RRAS
Rio Rancho
Astronomical Society

A Member Club of the Astronomical League

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The Rio Rancho Astronomical Society began in 1998 as an astronomy club with Rio Rancho High School.  Soon after its founding the club expanded to become an public club, independent of the high school.  Over the years, we have grown and expanded, with new members coming and going, to the current public club we are today.  We are open to all types of members, from beginning astronomers to seasoned veterans.   And no, you don't need to be a master observer or even own a telescope to join.  All you need are a good pair of eyes and willingness to learn.

Mars Opposition

Look opposite the Sun in the sky tonight and you'll see Mars at its brightest. Also within days of its closest approach Mars rises at sunset, near its brightest and best for telescopic observers too, except for the dust storm still blanketing the Red Planet. These two Hubble Space Telescope images compare Mars' appearance near its 2016 and 2018 oppositions. In 2016 the martian atmosphere was clear. Captured just days ago, the 2018 image shows almost the same face of Mars. Surface features obscured by dust, the planet's cloud enshrouded south pole is tilted more toward the Sun. Increased heat in the southern hemisphere spring and summer likely triggers planet wide dust storms. Of course, if you look opposite the Sun in the sky tonight, you'll also see a Full Moon near Mars. Skygazers NOT located in North America could see the Red Planet near a Red Moon during a Total Lunar Eclipse.

 

Source:  Astronomy Picture of the Day

 

 

August 17, 8:00 PM
Monthly Public Meeting at Rainbow Park Observatory. Stargaze after the meeting if the weather permits.

For more information, contact RRAS Vice-President, Melanie Templet  at 505-220-5355.

CURRENT MOON

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