Greetings from the professional and amateur astronomers who comprise the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces (ASLC). The club was formed in 1951 by a group of dedicated astronomers including Clyde Tombaugh, who had discovered Pluto just 21 years earlier. For over 60 years, we've been sharing a little bit of the universe with our community under our beautiful Southern New Mexico skies.
The club has a variety of ongoing observing, education and public outreach programs. We host a public Moongaze each month, offer beginning astronomy courses and support countless star parties for schools, scouts and various organizations. We also hold a meeting each month which includes a featured presentation.
To learn more about our society, please click here or select from the tabs above or the 'Quick Links' on the left.
The monthy ASLC meeting will be held on Friday, October 24nd in room 141 (Main Branch, DACC) at 7:30 pm. The group usually gets together around 7 pm to talk about 'stuff' and socialize a bit. We'll hopefully approve a 2015 budget and announce prospective officers for next year at the meeting. Our presenter this month is Jim Eckles.
Jim will give a talk about Astronomy at the White Sands Missile Range. Most people think of White Sands as a missile and weapons testing facility with a landscape of bomb craters. However, it has a long history of astronomical research and using astronomy techniques to gather data about weapon's tests. Jim will provide some specific examples of how this has played out at White Sands.
Open Cluster M46 is in constellation Puppis. M46 is about 5,500 light-years away with an estimated age on the order of several hundred million years. The planetary nebula NGC 2438 appears to lie within the cluster near its northern edge (the faint doughnut at the right center of the cluster). NGC 2438 is most likely unrelated since it does not share the cluster's radial velocity, and just happens to be in the same field of view.
The image was acquired from his back yard in Las Cruces, NM, using Images Plus Camera Control 2.0 with a Canon 350d camera on an Astro Tech 8" f/4 imaging newtonian, with an IDAS LPS-P1 light pollution filter and a Baader MPCC (multi-purpose coma corrector). The mount is a Celestron CGE, autoguided by PHDGuide 1.12.3 and a ShoeString Astronomy GPUSB with a Meade DSI-Pro-1 camera on an Orion 80ED f/7.5 refractor.
Clicking on the image will take you to a larger version on Chuck's website.