OKLAHOMA SPACE ALLIANCE
A Chapter of the National Space Society

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OUTREACH January 2013

January Meeting (NOTE TIME and LOCATION)

         Oklahoma Space Alliance will meet on January 12, 2013 at Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. Our business meeting will start at 2:30 p.m. with feature presentations beginning at 3:15 p.m. The street address is 1617 SW 74th Street and the phone number is 685-5414.
         Our directions posted in previous issues of Outreach were unnecessarily complicated. If you take the exit at Pennsylvania coming from the east, you pass right by the entrance. If you’re coming on Pennsylvania itself, there’s an entrance from the street to the north of Denny’s.

January 12, 2013 – OSA Meeting Agenda

2:30 p.m.

  1. Review Minutes and Agenda
  2. New Mail
  3. Treasurers Report
  4. Report on OSIDA Meeting
  5. Old Business
    1. Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame Status
  6. New Business
    1. Annual Report

3:15 P.M.

  1. What's Happening With Space?
  2. Space Industry in Oklahoma—Visions and Thoughts, Steve Swift
  3. Discussion Topic: NSS Roadmap
    1. Part III:  Utilization of Technology
    2. Part IV:  To the Moon
  4.  Adjournment


         The theme for Oklahoma Space Alliance in 2012 is “What’s Happening in Space.” People think that space exploration is dead with the end of the shuttle program. We should use our theme as an emphasis for meetings, selection of speakers and topics for agenda items.

Minutes on Christmas Party

         Oklahoma Space Alliance had its annual Christmas Party on December 15 at Tom and Heidi Koszoru’s. Attendees included Tom and Heidi Koszoru, their daughter Jennie and her husband, Russ Davoren, Claire and Clifford McMurray, John Northcutt, Don Robinson, Tim Scott, Linda Shannon, Dave Sheely, David St. John, Steve Swift and Syd Henderson.
         This being a party, we conducted little business except for electing officers. John Northcutt, who had been nominated for Vice-President, withdrew in favor of Claire McMurray, so the Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers for 2013 are:
         Steve Swift, President
         Claire McMurray, Vice-President
         Syd Henderson, Secretary
         Tim Scott, Treasurer.
         Dave Swift and David St. John renewed their memberships.
         Claire and Kip’s eclipse photographs were postponed to a later date.
         Tim confirmed orders for the coupon books and took Claire and Kip’s order. The books are expected shortly before Christmas.
[Minutes by OSA Secretary Syd Henderson.]

OSIDA Meeting December 12, 2012

[Notes by OSA President Steve Swift.]

Space News

         We’re getting a naked eye comet for March! See “Sky Viewing.”

         The Kepler team has come up with some startling numbers: of the 190,000 target star systems observed over all or part of three years, 11,087 pass tests for false positives and show evidence of planetary system. Many stars show evidence of multiple planets, for a total of 18,406 possible planets. Periods range from half a day to 525 days. (The last is an artifact from the requirement that there be three transits during the three-year period; there should be several times that many transiting planets with longer periods. By comparison, the Martian year is 687 Earth days long.)
         Note that these are possible planets, not confirmed. There are a lot of positives with periods of one year due to a glitch in Kepler’s data, but eliminating all of those still nearly 16,000 candidates for planets. 262 of these candidates are potentially habitable, with 4 around the size of Mars and 23 the size of Earth.
         Since Kepler can only detect planets that transit their star’s disk, it can only detect a small percentage of planets even within its constraints. There is only about one percent chance that a planet the distance of Earth would transit its star’s disk as seen from Earth. It’s much more likely that a closer planet would transit its star’s disk, so Kepler is doubly biased toward finding hot planets: their short orbits make them easier to detect and they are more likely to transit.
         The Planetary Habitability Laboratory’s press release is at phl.upr.edu/press-releases/mygoditsfullofplanetstheyshouldhavesentapoet. An abstract of the actual paper is at http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.2915v1. Also see “Kepler Hits Planet Bonanza?” in http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news.  

         Martian meteorite NWA (Northwest Africa) 7034 turns out to be 2.1 billion years old and is 0.6% water, ten times that usually found in meteors from Mars.

Sky Viewing

         Comet alert: Comet C/2011 L4, or PanSTARRS will brighten from sixth to second magnitude in February (but will only be visible from the Southern Hemisphere), and reaches magnitude 0 in March, at which point it be magnitude 0.0 and be visible from the Northern Hemisphere. Note, though it will be only 16° degrees from the Sun. An article is online at http://media.skyandtelescope.com/documents/PanSTARRS.pdf.

