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Meteorite injures two in Indian village

General News
BHUBANESWAR, India -- reports have been released indicating that a meteorite struck several homes and injured two people in eastern India Saturday.

Shortly after sunset on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003, a possible bolide struck in the coastal state of Orissa, said the Press Trust of India. PTI reported that a bright fireball lit up the night sky and caused panic among local residents, according to local witnesses.

There were several reports of ear-splitting noise and broken windows as the fireball passed overhead. One part of the meteorite came down in a Mayubhanj district village, injuring two people and causing fires in several homes. It's possible that other parts of the fireball came down in at least one other village, setting fire to another thatched hut.

Local space experts were quoted by PTI as saying that the object was most likely a meteorite. Officials in the area have been asked to collect any remaining samples of the object for scientific analysis.

Originally contributed by AOAS Member Dale Hall.
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Galileo End of Mission Status

Lunar & Planetary
JPL Press Release: September 21, 2003

The Galileo spacecraft's 14-year odyssey came to an end on Sunday, Sept. 21, when the spacecraft passed into Jupiter's shadow then disintegrated in the planet's dense atmosphere at 11:57 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The Deep Space Network tracking station in Goldstone, Calif., received the last signal at 12:43:14 PDT. The delay is due to the time it takes for the signal to travel to Earth.

Hundreds of former Galileo project members and their families were present at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for a celebration to bid the spacecraft goodbye.

"We learned mind-boggling things. This mission was worth its weight in gold," said Dr. Claudia Alexander, Galileo project manager.

Having traveled approximately 4.6 billion kilometers (about 2.8 billion miles), the hardy spacecraft endured more than four times the cumulative dose of harmful jovian radiation it was designed to withstand. During a previous flyby of the moon Amalthea in November 2002, flashes of light were seen by the star scanner that indicated the presence of rocky debris circling Jupiter in the vicinity of the small moon. Another measurement of this area was taken today during Galileo's final pass. Further analysis may help confirm or constrain the existence of a ring at Amalthea's orbit.
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Done deal: Liquid water CAN exist on Mars!

Lunar & Planetary

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- A team of researchers from the University of Arkansas has measured water evaporation rates under Mars-like conditions, and their findings favor the presence of surface water on the planet. Water on the planet's surface makes the existence of pastor present life on Mars a little more likely, according to the group.

Derek Sears, director of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences, and his colleagues graduate student Shauntae Moore and technician Mikhail Kareev reported their initial findings at the fall 2003 meeting of the Division of Planetary Sciences of the AAS.
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Hubble Images Mars Near Closest Approach

Astro Imaging
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this snapshot of Mars 11 hoursbefore the planet made its closest approach to Earth. The two planetsare 34,648,840 miles (55,760,220 km) apart. This image was made from aseries of exposures taken between 6:20 p.m. and 7:12 p.m. EDT Aug. 26with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.

Check out the full size image in the Photo Gallery here.

Contributed originally by AOAS Member Dale Hall.
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Astronomy Basics Course Offered

Education Outreach
AOAS 13.1" f/4.5 Dobsonian "5-scope"
The Arkansas Oklahoma Astronomical SocietyIn cooperation with Trinity Episcopal Church of Van Buren, will be offering a 6 week class in basic Science of Astronomy. Learn about constellations, telescopes, eclipses, our Solar System, our Milky Way Galaxy, and our Universe! These classes will be held on Thursdays, beginning September 11 through October 16Class will start at 7 pm and run till 8:30 pm each week, and students will be able to view the heavens with large telescopes for 1 to 2 hours after each week's class Weather Permitting!

COST: $25 Adults / $20 students / $15 Children 15 and under
Instructors: Bob Moody, President, AOAS and Joe Roam, Vice President, AOAS.

Call for reservations: Coleman Observatory (479) 474-4740.

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Fort Smith's First Planetarium

General NewsThe Arkansas Oklahoma Astronomical Society brings the first planetarium to Fort Smith's Riverfront Pavillion at Harry E. Kelly Park for MARS 2003, August 23rd, 6 to 10 PM.

Update! City of Fort Smith to run Downtown TROLLEY to shuttle MARS 2003 attendees to Pavillion for Planetarium shows!
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Join Coleman Observatory For An Historic Moment

Coleman ObservatoryIf you'd like to witness the exact moment of Mars' closest point to Earth since 57,618 BC at the eyepiece of your telescope, come to Coleman Observatory and join me for an all-nighter on August 26th and 27th!

