General News About RAC Events and Meetings. Will appear on the front page.

December Indoor Meeting: Swap Meet

NOTE:   DIFFERENT LOCATION!!! Location: Covenant Christian Church: 2911 SW Cary Parkway, Cary, NC 27513 (on the right just after you pass the ‘YMCA’ on the left)Date: December 14, 2018Time: 7:30-9:30pm Swap Meet! Bring your own table, chairs are provided.  Bring any gear to swap or sell. RAC Business:After the presentation, we will discuss additional RAC business. We will then adjourn for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings

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November Indoor Meeting: Dispatched from a Dark Universe

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: November 30, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Talk Title : “Dispatched from a Dark Universe” Speaker : Katie Mack Abstract: There’s more to the Universe than we can see – even more than we can ever see. I’ll give a tour of the edges of our knowledge of the cosmos, including where the frontiers are, and what might remain unknowable forever. Come for the Big Bang, stay for the possibility of the ultimate destruction of all of reality!…

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October 26 Indoor Meeting: Glorious Globulars

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: October 26, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Talk Title : “Glorious Globulars” Speaker : Doug Lively Doug will give an intro to globular star clusters RAC Business: After the presentation, we will discuss additional RAC business. We will then adjourn for dinner at a Sammy’s Tap and Grill on Avent Ferry Rd.

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September 28 Indoor Meeting: Deadly Stars

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: September 28, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Talk Title : “Deadly Stars: The Top Ten Ways the Stars can kill, maim or really really hurt you” Speaker : Doug Lively   RAC Business: After the presentation, we will discuss additional RAC business. We will then adjourn for dinner at a Sammy’s Tap and Grill on Avent Ferry Rd.

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August 24 Indoor Meeting: Grazing Occultation of the Moon and Telescopes Part I: Reflectors

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: August 24, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm August 24 Indoor Meeting: Grazing Occultation of the Moon & Telescopes Part I – Reflectors Talk Title : “Grazing Occultation of the Moon” Speaker : Mark Lang Description: The August indoor meeting talk will be a short recap of the successful July 2 grazing occultation of the star Delta Capricorni by the moon observed from the Cary Crossroads shopping center. Mark will give an overview of the planning, execution, and…

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July 27 Indoor Meeting: Mars! Dust Storms, Opposition, and Observing

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: May 18, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Talk Title : “Mars! Dust Storms, Opposition, and Observing” Speaker : Shannon Morgan Description: Shannon Morgan, who is a Solar System Ambassador, will talk about Mars. This talk encompasses three sections on Mars and its opposition. The first part will be a brief discussion of the current historic dust event and what that means for the rovers. The second part will be about the upcoming opposition and why 2018…

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May 17 Imaging Meeting

There will be no formal presentation, but there will be some open discussion about strategies for powering all our imaging gear. We’ll be meeting in the hallway behind the Brickhouse Restaurant on Hillsborough Street at 7pm. We had a lot of new images posted in recent weeks. Bring them by to share.

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May 18 Indoor Meeting: Mars at Opposition

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: May 18, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Mars at Opposition: Historical context and what to expect RAC Member and Associate Professor of Hispanic linguistics at NC State, Jim Michnowicz Gain some background on the upcoming Mars Opposition. Mars won’t be this close again until 2035, so this is the summer to spend some time on the Red Planet. Look at a brief history of Mars observations, as well as what to expect in the eyepiece during…

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April 27 Indoor Meeting: Stephen Hawking and his work

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: April 27, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Abstract: Stephen Hawking and his work: One possible view. Steve Christensen, RAC Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy UNC-Chapel Hill Abstract Steve met Hawking in 1972 and much of his research has been in similar fields, in particular, the nature of black holes. Steve will talk about his interactions with Hawking and his collaborators, his discoveries, and what still needs to be understood related to his work. RAC Business:…

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March 23 Indoor Meeting: Getting Started in Astronomy

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: March 23, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Abstract: RAC Member and Co-Chair Ann Murphy will give a lecture on getting started in Astronomy. The lecture talks about some of the things to see in the night sky and how to start looking at them. RAC Business: After the presentation, we will discuss additional RAC business. We will then adjourn for dinner at a Sammy’s Tap and Grill on Avent Ferry Rd.

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February 23 Indoor Meeting: Time Lapse

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: February 23, 2018 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Abstract: RAC Member extraordinaire Mark Lang will demonstrate how the night sky changes over time and how he captures the images using his equipment. His astrophotography catches the motion of objects against the background stars. RAC Business: After the presentation, we will discuss additional RAC business. We will then adjourn for dinner at a Sammy’s Tap and Grill on Avent Ferry Rd.

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December Imaging Meeting: Plate Solving

We will be meeting in the usual place in the outside hallway of the Brickhouse Restaurant, Thursday December 21. For this months topic, we will have a brief discussion on plate solving. Plate solving is a technique in which a computer program can identify exactly where your telescope is pointing in the night sky. This allows you to quickly frame photo in whatever orientation you want instead of manually.

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December 8 Indoor Meeting: Field Power

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: December 8, 2017 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Abstract: RAC Co-Chair John Sadler will lead a discussion around field power.   Portable batteries are needed to run dew controllers at a minimum, and for many, they also power telescope mounts, imaging gear, computers, and more.   While some commercial solutions exist, home made solutions are quite typical.   Learn what to consider when building the box including the battery, connectors such as the Anderson Powerpole products, amp meters, voltage regulators,…

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November 10 Indoor Meeting: Astronomical Spectroscopy

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: November 10, 2017 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Abstract: RAC member Matt Lochansky will show how spectroscopy sheds light on the composition and environment of our universe.  While human exploration has barely left our solar system, much of our understanding of elements, temperatures, and velocities in deep space have been made through spectroscopic techniques.  Amateurs are placing an increasing role in monitoring transient astronomical events and longer term patterns of stellar interactions. RAC Business: After the presentation,…

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October 27 Indoor Meeting: 60th Anniversary of Sputnik

Location: NCSU Crafts Center (directions) Date: October 27, 2017 Time: 7:30-9:30pm Abstract: October marks 60 years since the Sputnik was launched from the Soviet Union.  Our speaker, Dr. Russell Philbrick, was a senior at Cary High School and convinced the owners of WPTF radio station to use their antenna to track the satellite. Dr. Philbrick with describe the events leading up to sputnik, the tone of the time, and how we all changed as a result of it’s orbit 60…

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