....Oakland, California - Stargazing since 1924

Next Meeting:

January 1, 2006

Chabot Space &
Science Center Physics Lab

No Speaker - EAS Holiday Potluck Party and Members Only View Night

What's been up with YOU


moon phases


FRIDAY, December 30, 2005

FYI: The 2006 Observer's Handbook is in stock at the Chabot Space & Science Center's Starry Night Gift Shop. It retails for $24.95 and member discount is 10%. This is a must-have resource for night sky observers; you can use it to plan vacations around astronomical events, learn tons of practical info about our Solar System, the stars, and deep sky objects; after 2006 is over, even if you don't get the 2007 edition, it still contains a plethora of info to keep it on your permanent reference bookshelf.

Their calendars are also being discounted; both the ecological calendar and the Return to Flight are at 50% off and the 2006 Phases of the Moon magnets and mugs are at 30% off.

They also have a good stock of the planetarium program (for both Mac and PC) Starry Night Pro @ $179.95 (less 10% for members). If you haven't experienced this program, it's the best, most user-friendly, graphical program of its type. We use it up in the telescope domes to show visitors what constellations and objects are visible at any time in the past, present, and future; we use it to graphically explain the motions of the planets around the Sun, what the Earth looks like from the Moon, how Mercury and Venus can only be morning or evening "stars," and dozens of other astonomical concepts. In a word, this program is AWESOME!

FRIDAY, December 23, 2005

Near miss alert: At approx 05:25, the morning of Sunday, December 25, the waning crescent Moon will make a very close pass by Spica in the south-southeasterly skies. It will be hard to see due to the glare of the Moon's brightness, but binoculars or a small telescope will help. [more]

THURSDAY, December 22, 2005

CORRECTION to the Next Meeting info: That was supposed to be (and now is) the evening of SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, not Saturday for the club Pot Luck Holiday Party. Sorry about that!

MONDAY, December 19, 2005

Happy Solstice and Merry Perihelion to all.

There are still a few seats remaining in the Ask Jeeves Planetarium at Chabot and more in the Tien MegaDome Theater that have not yet been named for anyone. If you would like a present for that special person who has everything, consider a gift that will last decades or longer (more info).
Or, call (510) 336-7323 to sponsor one before the holidays.

The educational programs at Chabot cost significantly more than the revenues taken in at the front entrance. Consider helping with a year-end tax-deductible contribution. The Chabot Space & Science Center Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization. Checks may be sent to:

Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619

SUNDAY, December 18, 2005

From the AANC files: The UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) has a Satellite Database of operational satellites currently in orbit around the Earth. It includes basic information about more than 800 satellites and their orbits and is the only free, comprehensive compilation of active satellites in an easy to manipulate, commonly-used database format.

Membership Renewal Time
November 1, 2005 deadline is past

But it's never too late to renew your membership to the Eastbay Astronomical Society. Those who get the snail-mail version of the newsletter, and have not yet renewed, will receive one last issue, with a red stamped message indicating their lapse in membership.

WEDNESDAY, November 16, 2005

For all you solar observers out there, heads-up! There's a Jupiter-sized spot on the sun rolling around towards us with bright M-class flares going off around it. If it points our way, we may see aurora activity a day or so later. Hot stuff (literally!)

MONDAY, November 14, 2005

Dear Friends:
Just to remind everyone that the NOVA science series on PBS
will be broadcasting an episode on the life of Sir Isaac Newton
tomorrow, Nov. 15 at 8PM on Channel 9 titled "Newton's Dark Secrets". It is a wonderful complement to the program on Einstein last month.

Ken L.

SATURDAY, November 12, 2005

Sorry for being missing in action the last two months - I've been more than usually busy! But, I'm back, and with a new resolve to keep this website as active and fresh as one person can. I could use some help, so if you would like to contribute notices, articles, links to news items of interest to us (Eastbay Astronomical Society) or even help out with site administration, let me know; whatever you can do will be most appreciated!

Don Saito, EAS Webmaster

FRIDAY, September 2, 2005

There's a nice conjunction coming up of the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus on Tuesday, September 6th. More details on the month of September's What's Up page.

THURSDAY, August 11, 2005

From Space Weather News for August 11, 2005

The Perseid meteor shower is underway. The shower's broad peak extends from August 11th through 13th, with August 12th being best. If you get away from bright city lights and watch the sky between local midnight and dawn on Friday morning, August 12th, you can expect to see dozens to hundreds of meteors.

