This club is for anyone interested in astronomy - any age and ability level!  This informal group's mission is to share a passion for astronomy with each other and members of the community.  Join us by filling out the membership form under the Contacts link! 

In the news 2014...

  • Read Judy's contribution to an article about the Aurora Borealis in March/April issue of The South Dakota magazine.


*** What's Up in May 2014? ***

The Planets:

Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter as all visible in the evening sky this month.  By mid-May, at 11 pm at night, Jupiter will be about 20 degrees above the western horizon, Mars will be almost directly south with an altitude of about 40 degrees, and Saturn will about 20 degrees above the SE horizon.

Meteor Showers:

There may be a NEW meteor shower in late May (night of the 23rd-24th). This is the result of the Earth passing through the debris field of Comet 209P/LINEAR, discovered in 2004. This has the potential to be a substantial meteor shower! This is being referenced as the Camelopardalid Meteor Shower because it will appear to radiate from the constellation, Camelopardalis. Best times to look will be between 1-3 am Central Time May 24.

May 5/6 - The Eta Aquarids meteor shower should peak in early hours of May 6. This is not the most significant of meteor showers especially from the northern hemisphere.  Rates of 10-30 meteorites/hour are expected. Look to the east about 5-6 am in the morning. The meteor shower name stems from the constellation, Aquarius, from which the shower appears to radiate.

Bright Stars in mid-May:

Spica, a varible double star in the constellation Virgo, shines bright in the southern sky at an altitude of about 30 degrees. Spica is a bluish-white (hot) star.
Capella (in Auriga), a yellowish star like our sun, but a double star, will be close to setting in the NE.
Arcturus (in Bootes) is a red giant star and will be high in the south/southeastern sky at an altitude of 60 degrees. The star looks orange to the naked eye.


If you have questions regarding the website or an event, please email BRAC coordinator, judy.vondruska@sdstate.edu.

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Time-lapse of Sundogs in Brookings, 1/22/14 (by Sanath K.)


Solar Viewing during Kite Festival (6/23/13)

Fun with the Sun at Children's Museum of SD (7/20/13)

Found A Meteorite?

Think you've found a meteorite?  Check HERE for descriptions and simple tests.