Thursday, June 13, 2013

Night Sky Network Newsletter - June 2013

Amateur Astronomers: You are the reason the Night Sky Network is such a powerful tool. Thank you for all of your efforts to educate and amaze the public and yourselves with the wonders of the night sky. Keep up your wonderful work!
  1. Telecon News: Kepler Telecon on July 29; High-Energy Universe audio now available
  2. Log your events to win a Kepler Orrey
  3. Updates coming soon to Planetquest and Shadows and Silhouettes ToolKits
  4. GoStargaze app has been retired
  5. New featured articles and activity for June

1. Telecon News: Kepler Telecon on July 29; High-Energy Universe audio now available

      Dr. Nick Gautier, the Kepler's Deputy Project Scientist, will join us Monday, July 29th at 6pm PT/9pm ET to discuss the latest updates from the Kepler mission! Mark your calendars as this should be extremely interesting: even though the Kepler telescope is troubled at the moment, scientists are still hard at work crunching through the immense volumes of data the mission has collected. Announcements at the recent American Astronomical Society meeting, including hundreds of new planet candidates, have made the news and have the public talking. Get prepared for their questions and find out what Kepler has in store next. Call-in information available in next month's newsletter.

Our High-Energy Universe Telecon was a great success! 
We ar e pleased to announce that the audio, as well as the written transcipt and slides, are available for download here:

2. Log your events for the next quarterly prize!

Image of the Kepler Orrey in action
     It's that time again! Club Members and Coordinators, remember to log your events in order to qualify for our next quarterly prize: a Kepler Orrey, a great model that helps demonstrate the transit method of detecting planets. The more events you log, the better your chances of winning. Log just 2 events that were held between April 1 and June 30, 2013 to automatically qualify for a ToolKit your club has not yet received. While you're logged in, be sure to update your future events and check that your shipping address is correct so we get upcoming ToolKits to you.

3. Updates coming soon to Planetquest and Shadows and SilhouettesMarni and friends on location at the ASP's headqyua
 rters, filming a new toolkit video. 

    We are hard at work updating two of our most popular ToolKits with the latest discoveries. Both PlanetQuest and Shadows and Silhouettes will be updated by the end of summer, and the results shipped to your clubs just in time for the start of the new school year. Marni even makes a cameo appearance in the new videos, right. Some NSN members have been testing and evaluating the new materials, and here's some of what they're saying:
  • "I envision using these cards first to help me plan an observing session for the public, and then to help me give facts about the objects seen, which will initiate more conversation and discu ssion."
  • "They are a great resource, especially for new outreach members, but even for those of us who have been doing lots of outreach."

Stay tuned for more information later this summer!

4. GoStargaze app has been retired
It is with a bit of sadness that we announce that our GoStargaze app has been retired from the iTunes store. While it was a valuable tool for many, it has become superseded by other applications that can use the map of clubs from the Night Sky Network to let both amateur astronomers and the general public find astronomy e vents and clubs in their areas. Two of those apps are Distant Suns and SkySafari-and unlike the GoStarGaze app, they are available for both Android and Apple (iOS) devices.

 If you have a link to the GoStarGaze app on your club's website, we ask that you remove it in order to prevent visitors and club members from confusion, as it is no longer available. Thank you!

5. New featured articles and activity 

     We have a new article as well as a new featured activity for June:
  &nbsp ;   Mercury Rising:  Mercury is about to hit its highest point in the western sky in our evenings for 2013. Tips on how to find it, as well as some information on the ongoing Mercury MESSENGER probe, are in this mini feature.
      Space Weather Presentation: The sun is full of activity, as those of you who do solar observing are no doubt aware! This PowerPoint helps to illustrate how space weather directly effects our life here on Earth.

Thank you for all of your efforts, and have a wonderful June. Let summer begin!
You can reach both of us anytime at
Wishing you clear skies,
Vivian White & David Prosper
The Night Sky Network Team

Night Sky Net work Members:
You are the backbone of eyes-to-the-skies astronomy outreach.  NASA, ASP, and our partners are proud to support your amazing outreach events with a variety of free materials: Quarterly prizes for logging your events, outreach ToolKits, handouts from NASA partners, and publicity for events you post on the Night Sky Network Calendar.
NOTE: The NASA Night Sky Network is a nationwide community of over 425 amateur astronomy clubs.  You are signed up for email notifications from the Night Sky Network as a member of your local astronomy club.  To change your preferences for receiving Newsletters and other notifications, log into the Network and select "My Profile."
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The NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
The ASP is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that advances science literacy through astronomy. Your contribution is tax-deductible as provided by law.

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