Tonight’s Sky – July 2015

  • Venus and Jupiter and crescent moon just after sunset.
  • Saturn appears high in the south after dark
  • Scorpius, Antares, M4 Globular Cluster,
  • Sagitarius, Lagoon Nebula, Triffid Nebula, Omega Nebula, M22 Globular Cluster,
  • Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower

This video is brought to you by hubblesite.org – they’ve been putting the WOW into astronomy with stunning images and astronomy education for over a decade.

Filed in Astronomy & Observing | Comments Off on Tonight’s Sky – July 2015

2015 KAS Cherry Springs Star Party Report.

20150611_173111

The KAS had a fantastic time at the 2015 Cherry Spring Star Party from June 10th – June 14th.  Seven KAS members toughed out some poor weather forecasts and reports, and were treated instead with two fairly decent nights of observing.

KAS Equipment on the field throughout the weekend:
  • Astro Gazer dome with his 10″ Mead SCT
  • 16″ New Moon Telescopes Dob.
  • 20″ Obsession Dob
  • 9.25″ Celestron Edge SCT
  • 8″ Meade Schmidt Newtonian
  • 5″ Explore Scientific refractor
  • 3″ Galileoscope Refractor
20150612_162100
Some KAS members arrived Wednesday night, and those members had three nights of observing under decent conditions. Most KAS members began filing in Thursday morning, and were greeted with mostly clear skies on Thursday night.
20150612_204449
Friday was an all around interesting day with respect to weather.  In the evening, high winds spun up havoc on the observing field including some KAS Canopy tents and one member’s camping tent.  Heavy rains drenched everything.  However, the KAS base camp was put back together in no time, and the group pitched in to help the member with the beaten up tent.  Most of the group was out to dinner when the storm hit, and no one was injured.  However everyone was treated to a bright, complete and beautiful double rainbow spanning from one end of the field to the other for about  15 – 20 minutes.

20150612_204955

During the days on Friday and Saturday, KAS Members attended great lectures, visited with old friends, interacted with and purchased products from astronomy equipment vendors and relaxed.

 

20150612_162121Saturday night provided a fantastic night of observing, lasting until about 3 AM when a cloud blanket of fog rolled in.  It was some of the best observing conditions, and members were able to push a lot of power on objects like Saturn, Jupiter, star clusters, planetary nebulas, etc.  With the seeing stable like this, the group was treated to the best visual observations of Saturn.  Observations of seeing all of the markings on Saturn’s atmosphere, seeing the divided ring detail, and even striations in the rings caused by the gravity of passing moons.  The entire night was fantastic observing as many as 30-40 objects that night.

Saturday night was also the night that there were public observers from the surrounding area allowed on the field. As is tradition the KAS hosts public observer outreach as part of our mission.  We had about 35 or so public observers come through and look through our telescopes on Saturday night, and they were wowed with the things they saw.  It’s always great to get people looking through the telescope.

Now for the raffles, 5 of the 7 KAS members won prizes in the CSSP raffle. This was the largest raffle CSSP has had with nearly 105 prizes raffled off. All KAS members made their money back in the raffle and then some.
This was truly a great event, and all of the people who went were glad they attended..
Filed in Events | Comments Off on 2015 KAS Cherry Springs Star Party Report.

June 2015 Observing Challenges

 

Venus-Jupiter

Here are some observing challenges for June 2015

Note:  These events come from David Dickinson’s post in Universe Today titled The Top 101 Astronomical Events of 2015

  • June 01- The International Space Station reaches full illumination as the June solstice nears, resulting in multiple nightly passes favoring  northern hemisphere observers.
  • June 04- Io and Ganymede both cast shadows on Jupiter from 12:54 to 2:13 EDT.
  • June 05- Venus reaches greatest eastern (dusk) elongation for 2015, 45 degrees from the Sun at 12:00 PM EDT.
  • June 16- Comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS may reach naked eye visibility.
  • June 21- The June northward solstice occurs at 10:51 UT.
  • June 24- Mercury reaches greatest (morning) elongation at 22.5 degrees west of the Sun at 17:00 UT.
  • June 30 – Jupiter and Venus are nearly 1/3 of a degree apart.  for 8 days starting June 27th, they are 2 degrees or less apart.
Filed in Astronomy & Observing | Comments Off on June 2015 Observing Challenges

KAS To Host International SUNDay Event

11227039_1628284184083932_1150969567382040018_n

On June 21st, 2015, the Kopernik Astronomical Society will be hosting its first annual International SUNDay event at Otsiningo Park in Binghamton, NY (http://www.gobroomecounty.com/parks/otsiningo).  International SUNDay is an event hosted throughout the world with the goal of science outreach and teaching young and old about our nearest star.

International SUNDay is supported by the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, and promoted with a free donation of safe solar observing glasses.  The KAS has been given 200 of these glasses to hand out free to the general public.

INTL SUNday Glasses 2015

We will be setting up gear at the park that allows safe observations of the Sun (assuming clear skies), providing free solar observing glasses to the first 200 observers, and handing out educational information about everyone’s favorite star – the Sun.

If the weather cooperates, an observer may see a sunspot, solar prominence, solar filament, and other features of the Sun using our specialized equipment.

NOTE: please only observe the Sun with approved and safe solar observing techniques.  Improper solar observations may cause permanent damage to your eyes or blindness.  

Additionally, the event occurs on the summer solstice when the Sun is at its highest point in the ecliptic plane, and also the longest daylight of any day in the year for the Northern Hemisphere.

Come join us for a great time and learn something new about that giant life-supporting star in our sky.

Filed in Events | Comments Off on KAS To Host International SUNDay Event

Tonight’s Sky – June 2015

  • Venus and Jupiter in the west after sunset – conjunction at end of June
  • Saturn appears in the south in the late evening hours
  • Bootes and Arcturus, Izar double star,
  • Corona Borealis Constellation
  • Hercules high in the summer night sky: M13 & M92 Globular Star Clusters
  • Draco the Dragon – Nu Draconis double star,

This video is brought to you by hubblesite.org – they’ve been putting the WOW into astronomy with stunning images and astronomy education for over a decade.

Filed in Astronomy & Observing | Comments Off on Tonight’s Sky – June 2015

The KAS Shindig! – June 6th, 2015

Come and enjoy a fun evening with people who share your love of astronomy! Spend time with old friends and make new ones. Catch up on the latest astronomy happenings! Bring a dish to pass at our Potluck Dinner.

All are Welcome!

Are you considering joining the Kopernik Astronomical Society? Do you have friends that may be interested in astronomy? Bring them along, too! If you plan to attend, RSVP to Roy Williams at: rwilliams@kopernik.org

6 p.m. Doors Open: Potluck Dinner
7:30 p.m. The RadioActive Sky Alex Harvilchuck, Susquehanna Astro-Society
9 p.m. Observing (if clear) or Telescope Tours (if cloudy) * If clear, KOSC will stay open beyond 10 p.m. for observing Free Admission

For more information (click image for PDF file)

2015-05-11_00-28-22

Filed in Events | Comments Off on The KAS Shindig! – June 6th, 2015