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President's Address

October 2019


October is upon us and the feel of crisp, clear skies are soon to be here. The cooler air with winter constellations always bring a bit of excitement to the observing table. Jupiter has kept us entertained for the summer, but is moving closer to the sun and setting earlier each evening. We will have it for a month or so before losing it completely in the night sky. Saturn will be with us a little longer, but is also trending out of the evening sky in a few months. What we can look forward to in the Southern sky are The Constellation Orion, and the many objects within the Hunter. Check out M42, a spectacular nebula. The four stars making a rough rectangle in the middle is Trapezium, four very young stars born in the nebula about a million years ago- babies in Star life. Orion rises about 9:30PM toward the end of the month.

Another object to view to the north is Andromeda. While most of us have observed it in the past, taking a bit of time to look at our closest celestial galaxy is always a thrill. We also have comet Africano, (C/2018 W2) that may be seen early in the month in the southeastern portion of Pegasus just above the star Algenib. After that it will pass southwards into Pisces and Aquarius. It made its closest approach to Earth on Sep 27, and is moving away from us. Take a peek at these wonders of the skies this month, and perhaps share what you’ve seen at the next meeting.

We just held the Annual Picnic at the end of September and I enjoyed talking to all the members who came out to socialize and enjoy some really good burgers. Thanks to all who helped out with the cooking and preparation to make the event a success. Special thanks to PAS member Walter Sarrat for allowing us to have the event on his Family Homestead.

Other events in October include an Outreach at Wild Things in Lacombe on Saturday October 12th, and we are looking for a few members to assist with Solar viewing. Info on the PAS website forum. Give me a shout if you can attend.

The Deep South Star Gaze will be held at the end of October, and if you are looking for prime viewing, this is one of the best places we have access to. Make plans now to attend this event. The Dark Skies at Whitehorse won’t disappoint. There is still time to register.

Our next meeting will be held on Friday, October 11th, at 7:30PM at UNO Science Building, Room 1001. We will be having a short meeting with a star party afterwards. Bring your scopes! Or just come out and look through what others are seeing. We enjoy sharing. If you are having issues, and need some help on bugs with computer setup, someone should be able to offer help to get you on track. Take a last look at Jupiter, gaze at the rings of Saturn, or spend a little time viewing the almost full Moon.

I hope to see all of you at the next meeting. Don’t forget to bring a guest!

Bill Johnson
PAS President 2018, 2019

Upcoming Events



2019 PAS Meeting Dates

  • January 18
  • February 22
  • March 22
  • April 19
  • May 17
  • June 21
  • July 19
  • August 16
  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 15
  • December 13

The Pontchartrain Astronomy Society is a member organization of: