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The Ames Area Amateur Astronomers is a dynamic organization with activities held year-round. Each month at our meeting we present a guest speaker, with exciting lectures about space and astronomy.

                           April 19 Meeting

The Fate of Our Sun - Some of the most beautiful and interesting objects amateur astronomers like to observe are called Planetary Nebulae. We know that Planetary Nebulae form in the late stage of the life of stars like our Sun. However, in recent years it has become evident that not all sun-like stars form planetary nebulae.  Dr. Lee Anne Willson of ISU Astrophysics Department will review the late stages of stellar evolution for stars like the Sun, discuss what we know about the processes that form planetary nebulae, and give our best current answer to the question: "Will the Sun  Ever Form a Planetary Nebula?"  It sounds a little technical, but don't worry, Dr. Willson is great at making technical subjects easy to understand for everyone.

 

Sunspot AR1897 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Sunspot complex AR1893-1900 is growing rapidly. Credit: SDO/HMI
2013 IASP logo

Watch the video from this year's Iowa Star Party on IPTV's Iowa Outdoor Show. Click here.

   
There are two comets that will be visible yet this year - Comet ISON and Comet Lovejoy. Have you seen them?
In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth.
   
When the sunspot number is high, so is the chance of flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class flares and a 15% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 17-18. Credit: SDO/AIA.
   
 
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