Atlantis Moves to Kennedy Space Center Display

Space Shuttle Atlantis stands in Exploration Park
Image Credit: NASA / Kim Shiflett

The Space Shuttle Atlantis has been moved to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The museum where the shuttle will be housed is scheduled to open in July 2013. Atlantis completed 33 successful missions.

Key events in the history of Atlantis include:

  • Maiden Voyage in October 1985
  • Launch of the Magellan spacecraft to map Venus in 1989
  • Launch of the Galileo probe to Jupiter in 1989
  • Supply and Docking with the Russian Space Station Mir in 1995

Atlantis Fireworks
Fireworks mark the arrival of space shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Image Credit: NASA

Transit of Venus – Party at HCC

The Meade Telescope Safely Projecting an Image of the Sun and Venus
Image Credit: Dave Fischer

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP) held a party to celebrate the Transit of Venus across the disc of the Sun. I won’t happen again for another 105 years. The Humanist Community Center is located at 627 W Eighth Street, Mesa Arizona.

Below is the black disk of Venus crossing the Sun.

The Transit of Venus Projected on our Screen
Image Credit: Dave Fischer

Venus Transits the Sun – Observation on Tuesday Hosted by The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP) is hosting an astronomy event Tuesday afternoon, 5 June 2012, featuring the Transit of the Sun by Venus.

The location is the Humanist Community Center (HCC) located at 627 W. 8th Street Mesa, AZ. A map of the location is here.

The 2012 Transit by Venus as seen from the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii
Image Credit: HSGP

The transit as seen in Phoenix begins a little after 3:00 PM, so arrive early at HCC. The hosts will have a variety of observation methods.

Safety is a primary concern. Please note these warnings from Wikipedia:

The safest way to watch a transit is to observe an image of the Sun projected onto a screen through a telescope, binoculars, pinhole[7] or reflected pinhole.[8] The event can be viewed without magnification using filters specifically designed for this purpose, such as an astronomical solar filter or eclipse viewing glasses coated with a vacuum-deposited layer of chromium. However, the disk of Venus is tiny compared to the sun and not much will be seen. The once-recommended method of using exposed black-and-white film as a filter is not now considered safe, as small imperfections or gaps in the film may permit harmful UV rays to pass through. Observing the Sun directly without appropriate protection can damage or destroy retinal cells, causing temporary or permanent blindness.[9][10][11]

The Humanist Community Center in Mesa
Image Credit: HSGP

Stargazing at the Challenger Space Center

The Summer Triangle (Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra. ) is high in the sky. Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury are visible in the evening. And a new crescent Moon makes its entry the second week of August.

To learn more about these astronomical objects, the Challenger Space Center is hosting its monthly Family Stargazing Night this coming Saturday, 7 August 2010, starting at 7:00 PM. Join Tony and Carole LaConte from Stargazing For Everyone for a guided tour of the heavens, and some hands on telescope observing time.

Since this is August, it is likely to be warm. Bring water, lawn chairs or blankets.

The Challenger Center
21170 N 83rd Ave
Peoria, AZ 85382

Tel 623.322.2001

Admission ranges from $5 to $8.

August Sky
Looking South at The August Sky
Image Credit: Jodrell Bank / University of Manchester

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Fifty Years of Space Exploration

Eye Candy from National Geographic.

50 Years
50 Years of Space Exploration
Image Credit: National Geographic

Click on the link for an expanded image. Click on the expanded image for a BIG expanded image.