San Juan Stargazers to study Hubble pictures of colliding galaxies

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    By Joan Mieritz
    Special to The PREVIEW
    The San Juan Stargazers will hold their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, March 28, in the Visitor Center conference room located at 105 Hot Springs Blvd. The meeting is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (sharp). Hot drinks and, hopefully, a treat will be served at 6:30 p.m.
    Our program will be yet another unbelievable one. We will study some amazing Hubble pictures showing galaxies in various stages of collision. That can happen, and fairly often. We will focus on photos of the antennae galaxies in collision.
    Then we will look to the future collision of our Milky Way and Andromeda, which will happen in about 2 billion years. None of us will be here to experience it, but it is a remarkable idea to think about. Change in the universe is pretty pervasive. There is so much space that galaxies colliding does not mean that everything crashes. When galaxies collide, almost everything just glides past each other and then, with a change in gravity, forms a new galaxy. It is worth coming to learn more about it.
    Telescope clinic
    On April 26 at 6 p.m., we will have another telescope clinic. Many people in Pagosa have a telescope which they were given or picked up somewhere, but have no idea how to use it or if it is even usable. At our telescope clinics, you can learn how to use it or fix it.
    We have limited space in our clinics, so call early to reserve a telescope expert. Please call 335-8286 with a little information about what you have and what you may be needing in the form of help so we can match you with the right person. 2019 is the year to add this amazing dimension to your life.
    Supermoon
    Astronomy news flash: A supermoon will be visible today, March 21. Supermoons appear larger than the usual moon because the moon’s orbit around the earth is not a circle, but an ellipse. So, there are times when the moon is, in fact, closer to the earth and therefore looks bigger. Check it out and see if you can notice a difference.
    Stargazers
    The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a new website, www.sanjuanstargazers.org, as well as an email address, sjstargazers@gmail.com, and a club phone number 335-8286.
    We welcome everyone who has an interest in learning more about our amazing universe.