9 PM SW May 23, 2015 Jupiter above the Moon, Venus to the right. Stellarium.org Screen Capture

9 PM SW May 23, 2015 Jupiter above the Moon, Venus to the right. Stellarium.org Screen Capture

The May Wagman Star Parties and the May Mingo Star Parties will be on May 22 and 23, 2015. Arrive early to see the evening planets. Please plan on sticking around for the darkening of the sky when dimmer objects brighten. The  Stellarium screen capture depicts the sky looking west at 9 PM. These star parties  present an opportunity to observe other wonders of the Spring sky such as the galaxies in the Coma-Virgo Cluster, planetary nebulae and star clusters.
Did you get a telescope recently and don’t know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help!
Looking to buy a telescope, accessories, star charts and books? Our star parties are the place to start. We’ll have free handouts, guides and booklets to point visitors in the right direction. Admission is free, though we gladly accept donations to cover the cost of operation.
Stars do not “come out” until after sunlight fades from view.  The sun does not set this weekend until approximately 8:10 PM and darkness does not descend until approximately one hour later.   Please use parking lights only  when you drive through the Wagman gate or pass Shelter 10 approaching Mingo Observatory. Drive very slowly and cautiously.There is no  alcohol or tobacco permitted on  the observatory grounds. We suggest you bring bottled water.  There is no running water on either site. There are park style restroom facilities. Dress warmly as springtime nights can be quite chilly afer the sun goes down.

 

Mingo Observatory

Mingo Creek Park Observatory,1 Shelter 10 Road, Finleyville, PA  15332 Phone 724-348-6150 This address does not lend to mapping.  Please use the GPS Coordinates. GPS coordinates are Latitude 40*:12′:42″ Longitude 80*:01′:14″ or Latitude 40.211degrees, Longitude -80.020 degrees. Declination -9 degrees.  For directions and information about the Mingo Observatory visit<a title=”Mingo Observatory” href=”https://wp.me/P46Qqk-18″ target=”_blank”>  https://wp.me/P46Qqk-18 </a> .

Open Rain or shine, cloudy or clear! Planetarium Schedule: 7:00 PM: Sky Show, 8:00 PM: Program TBA  9:00 PM: Sky Show, 10:00 PM: Program TBA.

View the Sun early with our 4″ Lunt Solar Telescope and then see wonders of the night sky through our 24 inch Ritchey-Chretien Reflector and 10 inch Refractor telescopes, sky conditions permitting.

No ISS Passes to be seen this weekend. ISS is not to return to our night skies until May 30, 2015.

Iridium Flares for Mingo Observatory

None for Friday.  Two for Saturday:

May 24, 22:01:200.911°347° (NNW)Iridium 75138 km (E)-5.4-14°

May 24, 22:50:59-0.711°275° (W)Iridium 66168 km (E)-5.8-20°

 

Wagman Observatory

Wagman Observatory,  225 Kurn Road, Tarentum, PA 15084  Phone 724-224-2510 Latitude 40.627 degrees, Longitude -79.813 degrees

This event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 22 and 23 starting at 8:35 PM EDT. The Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory is located in Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh. This is an opportunity for amateur astronomers, students and the general public to observe the wonders of the Spring sky such as the galaxies in the Coma-Virgo Cluster, planetary nebulae and star clusters. The Star Parties will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call 724-224-2510 for more information.

 

 

Rise & Set Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 2015-05-22

http://www.almanac.com/astronomy/rise/PA/Pittsburgh/2015-05-22

Friday, May 22, 2015

Body Dawn
Breaks
Rises Sets Dark
Descends
Day
Length
Sun 4:01 A.M. 5:57 A.M. 8:36 P.M. 10:32 P.M. 14:39
Moon 10:12 A.M. Next Day
Mercury 6:39 A.M. 9:29 P.M.
Venus 8:52 A.M. 12:09 A.M.
Mars 6:19 A.M. 9:06 P.M.
Jupiter 11:29 A.M. 1:38 A.M.
Saturn 8:21 P.M. 6:19 A.M.
Uranus 4:06 A.M. 4:57 P.M.
Neptune 2:35 A.M. 1:39 P.M.
Pluto 11:35 P.M. 9:15 A.M.

