a broken clock repeating that Saturn, Jupiter and the star Antares are in the south-southwestern sky all week after sunset… but there they are… Jupiter is setting earlier each night tho. … Continue reading →
About Bob Trembley
Bob is a lifelong amateur astronomer, and the 2019 outreach officer for the Warren Astronomical Society, and a volunteer NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Bob does a lot of astronomy outreach - he lectures about astronomy and space science, and sets up his telescopes at schools, planetariums, conventions, and other venues. From 2014-2016, he was the editor of the Warren Astronomical Society's newsletter.
Bob is fantastically interested in asteroids and near-Earth objects (NEOs), and a HUGE fan of Kerbal Space Program; he is determined to improve the teaching of astronomy and Space History throughout Michigan, and the U.S. Follow Bob on Twitter, Facebook, The Web, and YouTube.
The school year is starting back up, and my wife and I will again be running an after-school astronomy and space science club: the Endeavour Space Academy. This year, I’m going to concentrate on different bodies in the solar system, and the science of how astronomy is done. Students will also be required to log some observing sessions. During the first few minutes, I take the students through my latest “In the Sky” post for current events, and what to look for in the sky. Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon grace the southern sky all week, making this a great time to do early evening sidewalk astronomy! Before sunrise the constellation Orion can be seen in the southeastern sky. Ursa Major appears in the north-northwestern sky at 10:00 PM this week M 20 – The Trifid Nebula “Messier 20 (M20), also known as the Trifid Nebula, is a famous star-forming region located in the constellation Sagittarius. The nebula’s designation in the … Continue reading →
After my presentation at the Warren Public Library last week, a young woman asked if I was scheduled to speak there again. I told her I hadn’t spoken with the library about presenting again, but I do have a ton I could present. She said “I’m going to suggest to them that they get you back – you’re really good!” AwwwWWwwww! How nice! 🙂 I showed several different space software apps, and gave a virtual “Tour of the Stellar Neighborhood” using SpaceEngine; I took the audience over the rings of Saturn, flew like a drone over the surface of the Moon, orbited the Ring Nebula, flew through a gobular cluster, showed the two stars of Polaris orbiting each other in accelerated time, and more! I LOVE giving this presentation; I’m scheduled to give this talk to a bunch of astronomers at the meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society on Sept. 19th! In the continuing saga of “selling my home” – … Continue reading →
I will be giving live demonstrations of NASA Eyes on the Solar System, Universe Sandbox, Kerbal Space Program and SpaceEngine at the Warren Public Library, Thursday August 22nd at 6:00 PM! I’ve given these demonstrations several times – I frequently hear “I had no idea these even existed!” from audience members. I lectured at this library a month ago, and mentioned I work for the VOF; afterwards, and audience member came up to me and showed me a picture on her phone of her with Br. Guy – taken overseas! Facebook event: [LINK]. Saturn and Jupiter continue to make excellent observing targets in the southern sky after sunset. By midnight, Saturn is high in the south-southwestern sky and Jupiter is near setting in the southwest. The eastern sky has some bright stars and the Pleiades star cluster at 3:00 AM. On Aug. 20th, the Moon is high and lonely in the sky from midnight to dawn. The Summer Triangle sets … Continue reading →
The past couple days have certainly been a “voyage of discovery” for me. It started when I saw this tweet showing a massive release of energy from the Milky Way’s central black hole: Sagittarius A*. For those who are interested in the details of our observations of Sgr A* this year (including this one), see our recently accepted paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters. Read the pre-print of the paper here: https://t.co/cqqinNSKxK — Tuan Do (@quantumpenguin) August 12, 2019 The outburst took place over the short span of two and a half hours! WOW and then some! I stopped everything I was doing and went upstairs to show my wife, who also said WOW! I showed the tweet to some members of the Warren Astronomical Society at last Sunday’s Perseid Party at Stargate Observatory – they said WOW too… and then they cajoled me into presenting something about it at the W.A.S. meeting Thursday night – so go me! Dr. Do … Continue reading →
On Sunday the 4th, my wife and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. It was a beautiful day; we walked around the Armada (Mi) Flea Market, drove around looking at houses for sale at several locations, and then took a long drive up Michigan’s east cost. We were driving through Lexington, which was having a street art show, so we stopped to have lunch and browse the art. Last week, my daughter Amanda and son-in-law Sam Festian (finally) announced publicly that they were going to have a baby! I’ve known for weeks, but waited for them to tell everyone first. *MY* first baby picture wasn’t a grainy ultrasound showing my wittle footsies… It’s “Conjunction Week” as the Moon goes from waxing crescent, to first quarter, to waxing gibbous all week in the south-southwestern sky. The Moon passes close to Jupiter and Saturn during several evenings; the next several days should be great for sidewalk astronomy! Mercury is at its highest … Continue reading →
