The Next ASLC Meeting is:
May 29, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Speaker: Fred Pilcher
Topic: Dwarf planets: How Pluto really is very different from the other eight planets Mercury through Neptune.
Location: Dona Ana Community College
Room 141 (map)
Contact the Club President for additional information
Upcoming Observing Opportunities:
(Int'l Delights Cafe)
Sat, May 23rd (dusk)
Solar & Dark Sky Observing @ Leasburg Dam SP
(ASLC Observatory at LDSP)
Saturday, June 6th (6:00 pm - 9:30 pm)
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 over 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.
What's in the Sky Tonight - Sunday, 24 May 2015
- Sun - Sunset occurs at 8:04 pm (MDT). Civil twilight ends at 8:31 pm. Astronomical twilight ends at 9:40 pm.
- Moon - Waxing crescent Moon sets at 1:19 am (25 May).
- Mercury - Lost in the Sun's glare.
- Venus - Very bright and high in the western sky (near the Moon) at dusk. Sets at 11:30 pm
- Mars - Lost in the Sun's glare.
- Jupiter - Bright and high overhead (in Cancer) at dusk. Sets at 12:58 am (25 May). Europa is transiting from before dusk until 9:10 pm. Europa's shadow transits from 8:48 pm until 11:30 pm. Jupiter's Giant Red Spot transits at about 11:00 pm.
- Saturn - In Scorpius. Rises around 7:42 pm.
This Month's ASLC Meeting
The monthy ASLC meeting will be held on Friday, May 29th in room 141 (Main Branch, DACC) at 7:30 pm. This is a week later than usual, but must be done to accommodate the community college (our hosts). The group usually gets together around 7 pm to talk about 'stuff' and socialize a bit. Business and upcoming events are discussed at 7:30. The presentation usually begins around 8 pm. Meetings are free and open to the public.
The presentation this month will be on dwarf planets, and will be given by Dr. Fred Pilcher.
Summary: The International Astronomical Union in 2006 assigned three classes to Sun orbiting objects. Planets have sufficient gravity to force them into a nearly round shape AND have cleared their vicinity of [nearly all] small bodies. Dwarf planets have sufficient gravity to force them into a nearly round shape AND have NOT cleared their vicinity of small bodies. Small solar system objects do not have enough gravity to force them into a nearly round shape. By these schemes it is shown that there is a large distinction between all known planets and dwarf planets, and that Pluto very clearly has the dwarf planet rather than the planet properties.