         The 50-yard wide asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 18,000 of the Earth on February 15.

         Jupiter and the Moon are having an unusually close conjunction on the evening of January 21. Indeed, from parts of South America, this is an occultation—that is, the Moon appears to pass in front of Jupiter. (When a visually smaller body passes in front of a larger, it’s called a transit.) For us, Jupiter will be within a degree of the Moon.

         Mercury is headed toward superior conjunction with the Sun on January 18 and currently is not visible. Mercury will become visible in the evening at the very end of the month. It’s located a couple of degrees below Mars and actually is a couple of magnitudes brighter, although hard to see in twilight. On February 8, Mercury passes within 0.3° of Mars, although Mars may be hard to see. By February 16, Mercury will be 11° above the horizon a half-hour after sunset and should be relatively easy to see at magnitude -0. 6.
         Venus is magnitude -3.9 (which would be bright for any planet but Venus, which can get up to magnitude -4.7) and is low in the eastern sky before sunrise. Venus will be rising only 40 minutes before the Sun on February 1, and a few days later it will be lost in twilight. Venus will be on superior conjunction with the Sun on March 28, and will reappear in the evening sky in May.
         Mars is low in the western sky at sunset and, at magnitude 1.2, is hard to pick up against the twilight. Mercury will be a better marker for Mars in early February than vice-versa. By late February, Mars will be lost in the twilight as it slowly approaches its conjunction with the Sun on April 17.
         Jupiter is magnitude -2.7, is high in the southeastern sky after sunset and is the brightest non-lunar object in the sky for most of the night. The V-shaped grouping just below it is the Hyades star cluster. The bright star that appears to be part of the cluster is the red giant Aldebaran; it’s actually less than half the distance to the Hyades. The Pleiades are ten degrees from Jupiter in the opposite direction. Jupiter will gradually move in the direction of the Pleiades through February.
         On the evening of February 2 and 3, all four Galilean moons of Jupiter will be on the same side of Jupiter. In order outward, they’ll be Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. (Ganymede is actually closer to Jupiter than Callisto but their positions in their orbits make it appear the other way around.    
         Saturn is currently magnitude 0.6 and in the constellation Libra. It’s currently rising around 2:00 a.m., but by mid-February, will be rising around midnight. The rings are currently at an angle of 19° to our line of sight. The maximum tilt for the year will be 19.3° in February.
         Uranus is still fairly high in the western sky at sunset, and is magnitude 5.8. It’s still in the constellation Pisces where it will be for quite a while. Uranus will be visible, though probably with binoculars, through the end of February, at which point it vanishes in twilight.
         Neptune is still hanging out in the corner of Aquarius where it’s been for a couple of years, and is magnitude 7.8. It is setting three hours after the Sun, but by the end of January will be lost in twilight. Mars and Neptune actually have a conjunction around February 4, but since it occurs in twilight (and Neptune’s not visible to the naked eye anyway), it’s not making astronomers too excited. Similarly, Venus will pass both planets in the next few months but it occurs too close to the Sun to be seen.
 [Data for this section from Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Wikipedia and NASA.]

Viewing Opportunities for Satellites (January 10 – February 16, 2013)

         You can get sighting information at www.heavens-above.com/. Heavens Above allows you to get satellite-viewing data for 10-day periods, and gives you a constellation map showing the trajectory of the satellite. However, Heavens Above has changed its detail view so that you can no longer get location coordinates. On the other hand, it does give very useful maps.
         Usually I use http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/. This actually gives coordinates at 20-second intervals from when the satellite rises, not from when it peaks. I’m using one-minute intervals. It also doesn’t give you information for Tiangong 1. This month, however, the NASA site was down, so I’m using Heavens Above.
         Sky Online (the Sky & Telescope web site) carries International Space Station observation times for the next few nights at skyandtelescope.com/observing/almanac.
         With the addition of the solar panels, the International Space Station can be as bright as magnitude -3.5, making it brighter than all the stars other than the Sun and all the planets other than Venus, although magnitude -2 to -3 is more likely. The Hubble Space Telescope can get up to magnitude 1.5, which is brighter than the stars in the Big Dipper, although, since it is lower in the sky, it is more difficult to see.  China’s Tiangong 1 space station can get up to magnitude -0.6, which is brighter than all the night stars except Sirius and Canopus.
         Missions to and from the Space Station may change its orbit. The next manned mission to the Space Station launches on March 28 and the next resupply mission launches on February 12, so neither should affect the data. However, be sure to check Heavens Above or www.jsc.nasa.gov/sightings before going out to watch just in case. 
         China is planning one more mission to the Tiangong-1 space station in June. It will be deorbited in late 2013. No more missions to the Hubble Space Telescope are planned, but it should function at least until 2014.

