Check out the link above for our 2017 Outreach Schedule. Always a work in progress, check often.

GTAS Eclipse August 21, 2017 Information

About Us

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to to education and enjoyment of the night sky. Established in 1982, the GTAS has about 30 members from the Traverse City and the Grand Traverse area of northern Michigan.  Meetings are held on the first Friday of every month beginning at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College's Joseph H. Rogers Observatory, though the August meeting is preempted by the annual picnic at another location.

Guests are always welcome to our meetings.

Over 750 attended the society sponsored Comet Hyakutake Watches March 23, and 24th, 1996. The farthest traveler came from Detroit to enjoy the dark skies and the spectacular comet through many telescopes. Comet Hale-Bopp attracted approximately 1,400 during the three scheduled viewing nights that were clear.

We've hit the road, so to speak, with outreach beyond the NMC Observatory since 2007. Since 2011 we've held monthly star parties at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from April to October with additional eclipse and meteor shower watches. We bring our telescopes and exhibits to several festivals around the area along with Friday Night Live in Traverse City. Since 2010 the society has been hosting monthly star parties at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and beginning in 2016 at the Arcadia Dunes.

The GTAS belongs to the International Dark-Sky Association and participates in Project Astro.

We also participate in the annual International Observe the Moon Night.

Upcoming Meetings and Outreach Events

Note that outdoor events are weather permitting

May 5, Friday

GTAS Monthly Meeting: 8 p.m. - NMC Rogers Observatory.

Program: Bob Moler – Everything you wanted to know about the Great American Eclipse, August 21, 2017.

Star Party: 9 p.m. - NMC Rogers Observatory.
If it's clear: The Moon and Jupiter.

May 6, Saturday

Star Party: 9 – 11 p.m. Interlochen Center for the Arts, Soccer field. Park in lot off Lyon St on the east or Duck Lake side and walk in.

May 11, 12, 13, Thursday – Saturday

Annual GTAS Yard Sale: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - 1473 Birmley Rd. A few houses east of the NMC Observatory.

May 13, Saturday

Star Party: 9 – 11 p.m. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Stop #3 Dunes Overlook. Park at Picnic Mountain which is adjacent to Stop #3.

May 20, Saturday

Star Party: 9 p.m. - NMC Rogers Observatory.
If it's clear: Twilight, Jupiter, Saturn late.

May 21, Sunday

NMC Barbecue: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Solar viewing outside the Health and Science building, Exhibits and meteorites inside.

June 2, Friday

GTAS Monthly Meeting: 8 p.m. - NMC Rogers Observatory.

Program: To be determined

Star Party: 9 p.m. - NMC Rogers Observatory.
If it's clear: The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn.

June 3, Saturday

Star Party: 9 p.m. - Betsie Valley District Library, Thompsonville: Twilight talk on the Moon
If it's clear: The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn.

June 13, Tuesday

La Senorita Restaurant (Garfield St) Fundraiser: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Get coupons to help us out at our prior events.

June 16, Friday – Only if June 3 is clouded out

Star Party: 9 p.m. - Betsie Valley District Library, Thompsonville: Twilight talk on the Moon
If it's clear: Jupiter and Saturn.

June 17, Saturday

Star Party: 9 p.m. - NMC Rogers Observatory.
If it's clear: Twilight, Jupiter, Saturn late.

June 24, Saturday

Star Party: 9 – 11 p.m. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Climb. Park in row nearest M109, cars facing the road so as to not bother viewers already there.

June 25, Sunday

Sun Viewing: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. NMC Aero Park Campus. Michigan Clean Energy Conference and Fair


This article is provided by NASA Space Place.

With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology. Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!

NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) to monitor Earth as never before

By Ethan Siegel

Later this year, an ambitious new Earth-monitoring satellite will launch into a polar orbit around our planet. The new satellite—called JPSS-1—is a collaboration between NASA and NOAA. It is part of a mission called the Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS.

At a destination altitude of only 824 km, it will complete an orbit around Earth in just 101 minutes, collecting extraordinarily high-resolution imagery of our surface, oceans and atmosphere. It will obtain full-planet coverage every 12 hours using five separate, independent instruments. This approach enables near-continuous monitoring of a huge variety of weather and climate phenomena.