The planet Mars is out during the Perseid meteor shower, too. It's that bright red "star" high in the eastern sky before dawn. Many Perseid meteors will appear to fly past Mars on Friday morning--a pretty sight.

And speaking of Mars, beware the Mars Hoax. A rumor about the red planet continues to spread via email. The message claims that Mars will come so close to Earth on August 27th that it looks as big as the full Moon. In fact, Mars is approaching Earth for a close encounter in October--not August. October's close approach will indeed be beautiful, but Mars will never rival the Moon.

Get the full story, plus sky maps, pictures of Perseids, and solar activity updates at Spaceweather.com.

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2005

Only a few days left to sign up for the Barcroft High-Altitude (Low-Oxygen) Star Party! (first entry in August 2005) [details]

SATURDAY, July 18, 2005

EAS member Mark G supplies data to view tomorrow tonight's lunar occultation of Antares for these areas: Berkeley, Livermore, Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Stockton! [more]

SATURDAY, June 25, 2005

Mark you calendars! Deep Impact (the NASA mission - not the movie) is coming to a Chabot Space and Science Center near you! [more] On the evening of July 3, from 10pm - midnight, they're going to whack comet Temple I with a desk-sized, pure copper bullet, and Chabot will have a live video feed from NASA, commentary by the scientists running the mission, and (weather permitting) have their own telescope, the 36" reflector, Nellie, trained on the comet and feed the image into the science center.

Also, there's a very nice conjunction of three planets up this weekend just after the sun sets. Mercury, Venus, and Saturn get chummy. If we're lucky, the fog won't hide this planetary tête-à-tête (that's French for head to head).

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2005

A few notes of special interest to skywatchers, as submitted by Carter Roberts, from Space Weather News for June 6, 2005

VENUS RETURNS: After many months in hiding, Venus has returned to the evening sky. You can see it at sunset; it pops into view long before the sky grows completely dark. Wednesday evening, June 8th, is an especially good time to look, because then Venus will be pleasingly close to the slender crescent Moon.

DAYTIME METEORS: The annual Arietid meteor shower peaks on June 7th and 8th. You won't see many meteors, though, because the shower is most intense when the sun is high in the sky. The Arietids are a rare daytime meteor shower. Researchers aren't certain where the Arietids come from, but they might be debris from sungrazing asteroid Icarus.

See also: The What's Up section of this website, for info on upcoming lunar and planetary conjunctions, and deep-sky objects.

SATURDAY, May 14, 2005

A coronal mass ejection (CME) is heading for Earth following a strong solar flare on May 13th. Sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the cloud arrives on May 14th or 15th. The display, if it materializes, will be best over high latitudes--e.g., Alaska and Canada. But CMEs sometimes spark auroras over lower latitudes, too, so everyone should keep an eye on the sky this weekend.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates.

MONDAY, May 9, 2005

Stanford's School of Engineering is delaying the imminent demolition of the Bracewell Radio Astronomy Observatory until June 30th, 2005 in order to allow our non-profit group a chance to mount a rescue effort. Our goal is to restore the observatory to open up the world of Radio Astronomy to the community, as well as to support new Stanford research uses. We need introductions to benefactors interested in rescuing the Observatory before June 2nd. [Details]

SATURDAY, April 30, 2005

See big spot. See big spot run. See big spot on the sun, either with your own (specialized solar observation) equipment, or at the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) website. This is an unusually large sunspot, considering the Sun is not in its "solar max" phase, which occurs roughly ever 11-years. The last solar max was in 2001.

SATURDAY, April 9, 2005

It's the first day past new moon - can you catch a sight of the "silver sliver?" Try using binoculars a little after sunset to see if you can see it (just above where the Sun set on the horizon).

The What's Up page has just been updated - sorry for the delay!

FRIDAY, February 25, 2005

A lunar occultation of Antares will be happening for the SF Bay Area during the early morning hours of March 3rd! [More]

TUESDAY, February 22, 2005

ISS makes a pass at the Moon

EAS member Bruce Skelly notes an upcoming event for Oakland skywatchers:

On Sunday, Feb 27, at about 10 minutes before 7:00pm PST, the International Space Station is predicted to cross in front of the moon(!), and this would be a good opportunity to catch the event with a camcorder. This calculation was based on the observing site being at Chabot Space and Science Center, but should be good for Oakland and the surrounding areas (with, of course, slightly different times and views).