ISS January 10, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
7:00 a.m.      236°           10°
7:03:33         319            69
7:07                43            10

ISS January 11, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow
6:11 a.m.      212°           18°
6:13:02         135            60
6:17                55            10

Tiangong-1 January 21, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
6:25 a.m.      218°           10°
6:28              147            40
6:31                78            10
                   
Tiangong-1 January 22, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
6:50 a.m.      253°           10°
6:53              336            62
6:56                58            10

HST January 23, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
7:05 a.m.      238°           10°
7:09:37         176            31
7:13              114            10

HST January 24, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
7:01 a.m.      242°           10°
7:05:04         179            32
7:09              116            10

HST January 25, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
6:57 a.m.      236°           10°
7:00:31         183            31
7:04              120            10

ISS January 28, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow
6:28 a.m.      333°           13°
6:30:37           36            34
6:34              103            10

ISS January 30, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow
6:24:23 a.m. 309°           24°
6:26:13           36            34
6:29              103            10

Tiangong-1 February 2, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
Appears from Earth’s shadow
6:42 a.m.      297°           15°
6:44              102            90
6:47                58            10

ISS February 7, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
7:30 p.m.      228°           10°
7:33:12         319            87
7:33:46           42            59
Vanishes into Earth’s shadow

ISS February 8, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
6:39 p.m.      207°           10°
6:42:35         134            44
6:45:38           61            11

ISS February 10, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
6:34 p.m.      239°           10°
6:37:42         320            59
6:41                41            10

Tiangong-1 February 15, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
6:47 p.m.      234°           10°
6:50              151            68
6:52                68            12
Vanishes into Earth’s shadow

Tiangong-1 February 16, 2013
Time          Position   Elevation
7:11 p.m.      266°           10°
7:12              339            42
7:13                42            20
Vanishes into Earth’s shadow

         The NASA sightings site was down, so all sightings are from Heavens-Above. Detailed maps are available on the site.

         Key: Position is measured in degrees clockwise from north. That is, 0° is due north, 90° is due east, 180° is due south, and 270° is due west.  Your fist held at arm's length is about ten degrees wide. "Elevation" is elevation above the horizon in degrees. Thus, to find the Hubble Space Telescope at 7:03 a.m. on December 8, measure a little over four fist-widths south from due east, then two fist-widths above the horizon.
         All times are rounded off to the nearest minute except for times when the satellite enters or leaves the shadow of the Earth. The highest elevation shown for each viewing opportunity is the actual maximum elevation for that appearance.

Programming Notice: NASA TV on the Web

         Watch NASA TV (Public, Media and Education Channels) on your computer using Flash, Windows or QuickTime at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html.
         NASA TV Schedules are available at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html
Highlights:
January 17, 1:00 p.m., SS Expedition 35/36 Crew News Conference.

Top Space-Related Stories of 2012

         With the end of the year, several science magazines published their top science stories. Discover, for example published their top 100 stories, while Science News did a top 25 and Astronomy their top 10. All three had the discovery of the Higgs boson, the subatomic particle the produces a field that gives mass to those particles that possess it (i.e. the photon and the graviton, if the latter exists). Indeed, the Higgs field gives mass to the Higgs boson itself. Without it, all objects in the Universe would be massless and fly around at the speed of light, which would be disconcerting to say the least.

