Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Wow! We had an amazing turnout last month for our combination inflatable planetarium / observing session. Thanks to all who came out and participated. It feels kind of strange promoting our monthly open house this Saturday when the big astronomical event (solar eclipse) happens Monday. I hope many of you have found a way to travel north to view this, but if you haven’t make sure you wear proper eye protection to see it 95% eclipsed here in Fort Collins.
This Saturday, we will be focused on the night sky. If you’re outside after sunset and look straight up, you’ll see the Summer Triangle. This asterism is formed by three bright stars; Vega, Deneb, and Altair. Each of these stars are unique. Vega is bright primarily due to its relative close proximity to us, only being 26 light years away. Deneb is almost as bright as Vega but is actually 3200 light years away. This means, side by side, Deneb is much larger than Vega. Altair is unusual due to its spin. While our sun generally spins once on its axis every 25 days, Altair spins once every six hours! It’s spinning so fast that it actually flattens out and is shaped more like a deflated ball than a sphere. This is also a great part of the sky to see binary stars, nebulae, and globular clusters. Ideally, we’ll get a chance to see all of these. This event runs from 8:00-10:00PM and is free and open to the public. As always, these events are weather permitting. Let’s hope the monsoon gives us a break.
I hope to see you out there.
Front Range Community College-Larimer Campus