The Late October 2020 Sky

The Late October 2020 Sky Richard Camuccio — 20 October 2020 As we progress through the month of October, we are faced with the changing of leaves, cooling of temperatures, and many interesting astronomical phenomena. Orionids and Transit of the Great Red Spot The Orionid meteor shower occurs each year between September 23rd and November 17th, caused by the passage of Earth through the debris field left behind by Comet 1P/Halley. The shower peak will occur around midnight on October 21st, with possible rates of up to 10-20 per hour. Although the peak rate is relatively infrequent, the Orionids are particular fast, reaching speeds of up to 66 kilometers (41 miles) per second. They should be quite noticeable if one observes as much of the sky as possible (using peripheral vision) and directed away from the radiant point of the shower in Orion's Club. Also taking place on October 21st is a transit of the Great Red Spot of Jupiter across its central meridian around 7:31 pm CDT. Any astronomers with modest aperture telescope and camera optics could capture this despite the sunlight of the evening sky. Ceres Completes Retrograde Loop On October 23rd, the dwarf planet Ceres will change direction in the sky, thereby completing its retrograde loop. In other words, the Earth will have overtaken Ceres in its orbit around the Sun. Ceres will be at a visual…

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From Brownsville to Mission Control – Emmanuel Alex Zamora

From Brownsville to Mission Control Victor De Los Santos — 8 June 2020 "I have always had a passion for all things space-related ever since I was younger. I was that stereotypical kid who said 'I want to be an astronaut." - Alex Zamora Emmanuel Alex Zamora, Engineer for the International Space Station Alex Zamora (known by his friends as Alex) was born and raised in Brownsville and, just like many others, he grew up with dreams of working in the space industry. After graduating from Hanna High School in 2011, Zamora decided to continue his education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2016, and after gaining a couple years worth of hands-on experience with energy providers — including an internship with the Brownsville Public Utilities Board — he was ready to make his dream a reality. Soon after, Zamora found a job listing that aligned with his interests and experience, applied, and became an electrical engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, in direct support of the Electrical Power System (EPS) of the International Space Station. The International Space Station (ISS) takes 90 minutes to complete an orbit around Earth. For the greater part of the orbit, the ISS is powered by the Sun, using its Solar Array Wing (SAW) to turn solar energy into usable…

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