Space-related stories making the Discover list:
1) The discovery of the Higgs boson, which has implications for the evolution of the Universe, particularly in the first few million years, energetic objects such as accretion discs and jets around black holes, and possibly dark matter.
2) “Robo-Geologist Lands on Mars,” the Curiosity landing on Mars, including its innovative landing technique and first photos.
6) “The Private Spaceflight Era begins,” the launches of the Dragon space capsule to the ISS. (I would have put this at #2, although it’s technology.)
8) “Mapping the Dark Cosmos.” Astronomers sometimes map the presence of something that they can’t see by its gravitational effects on objects behind it. In 2012, Ludovic van Waerbeke and Catherine Heymans mapped a web of dark matter a billion light-years across.
14) “Alien Planet Found Around Nearest Star.” Alpha Centauri Bb (yes, that’s its astronomical name) is slightly more massive than Earth and has a surface that is so hot it is likely molten lava. (On the side toward its primary, that is; the other side is probably very cold. A planet that close to its star almost certainly has its rotation locked.) Other exoplanets included here are the mostly carbon “diamond planet,” a planet that orbits a double star which in turn is orbited by a second double star, and a seven Earth mass planet in its star’s habitable zone.
17) “Relic Protoplanet is a Survivor.” Dawn completed its mission to the asteroid Vesta, finding out, among many other things, that Vesta has a rocky crust, a mantle, and an iron core. This planet-like structure, in turn, means it’s a body from the formation of the Solar System and not a chunk off a larger body.
25) “Earth’s Explosive Origins Revealed.” That iron core to Vesta indicates that Earth swallowed a lot of differentiated protoplanets when it first formed, which produced its iron core. Also some primitive meteorites contain the decay products of iron-60, which would have to come from a nearby supernova; since the byproducts are inside the meteors, that suggests the supernova may have caused the formation of the Solar System.
33) “Maya Astronomy Office Unearthed.” A room in the ancient Mayan city of Xultun in what is now Guatemala has walls covered in astronomical tables. These are in several layers, refined as time passed. Some dates are 2,000 years in the future, well beyond the supposed end of the Mayan calendar.
37) “Saturn’s Moon Has a Hidden Ocean.” The moon is, of course, Titan. In addition to the seas of liquid methane on its surfaces, Titan also has an ocean of water beneath its icy crust.
50) “SpaceX Begins Orbital Delivery.” (See #6)
53) “China’s Space Program Racks up More Firsts.” That is, docking with a space station and launching a woman astronaut.
56) “Dispatches from the Edge of the Solar System,” Voyager 1 continues to approach the heliopause. The supposed gravitational anomalies in the Pioneer probes are apparently due to their generators radiating heat in their direction of travel.
64) “Fat Galaxy Cluster Raises Cosmic Questions.” El Gordo (“The Fat One”) is a cluster of hundreds of galaxies seven billion miles away, which means it had formed by the time the Universe was seven billion years old. This is very early for a cluster that size to have formed, which in turn is influencing theories of how the early Universe formed.
68) “Two Spy Satellites Come In From the Cold.” The National Reconnaissance Office, a US spy organization so clandestine I’d never heard of it, gave NASA two new telescopes comparable to the Hubble Telescope in size but with better optics and wider field of view. And remember, these are the ones they’re winning to give away. NASA is now trying to figure out how to fund the telescopes. [One possible use is to jump-start the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope project, moving it up by as much as seven years.]
78) “Severe Weather on Uranus.” Storms and rapidly changing bands. [Other articles indicate Uranus may have winds blowing several hundred miles an hour under its deceptively bland exterior.]
81) “Russian Mars Probe Crashes Back to Earth.” More specifically a Phobos sample and return mission.
85) “Glowing Trails on the Edge of Space.” In March, NASA launched five rockets that released tracers in the upper atmosphere, producing a chemical aurora.
90) “Neil Armstrong & Sally Ride, Space Pioneers.” In memoriam.
91) “Ray Bradbury, Visionary Author.” Bradbury Landing in Gale Crater was named after him on August 22, when he would have turned 92.
92) “Cosmology Gets the 3-D Treatment.” New maps of the 3-D structure of the Universe.
100) “Sun Burn.” The Sun released a huge burst of gas thirty times the mass of the Earth, and with a velocity of 900 miles per second.
         The full list occupies most of the January 2013 issue of Discover.

         The list in the December 29, 2012 issue of Science News also starts off with the discovery of the Higgs boson and Curiosity on Mars. #9 is Alpha Centauri Bb. #25 is the Mayan astronomy chamber and apocalypse. Science News is more exclusively science than Discover, so SpaceX doesn’t figure in.