FRIDAY, February 18, 2005

EAS Wins an AstroOscar at the 2nd Annual AstronomyOutreach Network!

The Astronomy Outreach Network today announced the recipients of its 2nd Annual Outreach Awards, given for extraordinary efforts to promote astronomy. These AstroOscars were awarded at the Winter Star Party in the Florida Keys on February 11, 2005 and will be presented on an annual basis at the Winter Star Party [More]

FRIDAY, February 11, 2005

Check out the great picture of M42, the Great Nebula in Orion, taken by Paul Hoy through Chabot's 36" reflector, Nellie. [More]

WEDNESDAY, February 2, 2005

Here's an excellent article by Richard Godwin of AdAstra, magazine of the National Space Society about why we have a space program. [Read]

Also, please note that this month's What's Up and info about this month's speaker (see the left column of this page and/or the Schedule) are now posted.

SATURDAY, January 29, 2005

Today is the first day for Chabot's newest arrival: Mirror Mirror, a highly interactive exhibit, which offers hours of things to see and do, and which replaces the ancient Chinese astronomical instruments exhibit, Dragon Skies. The Dragon Skies exhibit will now tour the nation, going to many other science centers, but remember: we saw it first! For more info on Mirror Mirror, visit Chabot's website.

MONDAY, January 10, 2005

Our friend in high places (JPL), Jane Houston Jones, provides us a tip on an on-line article from Sky & Telescope about a rare viewing event for Saturn on the nights of Thursday and Friday, January 13 and 14. The Sun, Earth, and Saturn come into alignment, which causes Saturn to brighten dramatically! [More]

Here's a bit of guilty pleasure for you: Go to Lick Observatory's HandyCam web page and check out their HamCam Theatre link. We're betting you can't eat just one!

SATURDAY, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year! It would be happier for us astronomer-types if the weather were clear, instead of rainy for the last week-and-a-half, but that's the way the comet crumbles; speaking of which, have you seen this one, yet? It's about 4th magnitude nowadays, if you ever get a clear sky...


FRIDAY, December 24, 2004

Happy holidays! The good folks at Spaceweather.com let us know we have an early morning show of the five bright planets going currently, with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn spread across the ecliptic like jewels on a string. Check 'em out, but no rush - they'll be like that for more than a week (how nice!)

THURSDAY, December 2, 2004

Announcement from NCHLADA: We meet this Saturday, December 4, at the Chabot Space and Science Center. After coffee and conversation at 9:30 the morning topic, Naming Controversies in Early Astronomy, will be chaired by Nick Kanas, MD. An outline is available here.

Then, lunch and a brief business meeting followed by the afternoon session, Chinese Astronomy, led by Celeste Burrows.

More details are available at http://nchalada.org.

SATURDAY, November 20, 2004

Paul Hoy sent in this link to National Geographic's website, which features a great picture of (from left to right) Paul Hoy, Terry Galloway, Stephen Matthews, Alan Roche, and Bruce Skelly. They're standing in front of Rachel's dome in Wightman Plaza. We're famous! [More]

Chabot Space & Science Center is looking for volunteers to help do a bit of gardening work which will help preserve an endangered species of vegetation around their premises: the pallid manzanita (Arctostaphylos pallida). [More]

MONDAY, November 15, 2004

The SJAA will hold their Fall Astronomical Swap Meet on Sunday, November 21, starting at noon. [More]

Chabot is looking for volunteers for a Manzanita protection project. There will be free coffee and bagles in the morning, and free pizza for lunch! (I'm there!) [More]

SATURDAY, November 6, 2004

FISCHER TALK: Today's the day! Dr. Debra Fischer gives a talk to the EAS and Chabot Space & Science Center public (it's free if you're an EAS member, and $5 per person if you're not). Dr. Fischer is one of the world's foremost researchers on extra-solar planets; planets that orbit stars other than our own! The talk begins this evening at 7:30pm in the Tien MegaDome theatre at the Chabot Space & Science Center. Club members should come at 7:00 pm for a bit of club business.

COOL LINK: Greg Sugg sent in this link: http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Earth, which gives a view of the Earth from the Sun's perspective at any given moment. Check it out!