All times are Eastern Daylight Time at sea level.

“Dawn Breaks” and “Darkness Descends” values are based on astronomical twilight (not civil twilight).

AAAP Logo - 0314 x 0314 - photo white on black - rev 2The May 8, 2015 AAAP  monthly meeting will feature Dr. James LoPresto, Phd. presenting “Solar Polar Vortex Studies and What Appears To Be An Upcoming Maunder Minimum”. Currently, he is Professor of Physics/Astronomy at Edinboro University.  The Annual Election of Officers will be held during the business portion of the meeting. More May meeting information appears in the May Guide Star.  Members and Guests should convene at the Bayer Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212  promptly at 7:30 pm. The parking fee is $5 at the inside lobby kiosk. It is recommended to enter and exit through the same gate.

AAAP Logo - 0314 x 0314 - photo white on black - rev 2

The April 10, 2015 monthly meeting will feature, AAAP’s own Dr. Ken Cole’s presentation, “Making A New Atlas of Mars,” a different top-down look at the Red Planet. Here is Ken’s lecture synopsis:
“As long as people have been telling stories, the planet Mars has a been an object of fascination and a key setting, or character, in those stories. In the half century of exploration by robotic spacecraft, the visions of H.G. Wells and Percival Lowell have been replaced with a very different picture of the red planet.” . Members and Guests should convene at the Bayer Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212  promptly at 7:30 pm. The parking fee is $5.

See Jupiter near to the Moon in Cancer, with bright stars and planet Venus all in view.

Looking West at 9 PM, April 25, 2015. Stellarium Screen Capture

The April Wagman Star Parties and the April Mingo Star Parties will be on April 24 and 25, 2015.  They should be especially starry nights falling at the end of the Lyrid Meteor Shower. Please plan on sticking around for the darkening of the sky when meteors are more visible to see the best ones. The  Stellarium screen capture depicts the sky looking west at 9 PM, naked-eye, counterclockwise, one sees Jupiter and the Moon with bright stars Procyon, Sirius, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Planet Venus , Capella ,  and swinging back around , Castor and Pollux.  These star parties  present an opportunity to observe other wonders of the Spring sky such as the galaxies in the Coma-Virgo Cluster, planetary nebulae and star clusters.  Did you get a telescope recently and don’t know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help!  Looking to buy a telescope, accessories, star charts and books? Our star parties are the place to start. We’ll have free handouts, guides and booklets to point visitors in the right direction.  Admission is free, though we gladly accept donations to cover the cost of operation.

Stars do not “come out” until after sunlight fades from view.  The sun does not set this weekend until approximately 8:10 PM and darkness does not descend until approximately one hour later.   Please use parking lights only when you drive through the Wagman gate or pass Shelter 10 approaching Mingo Observatory. Drive very slowly and cautiously.  There is no  alcohol or tobacco permitted on  the observatory grounds. We suggest you bring bottled water.  There is no running water on either site. There are park style restroom facilities. Dress warmly as springtime nights can be quite chilly afer the sun goes down.

 

Wagman Star Parties

Wagman Observatory,  225 Kurn Road, Tarentum, PA 15084  Phone 724-224-2510 Latitude 40.627 degrees, Longitude -79.813 degrees   This event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25 starting at 8:10 PM EDT.   The Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory is located in Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh. Important note to those planning on the Saxonburg Bridge.  Please scroll down to the Saxonburg Bridge Detour information listed on the website.  Wagman Observatory Information

 

Mingo Star Parties

Mingo Creek Park Observatory,1 Shelter 10 Road, Finleyville, PA  15332 Phone 724-348-6150 This address does not lend to mapping.  Please use the GPS Coordinates. GPS coordinates are Latitude 40*:12′:42″ Longitude 80*:01′:14″ or Latitude 40.211degrees, Longitude -80.020 degrees. Declination -9 degrees.  For directions and information about the Mingo Observatory visit  https://wp.me/P46Qqk-18  .

Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th:  Open Rain or shine, cloudy or clear!  4:00 PM for Filtered Solar Observing, 7:00 PM for Planetarium Show, Dusk for Celestial Observing.  Planetarium Schedule: 7:00 PM: Sky Show, 8:00 PM: Program – Chilean Astronomy Connection – George Guzik 9:00 PM: Sky Show, 10:00 PM: Program – Chilean Astronomy Connection – George Guzik.

Safely view the Sun early with our 4″ Lunt Solar Telescope and then see the night sky through our 24 inch Ritchey-Chretien Reflector and 10 inch Refractor telescopes.  Check back for updates.

Guests will also be guided in viewing the ISS Passes, Iridium Flares, satellite observation, etc. See Heavens-Above  for times and availibility of objects in the sky.  As the date of the event nears and more information develops it may be added as resources allow.

There is an ISS Pass predicted for just before 10:47 PM on Friday, but the altitude is so low, reaching a height of only 18°  it will be difficult to observe. That is the only ISS pass in the “Search Period” ending on May 4.

From: Heavens-Above.com

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
24 Apr -0.9 20:46:46 10° W 20:49:06 18° SW 20:51:21 10° S visible

There is an Iridium Flare predicted for Saturday but not for Friday.

From: Heavens-Above.com

Time Brightness Altitude Azimuth Satellite Distance to flare centre Brightness at flare centre Sun altitude
Apr 25, 21:47:16 0.0 53° 86° (E) Iridium 98 48 km (W) -8.3 -18°

 

April 25, 2015 is Spring Astronomy Day.

These Star Parties also coincide with one of two 2015 Earth Day Weekends. Celebrate the “Blue Marble.”

——————————————————————————————————–

Rise & Set Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 2015-04-25

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Body Dawn
Breaks
Rises Sets Dark
Descends
Day
Length
Sun 4:44 A.M. 6:26 A.M. 8:09 P.M. 9:51 P.M. 13:43
Moon 12:25 P.M. 1:53 A.M.
Mercury 7:05 A.M. 9:37 P.M.
Venus 8:29 A.M. 11:43 P.M.
Mars 7:05 A.M. 9:15 P.M.
Jupiter 1:03 P.M. 3:18 A.M.
Saturn 10:17 P.M. 8:11 A.M.
Uranus 5:49 A.M. 6:36 P.M.
Neptune 4:19 A.M. 3:23 P.M.
Pluto 1:26 A.M. 11:02 A.M.

All times are Eastern Daylight Time at sea level.

“Dawn Breaks” and “Darkness Descends” values are based on astronomical twilight (not civil twilight).

Tonight – March 28, 2015 – the waxing gibbous moon isn’t far from the very bright planet Jupiter on the sky’s dome. If you look carefully, you should also see the Gemini stars Castor and Pollux – noticeable for their brightness and nearness to each other – near the moon and Jupiter. Another bright star, Procyon, is also nearby. Just remember, Jupiter easily outshines all these stars. It’s the brightest object in the moon’s vicinity tonight.

Tonight – March 28, 2015 – the waxing gibbous moon isn’t far from the very bright planet Jupiter on the sky’s dome. If you look carefully, you should also see the Gemini stars Castor and Pollux – noticeable for their brightness and nearness to each other – near the moon and Jupiter. Another bright star, Procyon, is also nearby. Just remember, Jupiter easily outshines all these stars. It’s the brightest object in the moon’s vicinity tonight.

Friday, March 27, 2015, 4:00 PM Update

The Wagman Observatory Star Party scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2015 is CANCELLED due to conditions.