         Astronomy’s “Top 10 Space Stories of 2012” include the Higgs boson at #1, commercial space flights at #3, strange exoplanets at #4 (including planets around stars that don’t contain much in the way of metals, something thought to be impossible), Dawn at Vesta at #6 and Curiosity a #9. That leaves five other purely astronomical stories.
2) “Astronomers Question How a Star Blows Up.” The problem they’re facing is that there seem to be two different kinds of type Ia supernovae with different brightnesses. The first occurs when a white dwarf accumulates mass until it hits 1.4 solar masses (Chandrasekhar’s Limit), then blows up into a supernova. Since these all have the same mass, the supernovae should have the same brightness. The other type are when two white dwarfs collide; since each white dwarf can have a mass up to 1.4 solar masses, the combination can have up to 2.8 solar masses, and the brightness of the supernovae produced can vary considerably. Considering that type Ia supernovae were used to show that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, astronomers need to know which kind of supernova they’re looking at.
5) “IBEX Reveals a Softer Edge.” IBEX is the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, which was launched in 2008. It’s revealed that the Solar System is not moving as fast as expected through the interstellar medium, which means that there isn’t a “bow shock” in the direction we’re headed, but more of a “bow wave.”
7) “DIY Funding Ramps Up.” Funding for Earth-based telescopes, that is. With government spending on science drying up, a lot of organizations building telescopes are opting out of government funding entirely. Among these are the Discovery Channel Telescope, the Sentinel Space Telescope (via the B612 Foundation), and the Giant Magellan Telescope. The DCT was budgeted at $55,000,000, Sentinel for $500,000,000 and the Giant Magellan Telescope at $700,000,000. Many of the old grand observatories were privately funded. Allowing for inflation, Palomar Mountain Observatory cost a billion dollars in today’s dollars, and Lick Observatory more than that.
8) “Base of Black Hole’s Jet Spied.” The elliptical galaxy M87 has a gigantic black hole at its center with a mass of 6.2 billion Suns and a diameter of 30 billion miles. From this shoots a jet of gas hundreds of thousands of light-years long. Such jets shoot out perpendicular to the accretion disc formed by material falling into the black hole, and are thought to be coming from the north and south poles of the black hole’s magnetic field. Each black hole has an innermost stable circular orbit that is about 5.5 times the radius of the black hole’s event horizon. Last year observations using the Event Horizon Telescope array confirmed that the base of the jets lie at this orbit. Next step is to find out how the spins of the black hole and accretion disc affect the jets.
10) “Dwarf Galaxies and Stellar Formation,” The Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (whew!) or CANDELS is observing 69 dwarf galaxies 9 billion or more light-years away to see how these formed. These galaxies were only five to forty million years old at that stage of their formation, and were still growing, doubling their mass every 10 million years or so. Stars tend to form in bursts, with 1 to 10 solar masses worth of stars forming per year. If that doesn’t sound like much, consider how many stars will be formed over several hundred million years of star formation.

