2014 AAS Absentee Ballot.pdf On This Page:  The Sky Tonight Member Photo of the Month First Time Login Instructions

Upcoming events

19 Apr 2014 7:30 PM • Canyon of the Eagles, Eagle Eye Observatory
25 Apr 2014 • Canyon of the Eagles, Eagle Eye Observatory
09 May 2014 7:30 PM • TBD
24 May 2014 • Canyon of the Eagles, Eagle Eye Observatory
31 May 2014 • Canyon of the Eagles, Eagle Eye Observatory

2014 AAS Office Elections

New officer elections for the 2014-2015 year are coming up Friday, April 11 during the general meeting.  If you are unable to attend in person and still want your voice heard please click here to print off, fill out and mail in your absentee ballot.

The Sky Tonight

by Darron Spohn

Two planets grace the night sky in April. Jupiter stand high overhead and is the brightest object in the sky
other than the Moon. Mars rises in the east shortly after sunset in early April and will rise earlier each
night. If this were August we'd probably be getting deluged with emails asking if the ruddy planet really is
larger than the Full Moon in a telescope.

Observing both planets is a treat from the city even in a small telescope. My 70mm refractor shows a
bright disk with Jupiter's moons dancing around the planet, changing positions each night. Magnification
of 160x brings out some details on Jupiter. An eight-inch telescope will reveal several bands and the Great
Red Spot even in light polluted cities. Mars shows it red hue to the naked eye, and modest telescopes can
display some surface detail. Mars will be at opposition on the evening of the 8th, and marks its closest
approach to earth since 2007 on the 14th when it will lie just 57.4 million miles from our home.

This month's grandest treat awaits those who stay up until past midnight: a total eclipse of the Moon. The
vent officially begins at 11:53 p.m. CDT and will take more than five hours to complete. Those who just
want to see the total eclipse can set their alarms for 2 a.m. and wander outside. Filtered sunlight usually
gives the eclipsed Moon a red or orange cast and people often refer to this as a Blood Moon. As an added bonus the bright star Spica will be about one degree away from the Moon as the eclipse unfolds.

Lastly, this will be your last chance to view Orion in the night sky until next winter, so take a few minutes to
say goodbye to one of the night sky's most incredible sights. Look for Orion sinking in the west after



Mars at opposition


Regulus, the heart of Leo, hangs to the upper left of the Moon at sunset

Mars, Spica and the Full Moon soar close to each other

Saturn rises about one degree left of the Moon in late evening

Antares sits just below the Moon as they climb above the horizon

Lyrid meteor shower peaks

Venus reappears as the Morning Star, shining brightly to the lower left of the
Moon before sunrise

Image of the Month

by Rob Pettengill

Jupiter with Io and Europa

Capture Location: Northwest Austin
Scope: Questar 3.5

Camera: Raspberry Pi homebrew camera at prime focus

240 of 500  images stacked using Lynkeos and sharpening via deconvolution, wavelet, unsharp masking with final tweaks in Photoshop.

click to view past photos

top of page


 Austin Clear Sky Chart  Eagle Eye Observatory Clear Sky Chart

Follow us on Twitter

 Austin Astronomical Society

First Time Login
For AAS Members

Enter the email address you use for AAS at top right of this page, then click the box marked “Forgot Password” (even though you don't have one yet!). An email message will be sent to you with a password, which you can then use to enter the member's section of this website. You can change your password to one of your choosing simply by clicking the “change password” line at the top right corner of each page. If you have any questions about this, please contact aastreasurer@yahoo.com


Austin Astronomical Society
P.O. Box 12831, Austin, TX 78711
copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved


Supporting members of the Astronomical League , Night Sky Network and International Dark Skies Association.

For any questions or more information about AAS - please email us at contactaas@austinastro.org.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software