Tuesday, October 6, 2009

White House to Host Astronomy Star Party - Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT (UPDATE)





Well, well... Imagine that...

In a press release yesterday (Oct.5) the White House and the Obamas announced they will be holding a Star Party - 8 months in the making.

(and me without an invitation... go figure!? ;)

Beginning at 0000GMT (20:00 EDT) on October 7, 2009, some very carefully chosen amateur astronomers will be giving the Obamas and 150 children a tour of the heavens from the White House South Lawn.

October 7 is the 280th day of the year there are 85 days remaining in the year.

(10.07.2009)
(10 + 7 + 11 = 28)
85 days reamining in the year
(28 + 13 = 41)
(10 + 4 = 14)

and of course the noted 17 makes an appearance with the date choice, 10.07 (10+7=17)
...and it is the Obamas 17th Wedding Anniversary

SIDE NOTE:
The Obamas were married Oct. 3, 1992 in a ceremony at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago
Read more at: Obamas' Anniversary (PICTURES): President, First Lady Celebrate 17th Wedding Anniversary At Blue Duck Tavern

and doesn't blue duck just smack of Jake Kotze's Blue Bird? (and the Jupiter 42/24)

The Blue Duck Tavern at 24 ST NW & M ST NW Washington DC.

View Larger Map








Sky and Telecope Article by Kelly Beatty
Way back in February, plans were afoot to have President Obama and his family host a star party at the White House as part of the International Year of Astronomy. Eight months later, it's going to happen. On October 7th some very carefully chosen amateur astronomers will be giving the Obamas and 150 children a tour of the heavens from the White House South Lawn.


A press advisory, issued yesterday, notes that on Wednesday evening "the President and First Lady will host an event at the White House for middle-school students to highlight the President's commitment to science, engineering and math education as the oundation of this nation's global technological and economic leadership and to express his support for astronomy in particular — for its capacity to promote a greater awareness of our place in the universe, expand human knowledge, and inspire the next generation by showing them the beauty and mysteries of the night sky."

Wow.

This stellar event is the brainchild of Audrey Fischer, a Chicago-area amateur who imagined uniting children around the world with one big stargaze. Early this year, her head full of stars after a visit to Mauna Kea, she fired off an email to the White House to pitch the idea. "Every astronomer, teacher, and child I talked with [is] so enthusiastic," she wrote. "They are just holding their breath for your response."

You can imagine how many entreating emails West Wing staffers must slog through each day, but something about this one clicked. Desiree Rodgers, the White House's social secretary (in charge of events like the annual Easter-egg roll) called Fischer for more details. Hundreds of supportive messages poured in from around the country, and a volley of phone and email exchanges between Fischer and various Administration officials followed. The idea had gotten traction.


Known for her passionate advocacy of astronomical causes, Chicago-area amateur Audrey Fischer sparked the effort to hold a star party at the White House.
Audrey FischerFischer's original hope was to hold the star-studded star party in early April, to coincide with the IYA's "100 Hours of Astronomy." But the months dragged on with no confirmation. Was the early momentum waning?

In July, I heard presidential science advisor John Holdren, who heads the Office of Science and Technology Policy, tell a gathering of space enthusiasts that President Obama was committed to jump-starting innovation in science and technology and that engaging young people was key to this plan. I sidled up to Holdren afterward and broached the star-party idea. He was aware of it, thought it was a great idea, and felt sure it would happen.

IYA organizers had suggested a couple of celestially favorable dates, September 26th and October 23rd (the latter to coincide with the IYA's "Galilean Nights"). Ultimately the White House and OSTP picked October 7th — not optimum for a kid-friendly star party because there'll be no evening Moon. Jupiter will be up (a plus) and there's a whopper of an Iridium flare (magnitude -8) that night. But little else in the night sky will be obvious from our nation's light-drenched capitol.

The irony in all this is that the White House handed off the event's coordination to NASA Headquarters, leaving the IYA team completely in the dark, so to speak. And get this: Audrey Fischer didn't receive an invitation to attend!


Nonetheless, it should be a wonderful event. I hope President Obama uses it not only to fire up the next generation of amateur and professional astronomers, but also to raise awareness about light pollution and the energy waste it represents.

So how can you join in the festivities, albeit vicariously? Details are still sketchy, but apparently President Obama will kick-off the event at about 8 p.m. Eastern time with a brief address that will be streamed live by the White House and by NASA TV. Plans include viewing through more than 20 telescopes; presentations in portable planetariums; and various hands-on activities. (If it's cloudy, there'll likely be a secondary site to host the event indoors, perhaps the U.S. Naval Observatory.)

Meanwhile, IYA organizers are scrambling to organize local star parties nationwide at the same time, and to get some linkage to upcoming events like the "Galilean Nights" and the "Great World Wide Star Count".

No matter what the outcome, it's impressive that President Obama is showing this much interest in science generally and astronomy in particular. Another president, Thomas Jefferson, was well known for his scientific curiosity, and a brass telescope is prominently displayed at Monticello, his Virginia home.




...and now the sky at the start of the Star Party - Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT / 20:00 EDT


View to the EAST from the White house on Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT / 20:00 EDT


Archangel Michael - Aldebaran (Taurus) rising in the East (DEC +17 deg / ALT -17 deg / RA almost 4hrs40min), chasing Algol / Perseus standing on the Hor-I-Zon (NE) at RA 3hrs and ALT +13 deg. Jupiter at DEC -17deg (16.5).

