April - May, 2009 Vol. 3 No 2
PO BOX 951, Topeka KS 66619
The official newsletter of Farpoint Observatory and the Northeast
Kansas Amateur Astronomers' League
President's Message Brad Hutton
The Prez summarizes the many upcoming events and activities that make your membership in NEKAAL worthwhile.
Where Did All These Gadgets Come From? NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Ion propulsion, artificial intelligence, hyper-spectral imagers. It sounds like science fiction, but all these technologies are now flying around the solar system on real-life NASA missions. The February Space Place article.
Gravitational Wave Observatories - NEKAAL meeting preview Graham Bell
Graham will be presenting his latest on the Gravitational Wave Observatories at the March 26th general meeting. If you receive this newsletter by email on March 25th, you will have time to come to the library and hear his presentation. This is a preview summary. Graham will provide internet link references at the meeting. One caveat: the links in blue in this preview will not work as active links in this PDF document.
Sandlot News Gary Hug
Gary Hug gives us not only the latest news from Sandlot and a synopsis of his work as a member of NEKAAL from both locations, but also a description of how his personal observatory was put together and tweaked to near perfection. Somehow he fit this all on one page. Gary is one-of-a-kind in this region - a true independent scientist of great accomplishment as you will appreciate from this article.
Sky Highlites for April and May Janelle Burgardt
We would never forget to include this staple of The Observer. A one-page, two-month schedule of what's UP the next two months, perfect for printing and carrying. Courtesy of Janelle.
International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA) Janelle Burgardt
Did you know that the United Nations designated 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy? IYA is a big deal for anyone involved in astronomy. Janelle summarizes what it's about and some of the things going on, including numerous web sites that comprise the Cornerstone Project.
Apollo Upgrade NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The March Space Place article discusses the Exploration Technology Development Program, and the plans for returning men to the moon with new and better technology than the primitive stuff of 40 years ago, including a much improved Lunar Excursion module, a larger lunar lander, the use of robots, and longer stays.
The Newbie Corner Brad Hutton
Brad Hutton gives us another of his terrific crash courses for newbie amateur astronomers. This time, Brad explains the works of the famous 19th century astronomer, John Dreyer and the NGC and IC catalogs of deep sky objects, the shorthand used for object descriptions, and a glossary of terms. A "must" read.