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.

Upcoming Astronomical Events
Upcoming Club Events
Wednesday, December 12th, 6:00 PM

As part of the “NASA at My Library” initiative, Jessica Sutter, a 4th year Ph.D. student at U. of Wyoming, will present her research at the Loma Colorado library auditorium.  The public is welcome to attend.
What's Up This Week

Clear Sky Clock

Map to Rainbow Park Observatory

December 2018 Sky Chart

Friday, January 11th,  7:30 PM

The Rio Rancho Astronomical Society will host its monthly public meeting on Friday, January 11th  starting at 7:30 PM.  The meeting will be held at Rainbow Park Observatory, located at 301 Southern Blvd., Rio Rancho (behind Rainbow Pool).  RRAS Member Darin Templet will give a talk on Deep Sky Observing.  The meeting is free and open to the public, and telescopes will be set up for observing after the meeting, weather permitting.

Sunday, January 20th
Total Lunar Eclipse

The Rainbow Park Observatory will open on Sunday January 20th starting at 7:00 PM for a total eclipse of the moon.  Eclipse times are shown in the table below.



7:36 pM

Penumbral Eclipse begins. The  Earth's penumbra start touching the Moon's face.

8:33 pM

Partial Eclipse begins. Partial moon eclipse starts - moon is getting red.

9:41 pM

Total Eclipse begins. Total moon eclipse starts - completely red moon.

10:12 pM

Maximum Eclipse. Moon is closest to the center of the shadow.

10:43 pM

Total Eclipse ends. Total moon eclipse ends.

11:50 pM

Partial Eclipse ends. Partial moon eclipse ends.

12:48 AM

Penumbral Eclipse ends. The Earth's penumbra ends.

For more information, contact RRAS Vice-President, Melanie Templet  at 505-220-5355.
Got Questions?  Send an Email

Orion in Red and Blue

When did Orion become so flashy? This colorful rendition of part of the constellation of Orion comes from red light emitted by hydrogen and sulfur (SII), and blue-green light emitted by oxygen (OIII). Hues on the featured image were then digitally reassigned to be indicative of their elemental origins -- but also striking to the human eye. The breathtaking composite was painstakingly composed from hundreds of images which took nearly 200 hours to collect. Pictured, Barnard's Loop, across the image bottom, appears to cradle interstellar constructs including the intricate Orion Nebula seen just right of center. The Flame Nebula can also be quickly located, but it takes a careful eye to identify the slight indentation of the dark Horsehead Nebula. As to Orion's flashiness -- a leading explanation for the origin of Barnard's Loop is a supernova blast that occurred about two million years ago.

Source:  Astronomy Picture of the Day