JPSS-1 will improve the prediction of severe weather events and will help advance early warning systems. It will also be indispensable for long-term climate monitoring, as it will track global rainfall, drought conditions and ocean properties. 

The five independent instruments on board are the main assets of this mission:

The Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) will detail the atmosphere’s 3D structure, measuring water vapor and temperature in over 1,000 infrared spectral channels. It will enable accurate weather forecasting up to seven days in advance of any major weather events.

The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) adds 22 microwave channels to CrIS’s measurements, improving temperature and moisture readings.

Taking visible and infrared images of Earth’s surface at 750 meter resolution, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument will enable monitoring of weather patterns, fires, sea temperatures, light pollution, and ocean color observations at unprecedented resolutions.

The Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) will measure how ozone concentration varies with altitude and in time over every location on Earth's surface. This can help us understand how UV light penetrates the various layers of Earth’s atmosphere.

The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant System (CERES) instrument will quantify the effect of clouds on Earth’s energy balance, measuring solar reflectance and Earth’s radiance. It will greatly reduce one of the largest sources of uncertainty in climate modeling.

The information from this satellite will be important for emergency responders, airline pilots, cargo ships, farmers and coastal residents, and many others. Long and short term weather monitoring will be greatly enhanced by JPSS-1 and the rest of the upcoming satellites in the JPSS system.

Want to teach kids about polar and geostationary orbits? Go to the NASA Space Place: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/geo-orbits/

Caption: Ball and Raytheon technicians integrate the VIIRS Optical and Electrical Modules onto the JPSS-1 spacecraft in 2015. The spacecraft will be ready for launch later this year. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.




NASA Space Place poster


Download the poster by clicking the image above.


To see the video that goes along with this poster, visit: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sun-heat.




Links

For Kids: NASA’s Space Place website

The Space Place is a NASA website for elementary school-aged kids, their teachers, and their parents.

It’s colorful!
It’s dynamic!
It’s fun!

It’s rich with science, technology, engineering, and math content!

It’s informal. It’s meaty. It’s easy to read and understand. It’s also in Spanish. And it’s free!

It has over 150 separate modules for kids, including hands-on projects, interactive games, animated cartoons, and amazing facts about space and Earth science and technology.


See this month's Space Place article at the bottom of the center panel on this page.


Also check out these two sites for kids: NASA's Climate Kids and NOAA's SciJinks


Bob Moler's Ephemeris contains audio mp3s of current Ephemeris programs; calendars of sunrise, sunset,moonrise and moonset for the Grand Traverse area of Michigan, and other locations in northern Michigan; plus a monthly star chart.


Also  Bob's Ephemeris Blog with daily transcripts of and illustrations for his daily Ephemeris programs on Interlochen Public Radio.


Northwestern Michigan College's Joseph H. Rogers Observatory


If you'd like to donate

From Article II, B of the Articles of Incorporation of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society:

The Society shall operate a scientific and educational organization with the goal of increasing interest in, the knowledge and enjoyment of astronomy; cooperate with similar organizations; and cooperate with Northwestern Michigan College to increase the benefit of the college observatory to the community.

As you can see by the statement above the society is inexorably linked to the Joseph H. Rogers observatory.  However in the past number of years members have been also taking telescopes out into the community, on sidewalks and street corners, and in the street on Friday Night Live, and to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We find that many folks in the area have never been out to the observatory. This way we are going to to the public. And having a huge telescope is really be a huge attraction, not to mention the superb views of the heavens it will provide.

We have purchased a 25 inch Dobsonian telescope with trailer to use and to take around for our outreach program. We have also purchased a solar telescope to view the sun's prominences.

We have recently purchased small telescopes to give to libraries for them to lend out. The first two recipients are Traverse Area District Library and Betsie Valley District Library. Enerdyne of Suttons Bay donated the second telescope. A tird telescope will be given to the Kingsley District Library.

You may contribute to the fund to help us upgrade and add accessories to the society's telescopes by mailing a check to the GTAS, C/O the society treasurer Gary Carlisle, 1473 Birmley Rd, Traverse City, MI  49686. We are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Thank You!

Updated: 05/05/17 02:05:04 PM