Stellarium Screen Capture,  9PM, September 5, 20015 South West view.

Stellarium Screen Capture, 9PM, September 5, 20015 South West view.

The members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh invite the public to Mingo Observatory and Wagman Observatory on Friday, September 5, 2015. Come see the planets Neptune and Uranus and enjoy the Milky Way without interference from the Moon. It’s all part of the show during the September Dark Sky Star Partis sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.

View the night sky without the Moon. Observe the Hercules Cluster, the Ring Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy and more … Engage in stimulating presentations, telescope observations and the natural delight of the night sky in park locations away from street lights, home and commercial lighting. See the stars that are alway there pop into view.

 

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? We’ll have free handouts, guides and booklets to point visitors in the right direction.

See the AAAP web page for more info at: www.3ap.org , Guide Star AAAP Newsletter  and the AAAP Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amateur-Astronomers-Association-of-Pittsburgh/114188205266611

Mingo Observatory

Solar Obeserving (weather permitting)  at 5:30 p.m.  SAFELY View the Sun early with our 4″ Lunt Solar Telescope. Planetarium Shows (rain or shine) beginning at 7:00 p.m. Planetarium Schedule: 7:00 PM: Sky Show, 8:00 PM: Program TBA  9:00 PM: Sky Show, 10:00 PM: Program TBA   Celestial Observing (weather permitting) beginning at Dusk. See wonders of the night sky through our 24 inch Ritchey-Chretien Reflector and 10 inch Refractor telescopes. Observe Double-stars, planetary nebulae, astonishing star clusters, distant galaxies. The Planets Saturn and its rings, Jupiter and its Galilean moons, Venus and more starting at dusk (sky conditions permitting! ).  Mingo Creek Park Observatory is Open Rain or shine, cloudy or clear!

 

Call Mingo at 724-348-6150.

GPS coordinates are Lat 40*:12′:42″ Long 80*:01′:14″

Students, scouts, youth groups, adults, and children accompanied by adults are welcome. If you know others who would be interested in receiving these notices, please register for the Mingo Email Blast.*

* Mingo Observatory Email Blast

Would you like to receive occasional emails about Mingo Observatory Star Parties and Observing Events?  Be sure to sign up at the Mingo Observatory Reception Desk or contact  MingoAssocDirector2@3ap.org.

Mingo Creek Park Observatory is Handicapped Accessible.

ISS fron Heaven-Above

Iridium Flare Schedule from Heavens-Above

Wagman Observatory

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.  Nearly 62,000 people have visited the observatory since its opening in 1987. Come and see what they’ve discovered and you’ve been missing.  This event is scheduled for Saturday, September 5 starting about 7:50 PM EDT. The Wagman Star Parties will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call 724-224-2510 for more information.    

Admission is free, though we gladly accept donations to cover the cost of operation. To reach Wagman Observatory, follow the Orange Belt (accessible from Routes 8 and 28) to Deer Lakes Park, near Russellton. Follow the road through the Park for 1.2 miles and turn left on to the Observatory grounds. Please use parking lights only when you drive through the gate.

For additional directions or to check on the weather conditions, please call the observatory at 724-224-2510. If you get our voice mail or a busy signal, keep trying. We receive many calls for information just before and during the star parties._Wagman_Sched_2015

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Check for updates and see the Guide Star AAAP Newsletter and Facebook Page.

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Pleasant Hills Library

Star Party presented by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

October 2, 2015 – Rain date to be determined

Time 7:30 pm

Location: The corner of Old Clairton Road and West Bruceton Road, Pleasant Hills, PA 15236

GPS Coordinates:  Latitude      40.3337322

                               Longitude  -79.9614539

Coordinator: Tim Kelly  – Cell (904) 501-5612

Astronomy Picture of the Day 2015 August 25 Meteors and Milky Way over Mount Rainier  Image Credit & Copyright: Matthew Dieterich

2015 August 25 Meteors and Milky Way over Mount Rainier
Image Credit & Copyright: Matthew Dieterich

AAAP Member Matt Deitrich  wins the Astronomy Picture of the Day, August 25, 2015. Congratulations Matt!  www.facebook.com/mattdieterichphotography   https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1010303482321741&id=114188205266611
Stellarium screen capture of South West sky at 9 PM..  The Moon shines between the Moon in Sagitarius and Scutum. saturm shines between Scorpius and Libra. Bright star Arcturus is higher and to the West.