SATURDAY, October 16, 2004

The Eastbay Astronomical Society proudly presents planet hunter extraordinnaire, Debra Fischer, as our November meeting speaker (Saturday, Nov 6, 7:30pm)! She is an astronomer on the cutting-edge of Humankind's efforts to find planets around other stars, and will fill us in on the up-to-the-minute news on what new discoveries have been made, and the bright future of planet hunting.

You really don't want to miss this meeting!

SATURDAY, October 2, 2004

Space Weather News for Oct. 2, 2004

VENUS AND REGULUS: Prepare to wake up early: Just before sunrise on
Sunday, Oct. 3rd, the planet Venus and the bright star Regulus will be
beautifully close together in the eastern sky--only 1/5 of one degree
apart. It's a real treat for early risers.

BLUE MOON ALERT: Mount St. Helens in Washington is spewing ash and steam, and scientists say a bigger eruption could happen soon. This means sky watchers in western North America should be alert for blue moons in the weeks ahead. Airborne particles from volcanoes can act like a
color-filter, shading the moon (or even the sun) blue. Follow the links at
spaceweather.com for more information.

SOLAR ACTIVITY: For the second straight week, solar activity remains low. Bright auroras are unlikely in the nights ahead.

FRIDAY, October 1, 2004

is holding a month-long 15% discount sale on all their books and products for astronomy club members until the end of October! Go to their website shopping page, make your selections, and at Step One of the checkout process, enter CLUB04H into the Promotion Code field to get your 15% discount. Or, if you're calling your order in (800-253-0245), just mention the code to receive the discount. Easy!


WEDNESDAY, September 15, 2004

Job opportunity for trained astronomy educators for PBS! [More]

FRIDAY, September 10, 2004

Upcoming Special Presentation

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2004, 7 pm, the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series will feature Apollo 9 Astronaut Russell Schweickart, who will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on: "Asteroid Deflection: Hopes and Fears" in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California.

Free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $2
Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information. [More]

WEDNESDAY, September 8, 2004

Check out the new features in our What's Up page. We've got a lunar calendar for the entire month of September, and an improved Messier objects list.

MONDAY, September 6, 2004

Genesis set for stellar return from space (CNN)

A daring trip to study the solar wind will end on Wednesday, September 8, with the midair retrieval of extraterrestrial samples above the Utah desert. However, the scientific journey is only beginning. [More]

THURSDAY, August 19, 2004

There's a half-time job position at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) as a facilitator and coordinator for the newly implemented Night Sky Network. They want someone to work with astro clubs to help promote amateur astronomy, and they're willing to pay you to do that! [More]

MONDAY, August 9, 2004

The Perseids are coming! The Perseids are coming! Well, actually, they're already here, but they peak in the morning hours of Thursday, August 12. This year, they're predicted to be somewhat heavier than usual; 60 - 100 per hour, instead of the usual 60 max per hour. If you get a chance, check 'em out! (The Perseid meteor shower occurs annually starting around mid-July and going until mid-August.) [More]

MONDAY, July 26, 2004

AstroCon 2004 has come and gone! Pictures from the event will soon be posted here! Okay, they're here.

Something new has been added to this site's What's Up page: a pdf document listing all the Messier objects visible (at least to some degree) for the month of July 2004. I will try to make up a new list for each month of the year.

THURSDAY, June 17, 2004

Jane Houston Jones is putting the call out for volunteers to work on AstroCon 2004. If you've got some spare time - morning, afternoon, or evening - between Tuesday, July 20 - Saturday, July 24, she could really use your help! [More]

TUESDAY, June 15, 2004

More on the transit of Venus: Spaceweather.com has just announced a new gallery of fantastic transit pictures. Check 'em out!

TUESDAY, June 8, 2004

The transit of Venus has come and gone, but the ultimate web search engine, Google, commemorates it with a special logo!

Anything look familiar to you, there?

Thanks to Debbie Dyke for finding this.

MONDAY, MAY 10, 2004

We've got four new astrophotos in! Two of Comet NEAT from Paul Hoy, and Carter Roberts, and two more (the Moon and Jupiter) from Paul Hoy. Check 'em out in our Astrophotos section. Find out a bit more about Comet NEAT in our What's Up section.


Chabot Space & Science Center is offering a specially-priced package of $10 ($8 Youth & Senior) for those wishing to attend both Sten Odenwald's Back to the Astronomy Cafe lecture & booksigning at 6:00 pm, and The Sky Tonight planetarium program, featuring comet discoverer Alan Hale, at 7:30 pm, Saturday, May 8, 2004

Tickets can be reserved by calling 510-336-7373, or are available at the
front door.

TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2004

Just a few days left to sign up to be a part of Project Astro, a coordinated volunteer effort to bring astronomy to kids through their schools! [More]

MONDAY, MAY 3, 2004

Comet Neat might make a good show in about 4 or 5 days from today, though the long range weather forecast isn't looking so good. Maybe we'll luck out, though. Find more details in What's Up.


Earth is passing through a stream of dusty debris from Comet Thatcher, the source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower. The best time to look is during the hours before dawn on Thursday, April 22nd, when the shower peaks. Lyrids appear to stream from the vicinity of the bright blue star Vega in the constellation Lyra high in the northern sky. This is not an intense shower, but some years it is pretty: northern sky watchers typically see between 5 and 25 meteors per hour.

Visit Spaceweather.com for more information and a sky map.


Conjunction Alert! This evening, and for the rest of the week, a rare 5-planet conjunction is happening. Actually, it's been happening the past week already, but it's at its best tonight. Full details in the What's Up web page.

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AstroCon 2004 Update from Dr. Mike Reynolds: Hello All - I am very pleased to announce that at AstroCon 2004's USS Hornet Banquet event Don Blair, the "radio voice of Apollo 11," will be signing copies of his newly published book Splashdown--NASA and the Navy. This to be just-released book (during AstroCon and the Hornet's Splashdown event) details all Navy and Marine units involved in the 31 manned spacecraft recoveries. The USS Hornet is heavily featured, including the cover artwork. [More]

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Nifty SFU Astronomy Class info from Ken Frank: San Francisco State University is offering a week long course in observational astronomy this summer from July 18-23 at its scenic Sierra Nevada Field Campus.

I took the class last year and it was a great hands-on course. In fact, it was my major inspiration for taking John Dobson's telescope building class this past fall. [More]


If you're in the neighborhood, and would like to help out, Julie Jones of Art From the Soul is looking for anyone with a scope who might want to do some Astronomy Day evening viewing in San Pablo on Saturday, April 24. Give her a call at (510) 232-6919 or (510) 367-5524. You can find out more about her organization here.

EAS Star Party at Lincoln High in Alameda
Dave Rodrigues, Carter Roberts, Paul Hoy, Don Saito (and one unknown other) converged last night to do some early evening telescope viewing for the kids at Lincoln High on Fernside Drive. Here's a pic from the event of Paul Hoy showing a student Saturn:


Sign up for AstroCon 2004 online now! If you like viewing through huge telescopes, sampling the goods at world-class wineries, hearing about cutting edge developments in the space sciences from scientists who are at the top of their fields, walking amongst and learning about ancient redwood trees, meeting a celebrity astronaut, or eating great food in the company of fellow amateur astronomers, ALL HERE IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD, then sign up today - it's almost too easy.

FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2004

From Jane Houston Jones at JPL/NASA:

I really love todays Cassini image of Saturn! The narrow angle camera aboard the Cassini orbiter took the image in blue light February 29, 2004 when Cassini was 37.2 million miles from Saturn. Three of Saturn's moons are visible in the image: 247 mile diameter Mimas is left of the south pole, 949 mile diameter Rhea is at the lower right and 310 mile diameter Enceladis is at left. Every Friday a new image is being released, so now is the time to bookmark the Cassini website and wake up every Friday to another amazing image.

And our JPL web page has a great article on the 5 planet lineup too, complete with a great illustration. Check it out! Jane


Just after sunset between March 22 and April 1, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter will all be visible at the same time, with the Moon thrown into the mix for good measure. Don't miss it, as the next opportunity to see them this good will be 32 years from now, in 2036!


From Jane Houston Jones at JPL/NASA:

Hi everybody, I thought you'd enjoy this webcast announcement. Paul Mortfield , Peninsula Astronomical Society member who works as an astronomer at the Stanford Solar Center and who is also well known as the Backyard Astronomer is hosting this webcast on the Transit of Venus from JPL on Friday, March 19, 2004. [More]


• ASTROCON 2004 - July 20 - 24, right here in Oakland, CA! Get the details and sign up online! [More]

• ANOTHER NEW CLUB LAPEL PIN, but only a very select few can have one. These are not bought with dollars and cents, but only with years of devoted service to amateur astronomy, and we will only give out one per year. Have you guessed what it is, yet? It's the newly minted Helen Pillans Award Pin, and the EAS will give them to all former and future awardees of that venerable recognition.

