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 - Friday, 30Jan2015
- Moon - The waxing gibbous Moon sets around 4:30 am (30Jan).
- Venus - low and very bright in the west after sunset. Sets at 7:25 pm
- Mars - higher in the west after sunset (~20° above Venus). Sets at 8:15 pm.
- Jupiter - rises in the east at about 6:10 pm. Io and its moon begin transit around 11:45 pm. Europa and its shadow begin a transit at 2:30 am (31Jan). Red spot transits around 3:30 am (31Jan).
- Saturn - In Scorpius. Rises around 2:20 am.
A new bright comet is gracing our skies. Comet Lovejoy (C2014 Q2) is just visible to the naked eye from a dark sky site. The comet appears as a greenish-white disk roughly half of the size of the full Moon. The comet has an extensive tail, but it is difficult to see (visually) at present.
The comet moves a little each night. The chart on the left shows the comet's position on Friday, January 30th at 8:00 pm.
The comet reached maximum brightness last week. It is fading very slowly, and should be a good view throughout January with binoculars or a small telescope. Perihelion occurs on January 29 at about 6:28 pm (MST).
Clicking on the image will open a larger version of the map. Some recent Comet Lovejoy images can be found here.
This Month's ASLC Meeting
The monthy ASLC meeting will be held on Friday, February 27th in room 141 (Main Branch, DACC) at 7:30 pm. 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 February presentation is tba