The Villages - July 2019 - 22

{ FOR THE

Love

OF ASTRONOMY }

Eyes On The Sky

The Villages Astronomy Club

September - June * Third Tuesday of the month
7 p.m. at Laurel Manor Recreation Center
Pres. Greg Robertson - (919) 450-6350 or Visit: vlgastroclub.org

22

JULY 2019

AJBARR/ ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

With a telescope, it is much easier to view the moon's
craters and mountains due to the long shadows cast near
the terminator - the line dividing the light and dark sides
of the moon.
"We try and isolate our (telescopes) on the terminator,
which is where light and dark meet," Salk said. "Those
shadows are what make it an interesting object to look at.
When you're looking at it when it's a full moon, even with a
filter to reduce the brightness, you don't have the shadows
to give you the definition of how high the mountains are."
Sinclair, Salk and others from the club say the Starry,
Starry Night is a hit, and club members love answering
questions from those who attend the event.
During Camp Villages this month, The Villages
Astronomy Club also hosts two astronomy events for
children. The club sets up a solar telescope for attendees to
view the (heavily filtered) sun as well as their "Solar Walk"
- an informational and interactive event that describes the
planets and other objects in the solar system.
For the Solar Walk, a sign with information about the
sun begins the tour down a local sidewalk. As the walk
progresses, attendees find signs along the sidewalk featuring
information about each of the heavenly bodies in the Solar
System - all placed in accurate relative distance from
the sun.
The club is a wealth of knowledge on all things spacerelated, and club members such as Salk and Sinclair love
sharing that knowledge with anyone who expresses an
interest in what they do.
"It's really to educate people about astronomy and space
sciences," Sinclair said. "We're not just a bunch of observers
- in fact, I think we only have about 30 guys in the club
with telescopes."
A telescope is not required to join The Villages Astronomy
Club. All that is needed is a love of space exploration and a
desire to learn more about the cosmos.

BTHOMPSO2001/ ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Using their high-powered telescopes, members of The
Villages Astronomy Club observe the heavens from their
backyards.
Those club members share a unique interest - the
observation and study of the cosmos. One of the natural
sciences, astronomy has been around since the first people
looked up and noticed the movements of stars and planets
in the sky.
During the months of September through June, The
Villages Astronomy Club meets at 7 p.m. at Laurel Manor
Recreation Center to share their latest observations,
discuss the latest news in space exploration and trade tips
on observing the heavens.
Twice a year, the club hosts an event called "Starry,
Starry Night," commonly held after dark at Lake Miona
Recreation Center. There, club members train their
telescopes on various celestial bodies for Villagers to view.
Burt Salk and Bruce Sinclair are both former club
presidents, and they explain their methodology when
studying the stars.
"Burt and I are what you call amateur observers,"
Sinclair said. "I only observe on moonless weekends
because the light from the moon makes the Earth's
atmosphere bright and washes out faint things. So I try
not to seriously observe when the moon is full or even
quarter."
Since the Starry, Starry Night event is open to the
public and is not for serious study, the club likes to host
it on an evening when the moon is easily viewable - for
dramatic effect.
"We always make sure we do our Starry, Starry Nights
when there's at least a quarter moon because the
moon is always a fascinating thing for
people to see," Sinclair said. "You
can see things on it with the
telescopes we have."

STORY BY
MARK ANDERSON

ANTIKAINEN/ ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

The Villages Astronomy Club


http://www.vlgastroclub.org

The Villages - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - July 2019

Contents
The Villages - July 2019 - Cover1
The Villages - July 2019 - Contents
The Villages - July 2019 - 1
The Villages - July 2019 - 2
The Villages - July 2019 - 3
The Villages - July 2019 - 4
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