• REMINDER: March 19 and 20th is this year's optimal nights for a Messier Marathon - your big chance to get ALL those faint fuzzies!

• PASSED ON FROM JANE HOUSTON JONES who passed it on from the Sidewalk Astronomers Dobson telescope class email list:

The Long Now Foundation is having a free lecture next week that may be of interest:

On Friday March 12 at 7pm at the Presidio Officers Club, the speaker will be Apollo 9 astronaut RUSTY SCHWEICKART, speaking on "The Asteroid Threat Over the Next 100,000 Years."

Check out http://www.longnow.com for more info.


NEW SPEAKER FOR THE EAS ANNUAL AWARDS DINNER SELECTED: The Ever Popular "Bad Astronomer," Dr. Phil Plait. Dr. Plait's talk is entitled: Seven Ways a Black Hole Can Kill You. [More]


COMET LINEAR GETTING CLOSER - Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) is approaching Earth and brightening every day.
It's not yet a naked-eye object, but the 7th-magnitude fuzzball is easy to see through backyard telescopes. The comet lies not far from brilliant Venus in the western sky after sunset. [More]


CHANGE OF SPEAKER FOR ANNUAL DINNER - Our originally scheduled speaker, Dr. Jeff Moore, had to cancel his engagement at our annual dinner. Not to worry: our fabulous Programs Director, Dave Rodrigues, will find another fascinating speaker. Look to our Schedule for updates and announcements. Hope to see you there!


DO YOU LOVE Chabot's Planetarium? Would you be interested in learning how to operate this fantastic equipment? Here's your chance! Denni Medlock is looking for volunteers who would like to become Planetarium Operators. Shifts are available on weekdays (for the school groups) and weekends (for the general public). After training is complete, a commitment of two 4-hour shifts per month is required. If you are interested, please contact Denni Medlock at 510-336-7368 or dmedlock@chabotspace.org. (Note added 2/28/04: these positions have now been filled. Also, applicants must be or become CSSC-trained volunteers.)

NEW AND IMPROVED Our section on Links has been greatly expanded thanks to the efforts of EAS member Bob Schalck (who also cares for the optics in the 8" and 20" antique telescopes Leah and Rachel up at Chabot Observatory). Check 'em out and be enriched and enlightened!


Would you like to swing on a star?

ONE DAY LEFT to add your name to a space probe heading out to the comet Temple 1! After January 31st, the opportunity is gone. [More]


This just in from Gerald McKeegan (Chabot Telescope Operator Trainee)

Greetings space fans.

This is a story I just love!

It seems NASA needed some watches that ran on Mars time (24 hr. 39 min), so the people at JPL could work the Mars Rover missions. They went to the big watch makers and got turned away, because NASA didn't want to buy 10,000 watches at once. They also got told it wasn't possible to convert an existing watch design to make it run on Mars time.

So the JPL folks went to a local jeweler in Montrose, California. He figured out how to modify a watch to make it run on Mars time, and sold a hundred or so to the JPL folks.

He is now offering the watch for sale to the public, and they're beating down his door!!

If you know anyone who'd like to buy one, they can order one at the jeweler's web site:

He has modified three different watch brands, so you can pick the one you like, and you have to order the Mars watch face separately. All told it runs about $200 plus or minus, depending on which brand you chose.

If you want to read about the jeweler, JPL has an article at: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/spotlight/spirit/a3_20040108.html

I've ordered mine already. Just think, pretty soon I'll be able to sleep in for 39 minutes every day, and still have a full 24 hour day in front of me!

Gerald McKeegan


Mars rover, Spirit, is on the move! Read more.


Beautiful new EAS Membership Lapel Pins for sale now! These are for sale to EAS Members, only. For info on how and why to become a member, go here. For more info about the pins, themselves, go here.



On Jan. 9, 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.


TV trucks rim the vehicle turn-around near Chabot Space & Science Center's front entrance with the "star" attraction seen in the top-center of the picture: Mars. This was the night the NASA rover, Spirit, safely landed at 8:35pm PST and began communicating with its controllers at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA, sending pictures and data within a half-hour of its touchdown. Go NASA! Here's another link to a NASA news story about the landing. Photo by Carter Roberts.