Greetings from the professional and amateur astronomers who comprise the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces (ASLC). The club was formed in 1951 by a group of dedicated astronomers including Clyde Tombaugh, who had discovered Pluto just 21 years earlier. For nearly 60 years, we've been sharing a little bit of the universe with our community under our beautiful Southern New Mexico skies.
The club has a variety of ongoing observing, education and public outreach programs. We host a public Moongaze each month, offer beginning astronomy courses and support countless star parties for schools, scouts and various organizations. We also hold a meeting each month which includes a featured presentation.
To learn more about our society, please click here or select from the tabs above or the 'Quick Links' on the left.
Our May meeting will be held on Friday, May 24th, in Room 77 at Doña Ana Community
College, starting at 7:30 p.m. Do not forget that Show and Tell will start at 7:00 p.m.
ASLC members will recap the 2013 Texas Star Party.
Department of Astronomy to host Observatory Open House May 17
The NMSU Department of Astronomy will hold an Observatory Open House at the NMSU campus observatory at 9 p.m. Friday, May 17. Astronomy personnel on hand will be Nancy Chanover and graduate assistants Laura Mayorga, Nigel Mathes and Carlos Vargas.
Objects that we will observe include the moon, the beautiful ringed planet Saturn, the Mizar and Alcor double star, the M3 globular cluster and many more.
Contact the NMSU Astronomy Department at 646-4438 with questions. Everyone is welcome to spend an evening stargazing. Admission is free and children are especially welcome to attend.
ASLC Photo of the Week - M46 by Chuck Sterling
Open Cluster M46 is in constellation Puppis. M46 is about 5,500 light-years away with an estimated age on the order of several hundred million years. The planetary nebula NGC 2438 appears to lie within the cluster near its northern edge (the faint doughnut at the right center of the cluster). NGC 2438 is most likely unrelated since it does not share the cluster's radial velocity, and just happens to be in the same field of view.
The image was acquired from his back yard in Las Cruces, NM, using Images Plus Camera Control 2.0 with a Canon 350d camera on an Astro Tech 8" f/4 imaging newtonian, with an IDAS LPS-P1 light pollution filter and a Baader MPCC (multi-purpose coma corrector). The mount is a Celestron CGE, autoguided by PHDGuide 1.12.3 and a ShoeString Astronomy GPUSB with a Meade DSI-Pro-1 camera on an Orion 80ED f/7.5 refractor.
Clicking on the image will take you to a larger version on Chuck's website.