Stellarium screen capture of South West sky at 9 PM.. The Moon shines in Sagitarius .,Saturn, in Libra. Bright star Arcturus is higher and to the West.

 

Please join the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh on Friday and Saturday, August 21 and 22, 2015 at the Wagman Observatory as we open our building and grounds to the the public for more August Star Parties. Please check here for updates as announced. Events are conditions permitting. The Star Parties start Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22  at 8:40 PM EDT at the 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,  225 Kurn Road Tarentum, PA 15084 ~ 724-224-2510 ~ Latitude 40.627 degrees Longitude -79.813 .

 

Saturday night Heavens-Above is calling for two Iridium events at Wagman Observatory:
Aug 22, 21:36:35-6.118°353° (N)Iridium 86
Aug 22, 22:59:46-2.411°48° (NE)Iridium 64

 

 

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

Amateur Astronomers Association Monthly Meetings return from summer hiatus September 11, 2015.  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.

The September 11, 2015 AAAP  monthly meeting will feature speaker Diane Turnshek speaking on De-Light the Night (Light Pollution Solutions). Diane Turnshek is a faculty member in Carnegie Mellon University’s Physics Department and an author whose short fiction has been published in Analog Magazine of Science Fiction and Fact. She hosts a monthly public lecture series on astronomy at Allegheny Observatory and is working with the City of Pittsburgh to stop the creep of light pollution. Catch her TEDxPittsburgh talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xSv33prmGY) and follow her on Twitter @dianeturnshek. More September meeting information will appear  in the September Guide Star and as this page is updated.

Perseid-in-the-Moonlight%20081209%20JWestlake_720X450

Wagman Observatory’s hilltop will been open to everyone interested in viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower on the Wednesday night, August 12/13. The gates will be open at Sunset.

Wagman Address: 225 Kurn Road Tarentum, PA 15084 ~ 724-224-2510 ~ Latitude 40.627 degrees Longitude -79.813 degrees ~ Inside Deer Lakes Park, Allegheny County.

perseidmap_strip_224X168

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh invites you to celebrate Mingo Observatory’s 10 Year Anniversary at the August 14 and 15, 2015 Star Parties. Mingo Observatory, Mingo Creek County Park (Map),  1 Shelter 10 Road Finleyville, PA 15332 ~ 724-348-6150 ~ Latitude 40.211 degrees Longitude -80.020 degrees,

Stellarium Screen Capture:   AUgust 15, 2015 Southern Sky.

Stellarium Screen Capture:  9PM, August 15, 2015 Mingo Observatory Southern Hotizon.

 

Join us Friday 14-Aug-2015 for our regular public Star Party and Saturday 15-August-2015 for the 10 Year Celebration and Star party.

Come celebrate with us the 10 years of our public outreach to Washington and surrounding counties. Learn about Mingo Observatory, The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, and South West Pennsylvania’s rich history in the field of Astronomy, both Amateur and Professional.

The weather and moon phase are looking good. Beautiful ringged Saturn will be in the South  West and Perseid Meteors will fly in the sky amongst the twinkling stars.

At 5:30p.m. and Weather permitting we will be offering SAFE Solar viewing through our 4” Lunt Hydrogen Alpha Telescope mounted on the 10” D & G Refractor also set up for  SAFE Solar viewing in white light.

At 6:00p.m. Enjoy Sky Shows and Public Lectures (rain or shine) in the Richard Y. Haddad Planetarium.

Then at Dusk and weather permitting we will open our 24” Optical Guidance Systems Reflector and the 10” D & G Refractor to viewing wonders of the night sky. See the rings of Saturn. Enjoy views of Star Clusters, Nebulae, Galaxies.  See Double and Multiple Star Systems. Possible left over  appearances  of  Meteors from the Perseid Meteor Shower that peaks on the night of the 12th of August.

Enjoy Question and Answer sessions with our many talented and knowledgeable Staff members who are versed in many areas of Amateur Astronomy from Astro-Photography, Stellar Evolution, Planetary Sciences, Telescope Making and Optics, Atmospheric Phenomena, as well as Theory and History.

The Mingo Creek Park Observatory  is Handicap Accessible. 

There is no charge for your visit, but we gladly accept donations to cover operating expenses.

There is no reservation needed and there is no limit to group size. It helps to plan for visits by organizations and we encourage those groups to call ahead.

Mingo Creek Park Observatory is operated  by an All Volunteer Staff of members of The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh. Please learn more about the MCPO and the AAAP at wwwdot3apdotOrg 

Most of the above is from Ken’s Mingo Email Blast. Would you like to receive occasional emails about Mingo Observatory Star Parties and Observing Events?  Be sure to sign up at the Mingo Observatory Reception Desk or contact  Ken, MingoAssocDirector2@3ap.org .

Safety and Smoke Free

There is no smoking (It fouls the telescope optics.) or alcohol permitted anywhere on the observtory grounds.  Please drive slowly and carefully.  Parking is available at the bottom of the observing hill and along the drive up. Handicapped spaces are available next to the building.  The outdoor (handicapped accessible) park style restroom is to the side of the handicapped parking parking. Members tailgate  there personal telescopes from their vehicles the length of the hill, inviting guests to share views. Guests may wish to park at the bottom and walk up the hill visiting the member telescopes along the way.

Dark Sky Protocol

Guests travel to Mingo Observatory partly in search of dark skies. Car lights and flashlights can defeat the purpose for a dark site, by ruining night vision.  Please keep dark sky protocol in mind and limit the use of car lights and flashlights. If you car does not allow you to drive without bright illumination, you may consider the benefit of parking in the lower area where theywill not bother other guests and walking up.

Children Under Control and Supervison of Parent at All Times

Childen must be under control and supervision of a parent at all times. Running and boisterous conduct would not be safe and would disturb other guests.

Have your own telescope?

Guests are invited to set their telescopes up on the hill, too.  Have a telescope at home you do not know how to use? Bring it along and come out early to ask any member for assistance.  If they cannot help you they will find someone who can. Your binoculars will be useful to bring along, too.  If you want to bring a flashlight, red ones are preferred.  A piece of red plastic, cellophane or dollar store table cloth with a rubber band makes a good cover.

Reception Desk

Please sign-in at the reception desk and share the number in your party and your zipcode. This helps us to track participation and in applications for funding. At the Reception Desk guests can also sign up for the Mingo Email Blast.

See you this weekend. The weather is looking good! Prepare to be amazed!

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Sky Conditions

Mingo Creek Park Observatory Clear Dark Sky Chart

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What’s up in the sky?  Our members will help guest to see ISS Passes and Iridium Flares when visible and to point out planets and constellations. Here is   some data for the weekend.  There are many good websites and programs as well as books available with similare information.

Saturday, August 15, 2015  Rise and Set for Sun, Moon, Planets

From: http://www.almanac.com/astronomy/rise/PA/Pittsburgh/2015-08-15

Body Dawn
Breaks
Rises Sets Dark
Descends
Day
Length
Sun 4:49 A.M. 6:31 A.M. 8:17 P.M. 9:59 P.M. 13:45
Moon 7:29 A.M. 8:43 P.M.
Mercury 8:15 A.M. 9:11 P.M.
Venus 6:51 A.M. 7:38 P.M.
Mars 4:56 A.M. 7:28 P.M.
Jupiter 7:14 A.M. 8:41 P.M.
Saturn 2:32 P.M. 12:33 A.M.
Uranus 10:31 P.M. 11:29 A.M.
Neptune 8:55 P.M. 8:01 A.M.
Pluto 5:54 P.M. 3:31 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).

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ISS Visible Passes  Auguat 9 – 18, 2015

From: http://www.heavens-above.com/PassSummary.aspx?satid=25544&lat=40.211&lng=-80.019&loc=Mingo+Creek+Park+Observatory&alt=0&tz=EST

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
09 Aug 0.1 00:02:31 10° NNW 00:02:54 12° NNW 00:02:54 12° NNW visible
09 Aug -0.3 21:33:16 10° NNW 21:34:23 11° N 21:35:29 10° NNE visible
09 Aug -0.6 23:09:39 10° NNW 23:11:32 16° N 23:11:32 16° N visible
10 Aug -0.5 22:16:45 10° NNW 22:18:25 13° NNE 22:20:07 10° NE visible
10 Aug 0.1 23:52:27 10° NW 23:52:45 12° NW 23:52:45 12° NW visible
11 Aug -0.5 21:23:44 10° NNW 21:24:57 12° N 21:26:11 10° NNE visible
11 Aug -1.0 22:59:29 10° NNW 23:01:24 22° N 23:01:24 22° N visible
12 Aug -1.1 22:06:34 10° NNW 22:08:53 18° NNE 22:10:03 15° NE visible
12 Aug 0.1 23:42:25 10° NW 23:42:38 11° NW 23:42:38 11° NW visible
13 Aug -0.7 21:13:38 10° NNW 21:15:25 14° NNE 21:17:15 10° NE visible
13 Aug -1.5 22:49:20 10° NW 22:51:18 30° NNW 22:51:18 30° NNW visible
14 Aug -1.8 21:56:19 10° NW 21:59:10 28° NNE 22:00:00 24° NE visible
15 Aug -1.2 21:03:20 10° NNW 21:05:46 19° NNE 21:08:14 10° ENE visible
15 Aug -1.8 22:39:15 10° NW 22:41:18 35° WNW 22:41:18 35° WNW visible
16 Aug -3.0 21:46:04 10° NW 21:49:17 53° NNE 21:50:03 41° E visible
17 Aug -2.0 20:53:00 10° NW 20:55:57 31° NNE 20:58:50 10° E visible
17 Aug -1.5 22:29:25 10° WNW 22:31:25 26° WSW 22:31:25 26° WSW visible
18 Aug -3.2 21:35:57 10° WNW 21:39:11 64° SW 21:40:15 37° SSE visible

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Early Morning Iridium Flares (No nightime flares, visible at this time at Mingo Observatory.

From: http://www.heavens-above.com/IridiumFlares.aspx?lat=40.211&lng=-80.019&loc=Mingo+Creek+Park+Observatory&alt=0&tz=EST

Iridium Flares
Search period start: 13:49 Sunday, 9 August, 2015
Search period end: 13:49 Sunday, 16 August, 2015

Clicking on the time of the flare will give more details about the flare, including a sky chart.

Time Brightness Altitude Azimuth Satellite Distance to flare centre Brightness at flare centre Sun altitude
Aug 10, 03:12:43 -6.0 10° 305° (NW) Iridium 66 1 km (E) -6.0 -29°
Aug 10, 06:00:54 -5.5 68° 210° (SSW) Iridium 30 7 km (E) -8.5 -5°
Aug 11, 03:06:35 0.3 10° 306° (NW) Iridium 21 128 km (E) -6.0 -30°
Aug 11, 05:54:52 0.8 69° 206° (SSW) Iridium 57 44 km (E) -8.5 -6°
Aug 14, 05:45:50 -0.9 63° 225° (SW) Iridium 91 27 km (W) -8.5 -9°
Aug 15, 05:39:42 -1.7 62° 227° (SW) Iridium 59 21 km (W) -8.5 -10°
Aug 16, 05:33:41 -1.9 63° 225° (SW) Iridium 95 21 km (E) -8.5 -11°

 

 A perseid meteor streaks across a star-encrusted and cloud-scattered sky. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake


A perseid meteor streaks across a star-encrusted and cloud-scattered sky. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake

From Ken’s Mingo Perseid Meteor Shower Email Blast*:

“Come join the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh observe Perseid meteors, no experience necessary. Just bring a lawn chair, a chaise lounge or a blanket to lie on the grass to observe meteors streaking through the night sky at one of the better meteor showers of the year. Experienced members of the AAAP will be present to explain the sky. We will be on site from 9 PM until the sky begins to brighten for the morning sunrise. Families are welcome. The moon will not interfere with the meteors and at this time, the long-term weather forecast looks promising for that night. It’s recommended that you bring something warm to wear to ward off the night chill, some coffee, other drinks or snacks might help keep you awake. Alcoholic beverages and smoking are not permitted on observatory grounds.”

* Mingo Observatory Email Blast

Would you like to receive occasional emails about Mingo Observatory Star Parties and Observing Events?  Be sure to sign up at the Mingo Observatory Reception Desk or contact  MingoAssocDirector2(AT)3ap.org.