The Mingo Observatory Star Party is ON. Mingo planetarium can operate regardless of sky conditions.  Be aware if the crowd is sparse the observatory may close earlier than usual.  Late arrivals may wish to telephone 724-348-6150 to confirm.

 

Saturday’s skies are anticipated to be clear and we are looking forward to operating the telescopes.

 

 

Stellarium.org  Screen Captures:

March 28, 20115, 8:00PM looking wsw.

March 28, 20115, 8:00 PM looking WSW.

 

March 28, 2015, 9:00 PM

March 28, 2015, 9:00 PM, looking WSW.

 

The AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS ASSOCIATION OF PITTSBURGH is pleased to invite you to the Wagman Observatory and to the Mingo Creek County Park Observatory for the Kick-Off of the 2015 Star Party Season. New this year is enhanced solar observing at both facilities and digital screen upgrades inside of both facilities. The first star party weekend is Friday and Saturday March 27 and 28, 2015   . There are star parties at both Wagman and MIngo Observatories.

 

MINGO CREEK PARK OBSERVATORY – STAR PARTIES. March 27 and 28, 2015  SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES. See stars,galaxies, nebula, planets, Moon, meteors,and more, up close through our 10″ and 24″ fixed telescopes and members telescopes on the hill. Conditions permitting possible solar view with new Lunt solarscope! Haddad Planetarium offers lectures, movies, sky shows. Solar Viewing begins at 4:00 PM Conditions Permitting. 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM End time depending on conditions. Donations gladly accepted. Address: 1 Shelter 10 Road, Nottingham Township, PA 15301 40.2110 N, 80.0190 W   For more information and group pre-registration, 724-384-6150 or MingoSPCoordinator@3ap.org.

 

MARCH 28, 2015 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM EARTH HOUR MINGO OBSERVATORY will host a special Earth Hour program focused on dark skies, light pollution and astrophotography.

 

WAGMAN OBSERVATORY STAR PARTIES start 7:40 PM EDT Saturday, March 27 and 28 at Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory in Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh.

This is an opportunity for amateur astronomers, students and the general public to observe the wonders of the spring sky and say good-bye to some of the Winter Constellations. Visitors will have an opportunity to observethe Moon shortly after First Quarter, and the bright planets, Venus and Jupiter.

Did you get a telescope recently and don’t know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help!

Looking to buy a telescope, accessories, star charts and books? Wagman Observatory is the place to start. We’ll have free handouts, guides and booklets to point visitors in the right direction.

The Star Party will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call 724-224-2510 for more information.

 

 

 

AAAP Logo rev 1 - 0314 x 0313 - photo black on whiteThe Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is pleased to invite you to the Wagman Observatory and to the Mingo Creek County Park Observatory for 2015 Star Party Season.

Date Mingo      Wagman
March 27, 28 Yes                                                      Yes
April 24, 25 Yes                                                       Yes
May 22, 23 Yes                                                       Yes
June 19, 20 Yes                                                       Yes
July 24, 25 Yes                                                       Yes
Aug 14, 15 10th Anniversary No star party
Aug 21, 22 No star party Yes
Sep 5  Dark Sky (late moonrise) Yes                                                       Yes
Sep 19 Yes                                                       Yes
Sep 27  Lunar Eclipse (Sunday night) Yes                                                       Yes
Oct 3  Dark Sky (late moonrise) Yes                                                       Yes
Oct 17 Yes                                                       Yes
Nov 7 No star party Mid-Autumn Star Party
Nov 14 Bundle-up Star Party No star party

Saxonburg Bridge Detour For Visitors to Wagman Observatory:

