WAS on the road to Stellafane, How’s the Clock Tower This Year, Meetups, CSP and More!
by Dan Wright
The steamy, hot dog days of summer are on us and of course that means clouds! Opening the dome this summer has had it’s issues because of the weather but we’re still very busy with our outreach, more so than in many years. We did our first event at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion on behalf of the Westport Cinema Initiative as they screened Saving Hubble. Along with our friends at the Astronomical Society of New Haven, we had our telescopes on hand to show the public views of Saturn and the Moon. It was a great night!
Unfortunately our scheduled Meetup for the Perseid Meteor Shower was rained out but we’re going to take another stab at a Meetup on August 24th at 8:30pm. Again, these are great fundraisers for the Rolnick Observatory and if you can come up to help out, we’re expecting around 60 new people to check us out. Thanks to everyone that’s already confirmed but we could sure use some more help.
We’re all packed up for the Stellafane Convention on August 16-19. Bob Meadows took the 25 Obsession on his vacation up to Lake George in New York and will meet us on the Observing Field in Springfield VT Thursday afternoon. We set up camp on the Northeast part of the observing field, right next to the McGregor Observatory. Anyone that’s interested in the roots of amateur astronomy should make the pilgrimage at some point in their lives. It’s a very special place.
Speaking of star parties, the 22nd Annual Connecticut Star Party is coming up rain or shine September 14-16. This is a wonderful nearby star party in Ashford CT that’s extremely well organized and a lot of fun. I encourage all of our members to sign up and come up to the lectures and take in some of the “darkest skies” in Connecticut. If the weather’s bad we carpool so there should be people that can get you there and back. It’s important to support events like this so they can continue. Sign up today and show your support!
A very special thank you to our summer intern Cole Miller. He’s headed back to college after helping Bob all through his summer vacation. Bob and Cole accomplished a ton of stuff that needed to get done at the observatory this summer and we cannot thank you enough Cole! Also headed off to college is Niles Lathrop. Niles has been a huge help volunteering his time on public nights, random events and has taken some amazing pictures of the Rolnick Observatory we use currently use on our Facebook pages. And sadly, Adam Yates has taken a new job in upstate Connecticut. Adam will continue doing all the behind the scenes work on the WAS Web Pages and so much more that no one ever sees. Thank you to all for everything and please come back soon!
Next Meeting: Bob Meadows Annual Stellafane Report, Tuesday August 21, 8:00pm
Intrepid investigator Bob Meadows, the Observatory Director of the Rolnick Observatory, goes deep with his annual Stellafane report. Bob reports on all of the new telescope developments at the Stellafane Convention in Springfield VT in the hotly contested mechanical, optical and craftsmanship categories.
As usual, Bob will attempt a photo of the Springfield Clock Tower while executing a break neck turn at or about 3 miles per hour.
Tuesday September 18, 2012 – David L. Rabinowitz aka “Pluto Killer“
Searching the sky for exploding stars, black holes and distant planetesimals
Our September speaker David L. Rabinowitz is a research scientist from Yale that builds giant CCD cameras that search the sky for some of the most interesting of all objects: Exploding Stars, Black Holes and Planetesimals. An expert on trans-Neptunian objects, Rabinowitz assisted in the discovery of the most distant solar system objects such as Eris; an object more massive than Pluto that helped kill Pluto off to “less than planet” status.
Upcoming Events at the Rolnick ObservatoryStellafane: August 16 – 19, 2012 Bob Meadows Annual Stellafane Report: August 21 Meetup Private Star Party: August 24 8:30pm Connecticut Star Party (CSP): September 14 – 16, 2012 David L. Rabinowitz: September 18 – Yale research scientist, co-discoverer of Eris and co-killer of Pluto. “Searching the sky for exploding stars, black holes and distant planetesimals “ Mordecai-Mark Mac Low: October 16 – Curator of the American Museum of Natural History, Department of Physics Phil Harrington: November 16 – Founding member of WAS, contributing editor to Astronomy Magazine and author of many books including the recently published ultimate observing list for amateurs: Cosmic Challenge David Mestre: December 18 – Director of Space Science Education at the Discovery Museum and Planetarium drops in for the annual WAS Holiday Party! Robert Gendler: January 19, 2013– One of the world’s best astrophotographers returns to chat about making images from the Hubble Legacy Archive Kerstin Perez: February 19, 2013 – Columbia University research physicist currently working on the NuSTAR X-Ray Space Telescope.
Astro Web Site Of The Month
by Cal Powell
One of the highlights of August is the mid-month Perseid meteor shower. This well-known shower is but one of many that occur throughout the year. The Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) is an automated effort to capture meteor images on video to help validate suspected minor showers. Their website at http://cams.seti.org/ has instructions for participating in video meteor astronomy as well as links to the IAU Meteor Data Center, scientific papers submitted from CAMS observations, and information on meteorites found in California.
Please send e-mail on your own personal web pages, or astronomy links that you find interesting or noteworthy to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Bob Meadows
Bob Meadows and Cole Miller, who is our intern for the summer, finished painting the Pisces shed and the base of the tower. We also painted the top of the trailer, and the railings and legs of the ladder for the 25 inch telescope.
We will be taking the 25 inch telescope to Stellafane in Springfield, VT, on August 16 to 19. We plan to camp in an area just east of the Schupman telescope at the top of the observing field. Get more information at: stellafane.org
The Connecticut Star Party is September 14 to 16 in Ashford, CT. We plan to attend with the 25 inch telescope. Get more information at: www.asnh.org
On July 30, there was a showing of the movie “Saving Hubble” at the Levitt Pavilion to benefit the Westport Cinema. The movie was followed by telescope viewing. WAS and ASNH provided telescopes. Thanks to Bob Meadows, Anthony Media, Franco Fellah, Keith Smith, and Adam Yates for their help.
Telescope classes resume in September. If you’re interested in learning how to use the dome telescope, please send an email to register for the fall classes.
15 Bob Blasko David Ives Evan Tilley — Stellafane —
22 Mike Bellacosa Karl Procop Frank Cirino *Franco Fellah
29 Bob Meadows Tom Davis Quintin Brantley
5 Bob Tobin David Ives Nick LaRocca *Dan Wright
12 Bob Blasko K. Moskovitz Adam Yates *Franco Fellah
19 Mike Bellacosa Frank Cirino Evan Tilley *Bob Meadows
26 Tom Davis Karl Procop Quintin Brantley
3 Bob Tobin David Ives
10 Bob Meadows Bob Blasko K. Moskovitz *Franco Fellah
17 Mike Bellacosa Nick LaRocca Evan Tilley *Carl Lancaster
24 Karl Procop Quintin Brantley Frank Cirino
31 Bob Meadows Tom Davis David Ives
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We are an all volunteer society that is financially responsible for everything at the Rolnick Observatory, and we are always short on money. Please donate and renew your membership today!
Check out the WAS Wear Store! Incredible custom gear made for the Star Parties! Show your WAS pride!
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|Board Members at Large:||David Ives
|Web Master:||Adam Yates|