Rio Rancho Astronomical Society
Friday May 13th: Monthly meeting and stargaze.
Meeting starts at 8:00 PM (note change in time) with stargaze to follow (weather permitting).
Special guest speaker will be GB Cornicopia who will talk about stargaze at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in preperation for the club trip to Chaco the weeked of June 3rd to 5th.
For more information, contact RRAS Vice-President, Melanie Templet at 505-220-5355.
Mars at Oppostion May 22nd
Mars will come into Opposition on May 22, 2016 in the constellation Scorpius, when it will shine at an apparent visual brightness of -2.06 mag. Eight days later, on May 30, 2016, it will have its closest approach to Earth during this appatition, with a distance of about 47.05 million miles (75.28 million km, 0.50321 AU), and an apparent diameter of 18.60". This is intermediate between closer perihelic and more distant aphelic apparitions (aphelion appeared in November 2015, perihelion will occur in October 2016). At opposition time, there will be late summer on Mars' Northern hemisphere, so Mars' North Polar Region (NPR) will be visible from Earth, but slowly go behind horizon: Northern Summer Solstice was in January, 2016, and Northern Autumn Equinox will occur in July, 2016. With a southern value for declination of -21:37 at opposition time, this will be better observable from southern locations on Earth.