View to the SOUTH from the White house on Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT / 20:00 EDT


Archangel Gabriel - Fomalhaut, just risen in the SE. Ophiuchus SW, Galactic Center/Milky Way South. Antares - Archangel Uriel, setting SW. Wolf (Lupus) just set in the SW.

View to the WEST from the White house on Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT / 20:00 EDT


And keeping with the motif we've witnessed many times as of late, our Lady of the Heavens, Virgo, is almost set in the West (straddling 0deg00/13hrs00 RA).

Under Horizon View to the WEST/NORTH and 0deg00 from the White house on Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT / 20:00 EDT


A better view of Virgo, Saturn, Mercury, Venus, and Orion's Belt (GIZA) crossing 0deg00.

THE SUN at ALT -17deg. and RA 13hrs. Spica at ALT -13deg and 13hrs and Sirius is at DEC -17deg!

VIRGO straddling 0deg00 and RA 13hrs.

Under Horizon View to the WEST/NORTH and 0deg00 from the White house on Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT / 20:00 EDT


Closer view of the whole timing (8 months and billions of years in the making...) SaTURn and Mercury conjunct near 0deg00 (actually almost 3deg00 - Near Right Ascension 12hr00).

THE SUN at ALT -17deg. and RA 13hrs. Spica at ALT -13deg and 13hrs.

VIRGO straddling 0deg00 and RA 13hrs.

The Star Athena (in Gemini) at +17deg.
Europa at +17 Deg.
Mars at +28deg.


Under Horizon View to the WEST/NORTH and 0deg00 from the White house on Wed 10.07 @ 0000GMT / 20:00 EDT (no under horizon shading)




But out of it all I'm still fascinated by the exact date and timing to get the Mercury - Saturn Conjuction, Pleiades rising at 20:20 EDT with the Moon following 17 minutes later at 20:37 EDT, Jupiter at -17 deg, Sirius (SPDT) at -17 deg, Algol at +13deg, the Sun at -17deg/13 RA and Archangel Michael - Aldebaran (Taurus) rising in the East (DEC +17 deg / ALT -17 deg) - Both Declination and Alt polarity opposites at +17 and -17.

And for those that have read Wayne Herschel's Key of Solomon, the Moon is just about eclipsing/conjunct HD 283271






---
(Sky/Star images from Redshift 7 Launcher - Free download and use @ http://www.redshift-live.com)


UPDATE:

At the STAR PARTY
The president spoke for 7 minutes addressing the Students and Dignitaries:

including:

John Holdren - Science Advisor

Marine Corps Major General Charles Frank Bolden, Jr (ret) - NASA Administrator

Laurie Garver - Deputy Administrator of NASA

Buzz Aldrin - former NASA Astronaut
Sally Ride - former NASA Astronaut
Dr. Mae Jemison - former NASA Astronaut

John Grunsfeld - "The Hubble Repairman"

14 year old Caroline Moore (and father Robert) - Discovered a new Supernova

Lucas Bolyard - High School sophomore - W. VA. - Discovered a Pulsar

(and various others scientists from the Smithsonian)

The replay ran from:

19:43 CDT to 19:50 CDT

(See Post Comments below for more info related to the Event)

11 comments:

StrangEye said...

How "synchro-propriate" that this should be my 44th article!

~SE~

Dennis Igou said...

Tonite the's night. Friday is moon shot. Sub terrans making earthquakes as a warning? Et's on moon want no kinetic bomb in there main base. Et war is nigh?Dennis

StrangEye said...

Watch the President LIVE and REPLAY on NASA-TV @
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

~SE~

StrangEye said...

Transcript of President Barack Obama at National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology October 7, 2009


~SE~

StrangEye said...

At the STAR PARTY
The president spoke for 7 minutes addressing the Students and Dignitaries:

including:

John Holdren - Science Advisor
Marine Corps Major General Charles Frank Bolden, Jr (ret) - NASA Administrator

Laurie Garver - Deputy Administrator of NASA

Buzz Aldrin - former NASA Astronaut
Sally Ride - former NASA Astronaut
Dr. Mae Jemison - former NASA Astronaut

John Grunsfeld - "The Hubble Repairman"

14 year old Caroline Moore (and father Robert) - Discovered a new Supernova

Lucas Bolyard - High School sophomore - W. VA. - Discovered a Pulsar

(and various others scientists from the Smithsonian)

The replay ran from:

19:43 CDT to 19:50 CDT

(Very "Hyperdimensional" - Richard C. Hoagland would be tickled!)


~SE~

StrangEye said...

President Barack Obama at National Medal of Science:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2r2h1-eLa0

~SE~

StrangEye said...

Dennis,

I don't know about that...
but it would be *SMART* for ET Disclosure to have a kid find something first that scientists later confirm as E.T. - dontcha think??

~SE~

StrangEye said...

The White House (via Sally Ride) recommends Stellarium!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Astronaut-Sally-Ride-takes-your-questions/

Link to Stellarium HERE - last month


~SE~

StrangEye said...

The United Nations has decalred OCTOBER 4 - 10 to be "World Space Week".


http://www.worldspaceweek.org/

~SE~

StrangEye said...

The full list of FREE astronomy software can be found at the end of my article: SaTURn and the Weeping Virgin - 10.13

~SE~

stargurl said...

Fascinating post! Something big seems to be happening!! Thank you for all the free stellar software links.

Peace.

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