February 10, 2011
February is another promising month or great observing. In the winter-constellationo Canis Major there is a binary star system – two stars orbiting about each other. Tey are called Sirius A and Sirius B located about 8.60 light years away. According to NASA,“Sirius B is smaller than the Earth, but much denser with a gravitational eld 350,000times greater than Earth’s, meaning that a 150-pound person would weigh 50 millionpounds standing on its surace.”About 427.1 light years away is a red supergiant called Betelgeuse. It resides in theconstellation o Orion and it is visible to the unaided eye. Another noteworthy object isthe Rosette Nebula that is located above the constellation o Monoceros, the unicorn. Inthe center o the nebula is a young star cluster NGC 2244. Te nebula is estimated to bea little over 500,000 years old. Looking towards the east at the constellation o Herculesyou can see the Great Globular Cluster (M13) around 4 a.m. in the morning. OnFebruary 4, we had a New Moon and on February 11 we will see our rst quarter Moon.Now a quick update on the satellite probe called Stardust-NEx: On February 14, 2011 the satellite will past by its second comet. But, it is the rst time NASA isconducting a ollow-up mission to a comet. For more inormation on Stardust-NExmissions please visit http://stardustnext.jpl.nasa.gov/.
Te NMC Astronomical Association is hosting its rst big undraiser on February 25.For more inormation about events, please visit our website at www.nmcac.yolasite.com oremail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Inormation regarding Open Houses at the NMC Observatory can be ound on the website www.nmc.edu/rogersobservatory
• NASA/Jet ProPulSioN lAborAtory (JPl) Sa Ssm Amassad
Singing a sweet deal or Valentine’s Day
With Valentine’s Day ast approaching, the Grand raverse Chorus (GC) oers asweetheart deal. A quartet rom the GC, a chapter o the Sweet Adelines Internationalounded in 1954, will surprise your riend or signicant other with a song d’amour. Inaddition to the musical expression o your love, the $40 cost comes complete with aspecial Valentine’s Day card, a photo o the event, and delicious, locally made chocolates.Tis one-o-a-kind git is available or delivery Saturday, Feb. 12 through Monday, Feb.14. Te valentines can be sent anywhere within a 20-mile radius o raverse City. Formore inormation, or to place your order, contact Anne Nicholson at (231) 350-0536 orvisit www.grandtraversechorus.org
Financial Aid workshops help students make “cents” o FAFSA
Te Free Application or Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a lynchpin or receiving mostnancial aid, grants, and loans rom the ederal government. It is also a necessary rststep or many NMC scholarships. Tough lling out any government document can bea bit intimidating, a series o ree, upcoming workshops is scheduled to help studentsnavigate the FAFSA:
Tose attending should bring:
W2s or other documents estimating income,
number at www.pin.ed.gov.Te deadline or state aid FAFSA submissions is March 1. For more inormation, orto learn more about the nancial aid ofce, call (231) 995-1035 or nd them online atwww.nmc.edu/nancialaid.
Caé Society brews scholarship opportunity or cofee slingers
Te Caé Society Educational Fund is oering their rst scholarship this year inthe amount o $500. Te deadline or coee caé workers to turn in their scholarshipapplication is March 18. Baristas are those morning motivators who prepare and servelattes, cappuccinos, and other caeine inused coee house contributions. Te scholarshipis available to coee slingers who live and work in northwest Michigan’s Antrim,Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand raverse, and Leelanau counties. Applicants must either havepreviously worked in a local coee shop or at least one year or be currently employed asan area barista. Franchise and chain shop employees are exempt rom this scholarship.Examples include, but are not limited to, Cupppa Joe, Boast & oast Coee & Caé, andHigher Grounds rading Co. Tis award is or continuing education: degrees, certicates,trade school, community college, or any accredited educational eort.“We’re pleased to oer an opportunity that is dierent than grants and scholarships
Community Foundation. “It will be exciting to see the applicants rom this unique eld’sinterests as they come orward in representation o their communities.”o ll out an application go to www.phsac.org or call Sara Ward at (231) 348-5820.
Some bath salts take a less-than-relaxing turn
Ivory Wave, Red Dove, and Vanilla Sky sound like a bad advertising campaign –and maybe they are. However, getting high o the use o these bath salts, containingchemicals made rom an Arican plant derivative called Cathinone, is on the rise.Cathinone is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but
intended or human consumption. Tese chemicals are rened rom Cathinone andthen snorted, injected, or smoked
with potentially atal consequences. Te eects, whichinclude hallucinations and a dependency – on par with crack, speed, and heroin – canhave debilitating reactions on users. Tere have been reports o violent outbursts, sel-mutilation, and suicidal thoughts to name a ew. Louisiana, where it has been outlawed,leads the nation with 165 reported incidents involving cases o overdose, suicide, violentattacks, and murder.But Louisiana isn’t alone. Te drug has appeared in more than hal the states in theU.S. Tere is a lengthy process to restrict these types o designer chemicals, includingreviewing the abuse data. Tese processes can take years beore any tangible results areproduced. Since the chemicals are still legal in most states, or the time being, userscan only be charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. States like Kentucky are
compounds.“Because these drugs are legal in many states, children can obtain them andpunishment or use and distribution is impossible. Hopeully laws will be instituted inall states preventing the sale, distribution and possession o these chemicals,” said Renee Jacobson director o Health Services at NMC. “My understanding is, that when inhaled,these chemicals replace natural neurotransmitters in the brain. Tis causes hallucinations,delirium, suicide ideation, paranoia and in many causes actual suicide. Horric suicidessuch as people have cut their own throat, stabbed and shot themselves. Overdosing haslead to death. Te chemicals are very addicting and the eects can last several days.”
Volunteers are needed or the VASA cross-country ski event rom 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Feb. 12 and 13. Active individuals, who are interested, can choose rom a variety o positions: nish-line aid, station help, directing participants, and serving hot soup andsnacks in the banquet hall. Shits can be broken down into smaller increments i necessary.For more inormation or to register call Linda at (231)-946-3099.raverse City’s annual winter WOW estival is returning February 18. Many volunteeropportunities exist in this raverse City estival that hosts a wide variety o activities or winter enthusiasts. With Front Street ice sculpture, snow carvings, a vintage snowmobiledisplay, downhill dash race, ice cream eating contest, tubing, cardboard bobsled race, anddogsled demos, there is something or snowbirds o all ages. Find out more or sign up tovolunteer at www.winterwowest.com/volunteers-17For more inormation and volunteer opportunities in the region, contact SusanMcQuaid, director o the Volunteer Center at (231) 947-3200 Ext. 205 email@example.com
Joshua Sisco, News Briefs Editor