Las Cruces Clear Sky Clock
Las Cruces Clear Sky Clock

M104 (The Sombrero Galaxy), image by Kirby Benson
The Next ASLC Meeting is:
May 23, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

Speaker: Nick Ule
Alien Star Systems: How NASA learns about new stars and planets

Location: Dona Ana Community College
(Main Branch)
Room 141 (map)

Contact the Club President for additional information

Join us on Facebook

Upcoming Observing Opportunities:

ASLC MoonGaze
(Int'l Delights Cafe)
Sat, June 7th (dusk)

Music and Stars @ Leasburg Dam SP
(ASLC Observatory at LDSP)
Saturday, May 24 (6 pm - 10 pm)

   Quick Links


M31Greetings 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.


May Meeting

The monthy ASLC meeting will be held on Friday, May 23rd at 7:30PM. Nick Ule will give a talk entitled: "Alien Star Systems: How NASA learns about new stars and planets". Nick is a PhD student in the NMSU Dept. of Astronomy. The following is a summary of Nick's presentation.

In the past 5 years nearly 1000 new worlds have been detected by NASA's Kepler mission. These planets range from super-Jupiter sized down to Earth sized. The big question for these worlds is if any of them posses the ability to support life. A planet's ability to support life is largely associated with its ability to support liquid water. This parameter is strongly effected by the star around which a planet orbits, in particular its magnetic field. This talk will explore how NASA detects exoplanets and how a star's activities can impact exoplanets.

ASLC Photo of the Week - M46 by Chuck Sterling

M46Open 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.




Astronomical League  
The Astronomical Society of Las Cruces is a proud member of the Astronomical League

International DarkSky Association  
ASLC supports the eradication of light pollution by its participation in the International DarkSky Association

Project Astro    
ASLC works with local teaching professionals using instructional resources provided by Project Astro