I went outside this morning before sunrise to see the thin waning crescent Moon above the horizon – although it was clear overhead, clouds stubbornly clung to my eastern horizon, obscuring my view… So I found this tweet with an image of the Moon I had wanted to see. Here's a look at Tuesday's beautiful sunrise in DC along with the waning crescent Moon. Make it a great day! #wusa9 #GetUpDC pic.twitter.com/9Sqrwy6g2d — Howard Bernstein (@hbwx) July 30, 2019 Saturn and Jupiter continue to make excellent observing targets in the southern sky after sunset. The Andromeda galaxy is visible in the east-northeastern sky around midnight. You can explore the Andromeda galaxy – and zoom waaaaaaay in here: [Link] By the beginning of August, Mercury will be visible in the same patch of east-northeastern predawn sky. The waxing crescent Moon appears near the star Spica after sunset on August 5th. M 24 – The Small Sagittarius Cloud The Sagittarius Star Cloud (also … Continue reading →
The Apollo 11 50th anniversary is itself now a part of history – the hashtag #Apollo50th was trending on social media. One of the coolest things I saw on the news was the Washington Monument being used as a projection screen for an animation of the Apollo 11 launch and mission – the celebration drew a veritable horde of attendees to the National Mall. The star Arcturus continues to be the evening star the western sky after sunset. Saturn is high and Jupiter is low in the southwestern sky around midnight all week. The Moon will appear near the star Aldebaran in the Eastern sky early in the morning on July 27th & 28th. The Moon will continue to appear closer to the eastern horizon with each morning; I’ll be watching for it out my kitchen window as I make my morning coffee. I wonder if I’ll be able to see the waning crescent Moon from our new home – … Continue reading →
I was nine years old when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in 1969; I was glued to my 13 inch black and white TV the entire mission, and I have been a complete space geek ever since. I have a lecture that I’ve given several times recently covering the space race, NASA Spin-offs, the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, and my trip out to Tucson in January. At the end of my lecture, I mention the #WeTheGeeks:Asteroids Google Hangout hosted by the White House in May of 2013; during this hangout, several influential individuals in various space and tech industries all agreed that two things had a major influence on their lives: the Apollo program, and Star Trek – I couldn’t agree more! This is the week of the Apollo 11 50th anniversary (#Apollo50th); 60 years ago, going to the Moon or planets was a dream of science fiction. Technology has advanced far beyond that of the era of the … Continue reading →
This is “Conjunction Week” with the Moon appearing near the star Spica, Jupiter and Saturn over the next several days. I thought I’d give the southern hemisphere a bit of love this week, so I included several images of the skies from the Paranal Observatory in Chile – Stellarium made it easy to find them when I was looking for a location. I’m also featuring the the Large Magellanic Cloud as this week’s observing target, and I’m glad I did because I learned a lot about it I was unaware of… so yea! Saturn and Jupiter remain high in the southern sky all week around midnight, making great observing targets for night owls. Seen from the Paranal Observatory in Chile, Saturn and Jupiter are directly overhead around midnight. Before sunrise at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, the constellations Orion and Taurus appear low in the eastern sky. From the northern hemisphere, Orion rises with the Sun, so it is … Continue reading →
My wife and I are packing up our home of 22 years, and will be moving a few miles north. While I was clearing out my bookshelf, I found a book that I owned as a child, that has somehow remained with me, albeit a bit worse for wear: You Will Go To the Moon, published in 1959 by Mae and Ira Freeman, illustrated by Robert Patterson. I was a child of the Apollo era, and like many others of that time, our lives where influenced-by, and in many cases shaped-by the events of the early space age. As I look at through the book now, many of the images are very reminiscent of Chesley Bonestell’s artwork – also something from my childhood. This book shows a Moon lander leaving from a toroidal space station – something Bonestell featured in many pieces of his art way before 2001: A Space Odyssey; there’s also a whimsical image of an adult and … Continue reading →
The Moon appears in the eastern early morning sky all week. Venus appears very low in the east-northeastern sky just before sunrise all week; a very thin waning crescent Moon joins Venus on the morning of July 1st. Saturn rises shortly after sunset; Jupiter, high in the southern sky, made an exceptional observing target this last weekend at the Warren Astronomical Society’s Star Party and Open House – free to the public every 4th Saturday of the month! Early in the morning, Saturn and Jupiter are both high in the southern sky – perfect observing targets! Mercury and Mars might be a wee bit of a challenge to see low in the west-northwestern sky at dusk all week. Jupiter’s Moons After clearly seeing Jupiter’s cloud bands and moons in a very small telescope – and through the very large telescope in the Warren Astronomical Society’s Stargate Observatory this last weekend, I just could not choose a different target! Go see … Continue reading →