Rio Rancho
Astronomical Society

A Member Club of the Astronomical League

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The Rio Rancho Astronomical Society began in 1998 as an astronomy club with Rio Rancho High School.  Soon after its founding the club expanded to become an public club, independent of the high school.  Over the years, we have grown and expanded, with new members coming and going, to the current public club we are today.  We are open to all types of members, from beginning astronomers to seasoned veterans.   And no, you don't need to be a master observer or even own a telescope to join.  All you need are a good pair of eyes and willingness to learn.

Thor's Helmet Emission Nebula

This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor' Helmet. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet spans about 30 light-years across. In fact, the helmet is more like an interstellar bubble, blown as a fast wind -- from the bright star near the center of the bubble's blue-hued region -- sweeps through a surrounding molecular cloud. This star, a Wolf-Rayet star, is a massive and extremely hot giant star thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. Cataloged as NGC 2359, the emission nebula is located about 12,000 light-years away toward the constellation of the Big Dog (Canis Major). The sharp image, made using broadband and narrowband filters, captures striking details of the nebula's filamentary gas and dust structures. The blue color originates from strong emission from oxygen atoms in the nebula.

Source:  Astronomy Picture of the Day

 

Upcoming Events

December 6, 2017 6:00 PM

RRAS Member Jon Schuchardt will present a talk on observing the night sky using the StarBlast 4.5” at Loma Colorado Library.  This training is highly recommended for anyone who plans to check out (for free) one of the library’s two (soon to be three) telescopes.

Jan 19, 2018 7:00 PM

Regular Public Monthly Meeting.


For more information, contact RRAS Vice-President, Melanie Templet  at 505-220-5355.

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