UPDATE: August 27, 7:45 pm - Last night about 75 to 80 people came to Coleman Onservatory to share a moment in history with me. I appreciate all of you who made it out for another great view of Mars! I hope that the experience was one that will last a lifetime, just as it was for me. Thanks!
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SOHO - SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory

171 ang
195 ang
284 ang
304 ang

All Images courtesy SOHO (ESA/NASA)
Earth's premier Solar observation platform.

When you want to find out what the Sun looks like today, you dig out your solar filter and drag the scope outside for a quick look, right? Or, you might just go to your computer and pull up the SOHO site.

Here, you'll find not only the latest images of our Sun from one of the instruments on board SOHO, but LOTS of other stuff as well. An extensive archive of images will take you almost back to the vehicle's launch date of December 2, 1995. The images may be ones like these from July 23, 2003, taken by the EIT (Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope). EIT is able to image the Sun's transition region and inner corona in four selected bandpasses at wavelengths of 171a. (angstroms), showing the spectral lines of iron (Fe IX/X), 195a. (Fe XII), 284a. (Fe XV) and 304a. showing the doubly-ionized helium lines of (He II).

Other instruments reveal yet more spectacular images. The MIDI/SOI (Michelson Doppler Imager for Solar Oscillations Investigations) studies the solar interior structure and dynamics of the Sun.

While at the site, you may notice that a sidebar announces FREE STUFF available just for the asking (and a small postage fee). For those who would like to have a CD-ROM of the Best of SOHO, simply send a self-addressed-stamped-envelope (SASE) to the following address with $1.50 return postage:

ESA SOHO Project Scientist Office
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Mail Code 682.3
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Make sure the envelope is large enough to accept a CD-ROM jewel case. A new updated version is due out in the near future.Check out the SOHO site, images and science experiments. A fascinating experience and beautiful images await.
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Mars 2003! Update

Lunar & PlanetarySteve Culivan, NASA/ASEP (Aerospace Education Services Program), has accepted an invitation to attend the Mars 2003 festivities on August 23. Mr. Culivan has conducted numerous workshops and training sessions for educators and students, including sessions that provide teachers the certification to be eligible to borrow moon rocks from NASA. He will be presenting one educational session, on Mars, for students and teachers only. (Educators and students are asked to bring their school ID for admission purpose.) Another presentation on Mars will be presented for the general public. Presentations are scheduled for the south gallery of the Fort Smith Arts Center. Seating is limited to approximately 100.

I regret that Dr. Ray Stonecipher, Professor of Astronomy (retired), University of Wisconsin, will not be able to attend. He had previously accepted an invitation to attend and be a presenter, and serve as a special consultant for the AOAS Executive Committee on the future plans for AOAS. Another event, In Wisconsin, that he had agreed to attend as a special speaker and fund raiser for the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (Door County, Wisconsin) was rescheduled on a conflicting date for the August 23 Mars 2003, thus he had to withdraw his previous acceptance. However, he is very interested in possibly assisting AOAS in the future.
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MARS 2003 To Be AOAS' Biggest Public Event Since 1986

Lunar & Planetary
Check out our new MARS 2003 T-Shirt...
Many of our members remember our big Halley's Comet Watches hosted by AOAS in 1985 and 1986. Our event at Vasche Grasse Park near Lavaca, AR in January of '86 was our largest to date with an estimated 3,500 to 4,000 people attending. Later that year, our Ben Geren Park Comet Watch netted us another estimated 2,000 to 2,500 attendees.

... or how about our regular club T-Shirt!
Lots of things have happened since those days. We've moved to a new and MUCH closer observing location north of Van Buren, but through all the ups and downs, we've maintained a steady focus on education and increasing public awareness about astronomy.

This August 23 will be our next and potentially biggest EVER public event for the closest approach of Mars in nearly 60,000 years! AOAS is working closely with the Ft Smith Art Center downtown to host the event, which coincides with the culmination of our jointly sponsored "Space Art Contest"

Mike Richardson, Programs Director for the Art Center, is coordinating the event with several area groups, businesses and local media, and has gotten the interest and support of the City of Ft Smith. Booths will be set up around the Art Center grounds with food and beverages for sale, as well as an AOAS Education Station in the gazebo at the Center where we'll post pictures and information about the planet Mars. We'll also have a booth set up in the gazebo where
Either T-Shirt is available for $10 for AOAS Members or $12 for Non-Members. Contact us for more information.
we'll take memberships and sell our world famous AOAS club logo t-shirts, and our new MARS 2003 t-shirts. Several items have been donated by area businesses as drawing give-aways to everyone who makes a minimum $2 donation, with the winners being announced by radio station KISR 93.7 through a live remote broadcast. All the while, AOAS members will be set up at various locations on the Art Center grounds giving telescopic views of Mars!


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