At this month’s meeting of the Gloucester Area Astronomy Club, Friday October 14, 8:00 pm at the Lanesville Community Center, we’re lucky enough to have our very own Mario Motta with a presentation on his latest science project, an investigation of a white dwarf star (WD 1145+017) in Virgo that is orbited by the remains of a disintegrating small planet or asteroid.
This is the star that was thought by some to have an alien mega structure around it, because of its very strange patterns of dimming and brightening. Alas, no aliens that we can see, but the truth is almost as interesting; the star seems to be tearing apart a small planet, leaving multiple small planetesimals and cometary trails in its wake. The destruction of an actual planet is bound to lead to a really enthralling tale, and this one has the benefit of being true.
Mario’s been following and charting this phenomenon, and is going to share the process and the results with us on the 14th. It’s always fun to have GAAC speakers who can report first-hand on actual astronomical events, and our October 2016 meeting will be one of those rare nights. This will be an evening of astronomy, decaf, good snacks and great conversation. Don’t miss this one!
GAAC meets at 8:00 pm on the second Friday of every month except August at the Lanesville Community Center, 8 Vulcan Street in Lanesville. All are welcome; you don’t need any special knowledge to have a great time. There are no dues or fees, and off-street parking is free as well. For more information see the club Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GAACpage, the website at http://gaac.us, or follow us on Twitter, @GAACster.