Calendar of Events
           
         Sometime in 2013: The student-built nanosatellite, Aalto-1, will become Finland’s first satellite. A summary in English of the mission is at https://wiki.aalto.fi/display/SuomiSAT/Summary
         Late in 2013: China deorbits its Tiangong-1 space station and launches Tiangong-2.
         Late in 2013: China’s Chang’e 3 rover lands on the Moon. This will be the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon since 1976.
         January 9: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         January 11: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         January 12: Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at Denny’s on the I-240 access road on the north side just east of Pennsylvania Avenue in southern Oklahoma City. See “January Meeting” on page 1.
         January 18: Mercury is in superior conjunction with respect to the Sun.
         February 8: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         February 9: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 2:30 p.m. Exact time and location to be announced.
         February 12: Launch of ISS Progress 50 resupply capsule to ISS.
         February 13: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         February 15: Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 21,000 miles of Earth.
         February 16: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 16° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset)
         February 21: Neptune is in conjunction with the Sun.
         March 1: Space-X’s second resupply flight to the ISS.
         March 4: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         March 8 - 22: Comet PanSTARRS is at peak visibility, and may reach magnitude 0.
         March 8: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         March 9: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 2:30 p.m. Exact time and location to be announced.
         March 9: Messier Marathon at the Cheddar Ranch Observatory, for Oklahoma City Astronomy Club members and their invited guests.  See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         March 13: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         March 28: Launch of three Expedition 35/36 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         March 28: Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         March 28: Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun.
         February 16: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 28° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         April 5: First Cygnus test flight to the ISS.
         April 10: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         April 12: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         April 13: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 2:30 p.m. Exact time and location to be announced.
         April 17: Mars is in conjunction with the Sun.
         April 18: European Space Agency’s Automatic Transfer Vehicle 4 (aka Albert Einstein) is launched to the ISS.
         April 28: Saturn is at opposition.
         No earlier than April 28: Launch of IRIS, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, which will trace the flow of energy and matter into the Sun’s corona and photosphere. See http://iris.gsfc.nasa.gov/ for details.
         May 8: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         May 9-10: Annular solar eclipse visible in northern Australia and central Pacific.
         May 10: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         May 11: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 2:30 p.m. Exact time and location to be announced.
         May 11: Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         May 23 – 27: ISDC 2013, the National Space Society’s 32nd Annual International Space Development Conference, San Diego, California. For more information, visit http://isdc.nss.org/2013.
         May 28: Launch of three Expedition 36/37 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         May 28: Triple conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury; they are within 3° of each other
         June 2013: Shenzhou-10 space mission to Tiangong-1 [not Tiangong-2 as reported in earlier issues of Outreach].
         June 8: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 2:30 p.m. Exact time and location to be announced.
         June 12: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         June 12: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 24° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset)
         June 14: Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly the Omniplex). There will be a novice session in the planetarium at 6:45 p.m., followed by a club meeting at 7:30 p.m. See http://www.okcastroclub.com/ for details.
         June 19: Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun.
         July 9: Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun.
         July 10: [Tentative.] Oklahoma Space Industry Authority Meeting at 1:30 p.m., Oklahoma Department of Transportation Building in Oklahoma City.
         July 13: [Tentative] Oklahoma Space Alliance meeting at 2:30 p.m. Exact time and location to be announced.
         July 30: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 20° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         August 2013: Launch of Gaia (Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics), the European Space Agency successor to Hipparcos. Gaia will provide data on one billion stars in the Milky Way, including distances, proper and radial motion, and spectroscopic info burying astronomers in data. Gaia will also observe asteroids closer than the Earth to the Sun. For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_(spacecraft) or http://www.esa.int/export/esaSC/120377_index_0_m.html.
         August 12: Launch of LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer). For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/index.html.
         August 12: Peak of the Perseid meteor shower.
         August 24: Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         August 26: Neptune is at opposition.
         September 25: Launch of three Expedition 37/38 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         September 30: Space-X’s third resupply flight to the ISS.
         October 3: Uranus is at opposition.
         October 8: Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation, 25° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset)
         October 31: Venus is at greatest eastern elongation, 47° from the Sun (hence can be seen after sunset)
         November: Comet C/2012 S1 (Comet ISON) will approach within 1.1 million miles of the Sun and be visible to the naked eye.  It may well be visible during the daytime.
         November 3: Hybrid solar eclipse. This will begin as an annular eclipse east of Florida, and will be total on a path from the mid-Atlantic through central Africa.
         November 6: Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun.
         November 18: Launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN orbiter (MAVEN). (Launch windows extend through December 7.) The project web site is http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/.
         November 18: Mercury is at greatest western elongation, 19° from the Sun (hence can be seen before sunrise).
         November 25: Launch of three Expedition 38/39 members via Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Space Station.
         December 13: Peak of the Geminid meteor shower.
         December 29: Mercury is in superior conjunction with the Sun.
         Sometime in 2014: First test flight of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.
         Sometime in 2014: India launches Chandrayaan II. This mission will include a lunar rover. For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-2.
         Sometime in 2014: Russia launches the “Luna-Glob” mission, which will deploy 13 mini-probes upon the lunar surface. For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna-Glob. [Moved from 2012.]
         January 2014: Comet C/2012 S1 (Comet ISON) approaches with 37.2 million miles of Earth. It should be much brighter than Venus at this point. On January 8, it will be within two degrees of the North Star.
         January 5, 2014: Jupiter is at opposition.
         February 14, 2014: Launch of Japan’s Astro-H X-ray astronomy spacecraft. For details, visit http://astro-h.isas.jaxa.jp/index.html.en.
         April 14-15, 2014. Total eclipse of the Moon visible from North America.
         July 2014: Proposed launch date of Hayabusa 2 to asteroid 1999 JU3.
         August 2014 - December 2015: The European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe orbits comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In November 2014, it will release the Philae lander. Web page is www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Rosetta or visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_%28spacecraft%29.
         October 8, 2014: Total eclipse of the Moon visible from almost all of the Pacific Ocean, eastern Australia and western North and South America.
         Sometime in 2015: China launches the Tiangong-3 space station. This will eventually become the core of a large Chinese space station in the 2020s.
         February 2015: Dawn space probe arrives at Ceres. Operations are scheduled to continue through July. Dawn may continue on to other asteroids if it is still operational.
         July 14, 2015: The New Horizons probe passes through the Pluto-Charon system. The New Horizons web site is pluto.jhuapl.edu/.
         August 15, 2015: [Moved from 2014.) The European Space Agency/JAXA BepiColombo Mercury Orbiter is launched. Home page is sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=30\
         Sometime in 2016: ESA launches the ExoMars Mars Orbiter. This mission will include a static lander, but the rover will be launched in 2018. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exomars.
         March 2016: Proposed launch date for InSight, a lander that will probe the interior of Mars. For information, see http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/.
         July 2016-2020:  The New Horizons probe visits the Kuiper Belt.
         August 21, 2017: The next total solar eclipse visible in the United States, on a pretty straight path from Portland, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina.  St. Louis is the biggest city in-between.
         Sometime in 2018: ESA launches the ExoMars Mars Rover. For more information, visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exomars.
         Sometime in 2018: Earliest date for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.
         January 2022: BepiColombo arrives at Mercury orbit.
         April 8, 2024: A total solar eclipse crosses the US from the middle of the Mexico-Texas border, crosses Arkansas, southern Missouri, Louisville, Cleveland, Buffalo and northern New England.
         August 12, 2045: The next total solar eclipse visible in Oklahoma.  This one is also visible in Salt Lake City, Denver, Little Rock (again), Tampa Bay and New Orleans.

