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SLAS Regular Meeting

Sky View 2008: A Preview of Astronomical Events


Mark Jones

Lunar eclipses, meteor showers, best views of the planets: these and other events visible in the night skies over Saint Louis during 2008 will be introduced by amateur astronomer Mark Jones. He will also present some of the best targets for telescope observers, particularly for those with computerized instruments. Called GoTo telescopes because built-in computers and motors move these instruments directly to objects selected by their operators, these telescopes can greatly simplify the task of finding astronomical objects in the night sky. But viewing wonders of the heavens requires more than an automated telescope. The observer needs an imagination, guided by some understanding of the objects being viewed, to really see the objects the telescope locates. A point of light or a wisp of interstellar cloud becomes a star-sun with planets, a pulsating red giant, a stellar nursery, a doomed companion of a black hole, or an island universe, if the observer knows how to interpret the images. Mr. Jones will explain how to select interesting targets to view, and recommend web-based resources to explain something about their nature and origins.

Mike Malolepszy will also present material on the images obtained by Messenger on this weeks fly-by of Mercury.

Mark Jones is a veteran observer and former president of the Saint Louis Astronomical Society. He frequently brings his telescopes and expertise to the public viewing sessions sponsored by the Society.

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