Welcome to Umpqua Astronomers of Douglas County
Astronomy enthusiasts of Douglas county gather for monthly meeting at Umpqua Community College the
second Tuesday of each month at
Wayne Crooch Hall Room 10.
Please see a link to U.C. C. Campus map below
to locate Wayne Crooch Hall on the far eastern part of campus.
NEXT UA MEETING AT U.C.C.
The next UA meeting is January 14, 2020 at Room 10 Wayne Crooch HalL U.C.C. at 7 p.m.
What do you do with your new “Astromaster” or “ Powerseeker” or “Starwatcher” telescope? Come after the Janaury 2020 UA meeting for Tips to use your teLEscope.
ASTRONOMY HAPPENINGS Dec 2019 Jan 2020
No planned events for Winter 2019-2020. Please watch this web page for short notice observing events.
Here is the Umpqua StarGazer column from the News Review for December
Umpqua Star Gazer December 2019 By Paul Morgan
Twilight Evening Planets –Venus,Jupiter and Saturn As the sky darkens tonight, look to the southwest, to spot two bright planets. Dazzling Venus, above left and bright Jupiter, below and right. Jupiter is sinking toward the setting sun each night; while Venus continues a slow climb. By December 10th say farewell to the largest gas giant, Jupiter, as it is lost in the setting sun’s glare. As Jupiter slips, Venus soars toward the other gas giant, Saturn. On December 10th and 11th ,Venus will be less than 2 degrees from the ringed world. After this brief sojourn, Venus races away from sinking Saturn. We can say farewell to the last gas giant, Saturn by the first night of winter, December 21st.
Evening Planets – Neptune, and Uranus
Telescopeobservers will find the 2 ice giants, Neptune and Uranus well placed for observing all month. Start searching for Neptune in Aquarius just after 6 p.m. PST tonight. About 3 hours later, slightly brighter Uranus can be found in Pisces. Each night this month, Neptune and Uranus rise a bit earlier and reach excellent observing altitudes. By mid-month, Neptune will well placed as the sky darkens; while Uranus follows just before 8 p.m. PST. As 2019 closes, Neptune will continue to be ready for observing just after dark; while Uranus is well placed by 7 p.m. PST.
Dawn planets- Mars and Mercury
Dawn skies will reveal 2 planets in December, Mercury and Mars. Best views of Mercury will be tomorrow morning, as the speedy planets retreats toward the rising sun each morning. Look about an hour before sunrise toward the east southeast to spot moderately bright Mercury. Up and to the right is dim Mars. Mercury disappears in the dawn sky by mid-month;while Mars climbs a bit higher each morning. Distant Mars gains a tiny bit of brightness but its small apparent diameter makes telescope observing less than useful.
Geminids and Ursid Meteor Showers
December brings 2 meteor showers to Oregon skies.The major shower is the Geminids that peak on the morning of December 14th. Unfortunately, a bright moon in Gemini will interfere with this shower. Meteor observers can pursue 2 strategies. One, look just after dark to the southeast or northeast along the horizon to spot early bright Geminids before the moon rises. Two, after 10 p.m. PST, if skies are clear, brave the cold and look to the west, southwest to northwest with the moon at your back. Better if you can block the moon with a building or tall tree. Geminids are generally bright so that as many as 20 per hour may be seen in moonlight. Good luck and good observing. The second minor meteor shower is the Ursids that peak on the night of December 21st. Look to the northeast or northwest to spot dim meteors racing from the bowl of the Little Dipper. Only about 10 to 15 meteors per hour will be visible at the peak. Begin watching after dark for early Ursids and then after midnight for higher counts.
Morgan Observatory at U.C.C. (PMO) No Scheduled Events
Please check the observatory website for short notice events, www.umpqua.edu/observatory . Typical December weather will limit observing during the remainder of the winter months.
Umpqua Astronomers Meeting- Next Public meeting January 2020 Come on January 14, 2020 at 7 p.m. to U.C.C. Wayne Crooch Hall Room 10 for the Umpqua Astronomers monthly meeting. Anyone wanting a Q & A session about astronomy, telescopes or general star gazing information please come at 6:30 p.m. PDT. Club news, monthly sky events and astronomy news will be presented at the monthly meeting. Astronomy events for 2020 will be discussed. Everyone interested in astronomy is welcome. After the meeting, if skies are clear, join local astronomers for an observing session at the Morgan Observatory after the meeting. For more information visit, . or Facebook @www.facebook.com/groups/umpquaastronomers or call 541-673-1081.
Newcomers are encouraged to come at 6:30 to ask questions and learn about the night sky. The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Each month we discuss a bit of club news, what's new in Astronomy, what's up in the sky and have a feature presentation. Anyone interested in astronomy is welcome to come to the meetings.
Go to EVENTS page to see UA meeting Scedule at U.C.C.for 2019. Also, check out other astronomical events for each month.
UA ASSOCIATIONS AND PARTNERS
Umpqua Astronomers is a participating in the Astronomical League. This provides members with a quarterly national magazine, "the Reflector" and many observing project to help beginners to use a hands on approach to learn about astronomy. Umpqua Astronomers is an active member of the Night Sky network , International Astronomical Union programs, the Global Astronomy Month, and the International Observe the Moon program . Club members are encouraged and supported in becoming comfortable learning and exploring the night sky.
Umpqua Astronomers are an active supporting partner of U.C.C.'s Paul Morgan Observatory. Club stargazing events are held at the observatory during spring to fall months. Link to Morgan Observatory website