Driving North on Saxonburg Blvd, make a right turn onto Rte 910.  Follow this until you reach the Emerling Park entrance and turn left onto Cove Run Road. The Emerling Ice Cream Stand is at that corner.
Follow Cove Run Road to the second left, which is Mill Dam Road.  Stay on Mill Dam Road until it ends and turn left onto Rich Hill/ Union Road.  Stay on it until the you reach the intersection with Michael (Nursery) Road.  Turn right onto it an take your usual route to Wagman Observatory.  This adds 0.9 miles onto your normal trip.
Second choice:  Make at left onto Rte 910 and follow it until Campbell Road on your right.  Turn here and stay on it until You see the sign for Russellton-Dorseyville Road on your left.  Turn here and it takes you to the intersection of Saxonburg Blvd and Russellton-Dorseyville Road.  Just follow your regular route from here.  This detour might be easier to follow.  I don’t know what condition it’s in, but I do know that Cove Run and Mill Dam Roads aren’t in great condition, unless they made improvements since the last bridge closure.
This adds 2.1 miles.

earth-hour-2015-banner

(Diane Turnshek is still doing the Allegheny Observatory talk this Friday. Reservations needed: 412-321-2400).

De-Light Pittsburgh

Special Public Astronomy Seminar: Diane Turnshek (Physics, CMU)

New date: Thursday, March 5, 2015 7:00 pm

102 Thaw Hall, 3943 O’Hara Street, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 15260

De-Light Pittsburgh is a year-long initiative designed to inspire a city-wide focus on energy efficiency while encouraging energy consciousness and ecological conservation to citizens. This innovative program will kick-off during the internationally-recognized Earth Hour 2015. Downtown and Oakland property owners and managers are encouraged to dim or turn off rooftop signage and other non-essential lighting for one hour on Saturday, March 28th from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m..

Abstract:
2015 is the International Year of Light and, by turning them off, we hope to bring attention to climate change issues, educate the public about the dangers of over-lighting, show off the wonders of the heavens and change the public’s perception that brighter is always better. See how scientists are using art as a vehicle for social change in the battle against light pollution. Come, help celebrate the dark.

Bio:
Diane Turnshek stacks careers. She’s a part-time instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh and a special faculty member in the Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University. She’s also taught at seven other local institutions of higher learning. She publishes hard science fiction stories about colonizing other worlds and first contact with aliens and, in 2012, spent weeks on Mars (the Mars Desert Research Station in the high Utah desert).

Free and open to the public. The room is handicapped-accessible with prior notification; call 412-624-9000. Sponsored by Allegheny Observatory.

De-Light Pittsburgh

https://www.go-gba.org/event/earth-hour-2015-de-light-pittsburgh-kickoff-celebration/

Check back and check AAAP’s Facebook Page for more Earth Hour Programming.

M106 M106 is a spiral galaxy in the northern constellation Canes Venatici the Hunting Dogs. It lies some 25 million light-years from Earth. Some astronomers think emissions from M106 indicate a vast quantity of material is falling into a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core. (5.2-inch Thomas M. Back TMB 130 refractor, Apogee U8300 CCD camera, Hydrogen-alpha/LRGB image with exposures of 6, 7 2, 2, and 2 hours, respectively) Bill Snyder from Connellsville, Pennsylvania

M106
M106 is a spiral galaxy in the northern constellation Canes Venatici the Hunting Dogs. It lies some 25 million light-years from Earth. Some astronomers think emissions from M106 indicate a vast quantity of material is falling into a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core. (5.2-inch Thomas M. Back TMB 130 refractor, Apogee U8300 CCD camera, Hydrogen-alpha/LRGB image with exposures of 6, 7 2, 2, and 2 hours, respectively)
Bill Snyder from Connellsville, Pennsylvania

Mr. Bill Snyder, besides winning this Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day, was recently recognized for the December 24, 2014 NASA APOD, http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141224.html . 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. Bill is the reigning 2014 International Astrophotographer of the Year in the Deep Space Category http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year/2014-winners/deep-space . His work may be viewed on his website www.billsnyderastrophotography.com .