"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"

 

The 2016 Bootleg Star Party dates have been set!

The 2016 Spring Bootleg Star Party will be held on June 3rd-5th

And .....

The 2016 Fall Bootleg Star Party will be held on September 30th-October 2nd 

 

CLICK HERE for a copy of the 2016 Spring Bootleg Star Party Registration Form

Pre-registration deadline is Tuesday, May 24th. 

All forms must be postmarked no later than May 24th to qualify for early registration.

Map and Directions here...

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2008 Prairie Skies Star Party Pictures 

CAS Astrofest @ Camp Shaw

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Texas Star Party 2009

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for January 2016   (from skymaps.com)
 
2 Last Quarter Moon at 5:30 UT.
2 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 12h UT (distance 404,277 km; angular size 29.6').
2 Earth at Perihelion (closest to Sun) at 23h UT. The Sun-Earth distance is 0.983304 a.u. or 147.1 million kilometers.
• Sun at Aphelion and Perihelion (Anthony Ayiomamitis)
3 Moon near Spica (78° from Sun, morning sky) at 7h UT.
3 Moon near Mars (73° from Sun, morning sky) at 20h UT. Mag. +1.2.
4 Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks at 8h UT. Active between December 28 and January 12. Produces up to 120 meteors per hour. Radiant is in northern Boφtes.
• Quadrantids (Wikipedia)
• The Quadrantids (Gary Kronk)
7 Moon, Venus and Saturn within a 3.6° circle (36° from Sun, morning sky) at 4h UT. Mags. -4.0 & +0.5.
9 Venus 0.08° N of Saturn (36° from Sun, morning sky) at 4h UT. Mags. -4.0 & +0.5.
10 New Moon at 1:31 UT. Start of lunation 1151.
• Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
14 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 14h UT. Not visible. The elusive planet passes into the morning sky.
15 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 2h UT (369,619 km; angular size 32.3').
16 First Quarter Moon at 23:26 UT.
19 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 9h UT.
• The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
20 Moon very near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 2h UT. Occultation visible from USA and Canada.
• Occultation of Aldebaran (IOTA)
24 Full Moon at 1:46 UT.
• Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
24 Moon near Beehive cluster (midnight sky) at 10h UT.
• Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
• M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
26 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 4h UT.
28 Moon near Jupiter (135° from Sun, morning sky) at 0h UT. Mag. -2.3.
30 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 9h UT (distance 404,553 km; angular size 29.5').
30 Moon near Spica (106° from Sun, morning sky) at 15h UT.
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
• Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
• Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
• Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)