Capital Area Astronomy Association's
web page.

The CAAA meets at the Abrams Planetarium on the first Wednesday of the month. Meetings start at 7:30 p.m. A live star talk precedes the meeting at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Annual dues are $12, which includes all club activities, a monthly meetings notice, the Sky Calendar, the quarterly publication of the Astronomical League, The Reflector. Contact info is at bottom of page.

Upcoming meetings: March 1, 2017

Devin Silva, currently a National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University, has recently met with the woman who organizes events at the Lansing Lugnuts Stadium. Devin is considering holding an 'Astronomy on Tap' event there in May. One of the ideas that he had was to add a night sky observing component to the event, which would evolve setting up telescopes on the stadium concourse. He wants to gauge how many of us would like to assist with this. As always, please let me know if you have ideas or suggestions for upcoming programs.
Let's make sure the eclipse is a discussion topic at each meeting over the next few meetings.
Please email your program suggestions to me at


Fox park observatory open house: (Weather permitting)
The March dates are March 3, 17, 18, and 31. Astrophotography night is March 3rd. Check their website for details
Click for Fox Park Observatory Contact for more info.

Abrams Planetarium programs:
Family show: Ice Worlds
Feature show: One World, One Sky

Astronomical Horizons Lecture:
March 16, 2017
"Dark Matter and Beyond: The Future of the Large Hadron Collider"
Reinhardt Schwienhorst, Associate Professor, High Energy Physics-Experimental


Venus is still very prominent in evening sky as this month opens, setting in a dark sky nearly 3 hours after sunset on March 1. By March 18, Venus sets just over an hour after sunset, and by Mar. 22, Venus drops below the horizon just over half an hour after sunset. By that date, Venus is already rising ahead of the Sun, and itís possible to observe it at both dusk and dawn for a few days (see table below). Venus overtakes Earth about every 19.2 months, or five times in just under 8 years, but when the passage occurs in March, as it will every 8 years for the rest of the 21st Century, Venus passes an unusually wide 8 to 9 degrees north of the Sun, giving us a few days of overlapping visibility as morning and evening 'star'. Through a telescope or even 7-power binoculars, the planet displays a crescent, best observed in daytime, or in bright twilight, just after sunset through March 24, and just before sunrise beginning March 18. Venus appears 16 percent full and 0.8 arcminute across on Mar. 1, to 8 percent full and 0.9 arcminute across on Mar. 8, and then 5 percent full on Mar. 14, and less than 2 percent full by Mar. 20. Venus displays its thinnest phase, just 1.0 percent full and nearly 1.0 arcminute across, on March 24 and 25. (One arcminute = 1/60 of a degree.) Try locating Venus in daylight when itís highest and due south. Here are weekly data for Wednesdays in East Lansing: On Mar. 1, Venus is 58 degrees up in S at 2:36 p.m. EST; on Mar. 8, it is 59 degrees up at 2:06 p.m. EST; on Mar. 15, 59 degrees up at 2:29 p.m. EDT; Mar. 22, 58 degrees up at 1:47 p.m. EDT (9 degrees almost directly above midday Sun); and on Mar. 29, 55 degrees up at 1:05 p.m. EDT. Especially on the days surrounding March 22, set up your telescope in the shade on the north side of a building, so you can sweep safely for Venus above the securely hidden Sun. Before you sweep, sure to pre-focus the telescope on a distant object.
Bob Victor

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CAAA news

CAAA news


Abrams Planetarium
755 Science Road
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone Numbers.

Planetarium Phone: (517) 355 4676
Club Treasurer's Phone: (517) 331 1737


Club President: