A photo-montage of the 2014 AAAP Award winners

Our Association succeeds thanks to the involvement of our members – whether it is devoting time to our events (star parties, Astronomy weekends, etc.), or simply participating in our events (meetings, lectures, members-only events, etc.) Whatever the level of involvement, we appreciate all of our members.

The December meeting/party is our opportunity to recognize those members who deserve a special recognition. It is with great pleasure to announce those members who received an award for 2014.

  • The Nova Award honors the new member who has been actively involved with the Association. This year’s recipients were Michael Christeson, Heather Panek, Sally Swieck, and John Wenskovitch. All four winners are active at our public star parties, helping the visitors to enjoy the wonders of the night sky. Heather was also recognized for her expertise with web-based databases to help program our future online membership management system.
  • The George Lindbloom Award honors the male member who has made an extraordinary contribution. This year’s recipients were Nathan Brandt, Michael Skowvron, and William Yorkshire. Nate and Michael were instrumental in getting the new website created and online. It was a monumental task (and still ongoing!), so they deserve a big thanks. Wagman Observatory has seen a number of major improvements this year, and for spearheading all of that work, we thank Bill for all of his time and effort.
  • The Lois Harrison Award honors the female member who has made an extraordinary contribution. This year’s recipients were Kathy DeSantis and Joanne Trees. Both ladies are “ambassadors to the public” by helping out with public outreach.
  • The John A. Brashear Award honors the member who has made a substantial and sustained contribution to our Association. As such, it is only awarded occasionally. We were pleased to present our highest award to Richard Haddad. Not only was the Mingo Creek Park Observatory Dick’s brain-child, he has been involved in all stages of the fund raising, meetings with officials, and continuing to look for ways to help visitors enjoy and understand what they see through our telescopes.

John Holtz, President

The Fish Head Nebula (IC 1795) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.

Note: Prior to Mr. Bill Snyder being recognized for the December 24, 2014 NASA APOD,, he was previously recognized for The Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day, December 12, 2014 for his image of the fish Head Nebula. Mr. Synder has won many APOD’s (~7 or 8) and many Astronomy Magazine Pictures of the Day. This year Bill’s best was to be awarded 2014 International Astrophotographer of the Year in the Deep Space Category.

The Fish Head Nebula (IC 1795) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.

GEMINID METEOR SHOWER – Dec 13th -14th 2014

Geminid Meteor Shower  peaks 4AM, Sunday  12/14/2014 making the dates just before and just afterwards good meteor opportunities.  Hours, 9 PM  through 11Pm -1Am,  after radient rises and before Moonrise are prime viewing Fri., Sat., and Sun. ; Moonrise respectively at 11 PM, 12, AM Sun, 1AM Mon., times close approximations.

Public Geminid Meteor Viewing in the Pittsburgh Area is planned at the Jennings Environemntal Education Center, 2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock, PA 16057-5023 724-794-6011, Saturday, December 13, 2014, 7 -10 PM. See image of the   Jennings Environemntal Education Center on their Facebook Page .  There is an indoor theater program set for prior to the outdoor Geminid Meteor Viewing.

This is the only public meteor viewing is planned this weekend involving the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.

 Meanwhile, find a dark spot or shield your view from lights, grab a chair, blanket and hot beverage and make your own Gemind Viewing Party.