Oklahoma Space Alliance Officers, 2013 (Area Code 405)

Steve Swift, President                                                       496-3616 (H)
Claire McMurray, Vice President                                  329-4326 (H) 863-6173 (C)
Syd Henderson, Secretary & Outreach Editor               321-4027 (H) 365-8983 (C)
Tim Scott, Treasurer                                                           740-7549 (H)
Tom Koszoru, Update Editor                                             366-1767

OSA E-mail Addresses and Web Site:

(Replace "at" with @ symbol.)

sswift42 at aol.com (Steve Swift)
sydh at ou.edu (Syd Henderson)
ctscott at mac.com (Tim Scott)
cliffclaire at hotmail.com (Claire McMurray)
T_Koszoru at cox.net (Heidi and Tom Koszoru)
john.d.northcutt1 at tds.net (John Northcutt)
lensman13 at aol.com  (Steve Galpin)
      E-mail for OSA should be sent to sydh@ou.edu.  Members who wish their e-mail addresses printed in Outreach, and people wishing space-related materials e-mailed to them should contact Syd.  Oklahoma Space Alliance website is chapters.nss.org/ok/osanss.html. Webmaster is Syd Henderson.

Other Information
           
            Oklahoma Space Industrial Development Authority (OSIDA), 401 Sooner Drive/PO Box 689, Burns Flat, OK 73624, 580-562-3500.  Web site www.state.ok.us/~okspaceport.
            Science Museum Oklahoma (former Omniplex) website is www.sciencemuseumok.org. Main number is 602-6664.
            Tulsa Air and Space Museum, 7130 E. Apache, Tulsa, OK  74115.
Web Site is www.tulsaairandspacemuseum.com.  Phone (918) 834-9900.
            The Mars Society address is Mars Society, Box 273, Indian Hills CO 80454. Their web address is www.marsociety.org.
            The National Space Society's Headquarters phone is 202-429-1600. Executive Director is Gary Barnhard nsshq@nss.org. The Chapters Coordinator is Bennett Rutledge 720-529-8024. The address is: National Space Society, 1155 15th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20005 Web page is www.nss.org
            The Planetary Society phone 626-793-5100. The address is 65 North Catalina, Avenue, Pasadena, California, 91106-2301 and the website is www.planetary.org. E-mail is tps@planetary.org.
            NASA Spacelink BBS 205-895-0028.  Or try www.nasa.gov.  .
            Congressional Switchboard 202/224-3121.
             Write to any U. S. Senator or Representative at [name]/ Washington DC, 20510 (Senate) or 20515 [House].
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Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.
Copyright ©2012 Oklahoma Space Alliance.