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September NYC Event 6/ 7



 
 
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Old September 3rd 03, 04:40 AM
JOHN PAZMINO
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Default September NYC Event 6/ 7

Continued from previous message.

August. Do check at the NSS website, www.nssnyc.org.
Amateur Observers Society inaugurates its new meeting venue in
September at Nassau Community College. It formerly convened at
Freeport Memorial Library.

Skywatching
---------
The miserable clouds and rain continued unabated all thru August,
with few clear evenings for skywatching. Never the less, NYSkiers did
inspect Mars when they could, and delighted to the large disc, polar
caps, and maria. Dust storms from June and July stayed small and did
not globally cover the planet.
With Mars now edging away from us, having rounded perigee (yes, it
WAS technicly that!) or proximity on August 27th, it is now front and
center in the evening sky. Still large and bright, it'll shines on us
thru next spring. For the general public NOW is really the easiest and
best time to see the planet!
The monster electric blackout suffered by many northeast states
and parts of Quebec and Canada, revealed for the City no magnificent
star-filled sky. The day was an extra-hazy one, blanketing all but the
brightest stars. On the other hand, the sky in the eastern part of the
City had a thinner haze and some NYSkiers there did spot parts of the
summer Milky Way.
However, the night of Sat-Sun 23-24 August was the clearest
darkest nights of all summer. A cold front sweeped thru, bringing
a sparkling star-studded sky. No Milky Way sightings, but many of the
dimmer constellations were discernible.
Since the 24th, there were several clearish evenings, allowing Mars
watches around the City to show fascinating views of the planet to
hundreds of visitors each. Do remember that Mars is still in September
awfully close to Earth, with a large disc and good surface texture.
Keep watching it!

Special Events
------------
The Museum extended its SuperSaver all-in-one ticket into at least
fall of 2003. Note that the price is bumped up to $29.
The Museum reopens its Gem & Mineral Hall and Hall of Meteorites
after a renovation on 20 September 2003. Ahnighito is still in place
where it was, on stilts reaching to Manhattan bedrock, with its sister
displays all redone and updated.
We had a surprise fabulous show 'Centennial of Flight' by General
Electric and NASA in Rockefeller Plaza. The show was three blocks
long, 48th to 50th St, in outdoor and tent sections. And it was free!
The exhibit commemorated the 100th anniversary of powered human
flight and peeked into its future. There were dozens of real or
replica historic planes and space vehicles, lots of pictures and
videos, mockups of Mars rover, Shuttle cockpit, and solar sail.
Smaller displays were set up in the lobbies of towers fronting the
plaza and in stores on the Fifth Av flank of the campus. The Channel
Gardens were made into a scale 'tabletop' model of the Wright Brothers
flight at Kitty Hawk.
It opened in late July but I learned of it after last months NYC
Events. Notice was quickly posted into NYSkies, so there was very
little lost days for its members. It was also a 'CLICK' item in
NYSkies's calendar.
The remaining megaevent is the DNA show at Science Industry
Business Library on Madison Avenue, 34th and 35th St. You can do it
within lunch. Centerpiece is the replica of the original DNA model
built by Watson and Crick, all spread out in a giant 'specimen jar'.
The last event on the list, for October 4th, is the American Urban
Star Fest in Central Park's Sheep Meadow. This is the nation's most
festive and romantic of starparties, despite its setting in the middle
of manhattan. More details next month, but reserve the date now.

New York
------
The talk of the town is the blackout, hitting the City at 16:10
EDST on August 14th. It pulled the plug on the Recent Astronomy
Seminar that evening! All NYSkiers reached home or other haven safely,
tho often exhausted and tired. I myself knitted a four-bus ride and a
walk over Brooklyn Bridge in 4-1/2 hours.
The New York Public Library, serving Manhattan, the Bronx, and
Staten Island, continues accepting donations of books to fill the gap
in budget for book purchases. Unneeded astronomy, science, maths, and
other books can be brought to any of the Library's local branches.
Some branches have collection bins for these books.
Darksky advocates are going bunkers over a new first-ever
revelation. They (and any one else) can visit Governors Island!! This
1/2 square kilometer dot within musket shot of the Battery was for
almost all of New York history a military base. The final occupant,
the Coast Guard moved out a few years ago and the land was surplused
to the City. What to do with it?
Several plans are in hand but now it's time for you, the
astronomer, to get involved. To assist and promote public involvement,
the City starting in late July is running free tours on Thursdays,
Fridays, and Saturdays at 10:00 and 13:00 thru end of September.
During August, probably no darksky advocates took the tour, due to
the hit-and-run rainy weather. This dissuaded me, too, so far.

Continued in next message.

---
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