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NC Astronomers Meets
At the Madelyn Helling Library
Community Room
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, CA 95959

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Mar 1st
1st Wednesday
7pm - 9pm

Our Starry Neighborhood in 3D                       David Buchla

The March meeting will be a presentation by David Buchla who will describe some of the features of the Orion Spur of our galaxy. In particular, he will show a three-dimensional model of the 39 nearest star systems to the sun and describe some of the interesting facts about these stars. Although the majority of the nearby stars are red dwarfs, there are some exceptions – for example Sirius.  Sirius is actually a binary star with a faint white dwarf companion, which was discovered in 1862 by Alvan Clark, the famous telescope maker. The brighter component is a type A star located just 8.6 LY from us. Although the dwarf (“Sirius B” or “The Pup”) is about the size of Earth, it is about as massive as our sun! A teaspoonful of white dwarf material would weigh several tons.

            After looking at some of our closest stars, we will travel a little further out (primarily staying in the Orion spur) and visit some other stars and objects in the neighborhood. In this context, our “neighborhood” goes out about 5000 LY. Most of the objects visited will be shown in their place within the arm (or above or below) using two views. Within 1000 LY, we will find some open clusters and some Planetary nebula. The closest open cluster is the Hyades (in Taurus) and a little further out are the Pleiades (“Seven Sisters”). These two clusters are totally different from each other; we’ll look at the differences and see a few others before moving on. A little further out there are some interesting star forming regions including the famous Orion nebula, Cygnus X, and the Gum nebula. There are a few other neighborhood objects that will be looked at with a unique perspective in this presentation.

 
 

Apr 5th
1st Wednesday
7pm - 9pm

               To be announced  
 

May 3rd
1st Wednesday
7pm - 9pm

               To be announced  

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