Star Gazer February 2018

Star Gazer February 2018
Schoonover Observatory 670 N. Jefferson Street, Lima, Ohio 45801

Mailing Address: Lima Astronomical Society, Box 201, Lima, OH 45802

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The Star Gazer is written by Sherry Cottle Graham. Please forward comments, suggestions, or to unsubscribe/subscribe to this newsletter to


February 2, 2018 Meeting starts at 8:00 P.M. at the Schoonover Observatory

Presentation: “Jupiter” hosted by Michael Ritchie


Under the Dome

Winter Celebration InvitationWhen: February 17th, 2018   Where: Lima Elks Club, 302 West North Street, Lima, Ohio Time: 6:30 PM.  Please mark your calendars and plan to attend our Winter Party.  We will send out more information to you as it becomes available. It will be a fun event and we hope that you will join us.

Astronomical Calendar for 2018 (February and March)

Date     GMT   Event


Feb 01  18:24  Regulus 0.9°S of Moon


07  19:47  Jupiter 4.3°S of Moon

09  05:12  Mars 4.4°S of Moon

11  14:16  Moon at Apogee: 405701 km

11  14:46  Saturn 2.5°S of Moon

11  16:40  Mars 5.0°N of Antares

14  21:11  Moon at Descending Node

15  20:51  Partial Solar Eclipse; mag=0.599

15  21:05  NEW MOON

17  12     Mercury at Superior Conjunction


23  17:07  Aldebaran 0.7°S of Moon

27  14:48  Moon at Perigee: 363938 km

27  17:28  Beehive 2.3°N of Moon

28  05:03  Moon at Ascending Node


Mar 01  05:09  Regulus 0.9°S of Moon

02  00:51  FULL MOON

04  06     Mercury 1.1° of Venus

04  14     Neptune in Conjunction with Sun

07  06:57  Jupiter 4.1°S of Moon


10  00:37  Mars 3.8°S of Moon

10  11     Mercury at Perihelion

11  02:37  Saturn 2.2°S of Moon

11  09:13  Moon at Apogee: 404682 km

14  03:47  Moon at Descending Node

15  15     Mercury at Greatest Elong: 18.4°E

17  13:12  NEW MOON

18  19:07  Venus 3.7°N of Moon

19  08     Mercury 3.8° of Venus

20  16:15  Vernal Equinox

22  22:33  Aldebaran 0.9°S of Moon


26  17:17  Moon at Perigee: 369104 km

27  00:52  Beehive 2.2°N of Moon

27  10:56  Moon at Ascending Node

28  13:38  Regulus 1.0°S of Moon

31  12:37  FULL MOON


2018 Lima Astronomical Events Calendar

General Meetings for 2018 are on Friday’s starting at 8:00 P.M.

Winter Celebration is February 17, 2018 starting at 6:30 P.M. at the Lima Elks Club

Astronomy Days #1, April 21, 2018 starting at 9:30 P.M. at Kendrick woods

Persuides Meteor Shower, August 12-13, 2018 starting at dusk, at Kendrick Woods.

Astronomy Days #2, October 13, 2018, from Noon to Evening, at Lima Schoonover Observatory.

International Observe the Moon, October 20, 2018, starting at 6 P.M., at  Kendrick Woods.


50th Anniversary of the Apollo Lunar Landing, May 4th, 2019 at the Neil Armstrong Airport.

Night Out at the Neil Armstrong Museum, May 19th, 2019.


In the News

Rare Lunar Eclipse of a “blue moon” on January 31st, 2018


Hunters Recover Meteorites From Michigan Fireball

By: Bob King | January 19, 2018

The attached file contains the deleted pictures that were embedded into this document.

1.9KA spectacular fireball seen by hundreds of people from Iowa to Ontario delivered precious samples from the asteroid belt to the lake country of southern Michigan Tuesday

On January 16th around 8:10 p.m. EST, a brilliant, green fireball crackled across southern Michigan skies. Eyewitnesses described it as brighter than the full Moon with sparks and an orange tail. At least 77 observers reported hearing explosive sounds as the meteoroid broke apart overhead.

The American Meteor Society(AMS), a clearinghouse for meteor sightings, has received 657 reports of the fireball with some as far away as Iowa and southern Ontario.

The fireball traveled relatively slowly at around 45,000 km (28,000 miles) per hour. That sounds fast, but it’s more than 4½ times slower than a typical summertime Perseid.  Its slow speed and great brilliance suggests a fairly large space rock that penetrated deep into the atmosphere, according to Mike Hankey of the AMS.

While fireballs are relatively common, ones that drop meteorites are rare, and it’s rarer still for someone to find those black treasures. But by using Doppler weather radar data and seismic traces (more on that in a moment), meteorite hunters were able to pinpoint the strewn field, the name for the ground footprint where the space rocks might have fallen. Lately of the asteroid belt, these interplanetary fragments now call the Township of Hamburg, Michigan, home.

The strewn field extends about 5 miles, oriented east-southeast to west-northwest, from about Highway 23 up to Bass Lake, some 20 miles northwest of Ann Arbor. Since the area has many lakes, make sure the ice is sound before venturing out.

Anyone living in that area should be on the lookout for black rocks poking out of the snow similar to what Ward is holding in the photograph above. The black coating, called fusion crust, forms when the outside of the meteoroid is heated and melted by friction from the air during its flight through the atmosphere. Fusion crust is typically only 1-2 mm thick.

The Michigan fireball not only put on a light show, it “knocked down the door,” announcing its arrival with a 2.0-magnitude seismic event recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey. The blast was not from the impact itself but from the air pressure wave created during the explosive breakup of the meteoroid in the atmosphere.

A preliminary analysis indicates it’s possibly an L6 chondrite, a common stony meteorite type.  The “L” stands for low iron and “6” (on a scale from 3 to 7, from least to most altered by heat) indicates that the meteorite was strongly heated, so it likely originated from a larger asteroid. Samples are on their way now to the Chicago Field Museum for more detailed analys

Mission Statement

Mission Statement: To promote knowledge of astronomy and science (in general) for the residents in and around our community.

Membership Renewals for 2018 year are now due. Please send your checks toLima Astronomical Society, Box 201, Lima, OH 45802.  The price is: Student $15: Individual $20: Family $25: Life Time $300.

End of Star Gazer