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Mingo Observatory will open to the public for Perseid Meteor Viewing at 9:00 PM on the night of Wednesday, August 12, into the morning of Thursday, August 13, 2015.  Address: 1 Shelter 10 Road Finleyville, PA 15332. Located within Mingo Creek County Park, Washington County, at Henry Covered Bridge, go up Mansion Hill Rd., pass Shelter10 to the right, up the Hill to the observatory at the top of the hill. Mingo Observatory Phone: 724-348-6150 . Mingo Park Map. Latitude 40.211 degrees Longitude -80.020 degrees.   When programming your GPS, longitude and latitude are suggested rather than the address. Event is scheduled Condtions Permitting but the long range wether forecast looks Good. There is no fee for this event, but your donations are gladly accepted at the reception desk to support this and similar events. AAAP is a 501(c)(3) and contributions are tax deductible.

AAAP will also hold Perseid Meteor Viewing at Wagman Observatory in Deer Lakes Park, Allegheny County. More on Wagman Perseid Viewing: http://wp.3ap.org/2015/08/wagman-observa…meteor-viewing/

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Some Background:

Meteors are best viewed with the naked eyes and the telescopes will not be the “focus” this meteor viewing event.  As staffing and conditions permit there may be some telescope viewing and or planetarium programming, but the real show is in the sky outside of the observatory building.

The annual August Perseid meteor shower ranks as the favorite meteor shower of the year peaking on August 12-13, 2015, with high rates for several nights on either side of the peak. On a dark, moonless night, you can often see 50 or more meteors per hour.  The moon will be in a darker, but not darkest phase and we anticipate good viewing.  Rates are not expected to be that high because of the Moon and more so because of light pollution.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is more likely than any other to produce fireballs.  Enjoy this 3 minute instructional NASA videor about fireballs

Plan to join our Perseid Watching Party on August 12 – 13. Bring a chair and a bottle of water and snacks as you like. If the weather indicates a cool evening bring a jacket and prepare to settle back and be amazed.

In the meantime don’t wait until the peak nights of the 2015 Perseid shower to watch for meteors. Start watching now as the Delta Aquarid meteor show progresses and into Wednesday as the Perseid meteors rise to their peak. That night come to our hill and pick out a spot to see nature’s fireworks. The nights get darker until the New Moon on August 14, and then get brighter again.

The Perseids radiant and adjacent constellations. Credit: NASA

The Perseids radiant and adjacent constellations. Credit: NASA

The Perseid radiant does not rise until around 11PM, varying with your horizon, elevation and particular date. After the radiant is high enough and when your neighbors turn out their lights (usually after 11:30 PM), viewing improves.  Do not rule out early evening viewing completely.  Near radiant rise and set the stunning “earthgrazers” are most likely to occur. Earthgrazers are the low, slow, colorful meteors traveling horizontally across the evening sky. They are rare but most exciting and memorable if you should be so lucky to see one.

Give yourself at least an hour of observing time because these meteors come in spurts and are interspersed with lulls and because it will take your eyes 20 minutes to become accustomed to darkness.

If you trace the path of these meteors backwards you will find they come together at a point in front of the constellation Perseus. Because the meteors are all over the sky you do not need to know the constellation Perseus or any other constellation.

The meteors themselves are dust particles and larger fragments left in the trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Before the particles burn in the atmosphere they are calle meteoroids. These bits and pieces of Comet Swift-Tuttle collide with the Earth’s upper atmosphere at some 210,000 kilometers (130,000 miles) per hour. Heat of friction with the air molecules causes them to burn, lighting up the sky with fast-moving Perseid meteors. If our planet happens to pass through an unusually dense clump of them,we’ll see an elevated number of meteors. We can always hope!

AAAP will also hold Perseid Meteor Viewing at Wagman Observatory in Deer Lakes Park, Allegheny County. More on Wagman Perseid Viewing: http://wp.3ap.org/2015/08/wagman-observa…meteor-viewing/

 

Please join the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh on Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25, 2015 at the Wagman Observatory and the Mingo Observatory as we open our buildings and grounds to the the public for July Star Parties. Please check here for updates as announced. Events are conditions permitting.

Share our enthusiasm for astronomy and the recent New Horizons Mission to Pluto and its moon Charon.

Stellarium Scieen Capture of July 24, 9:30 PM looking south with the moon and Saturn in Libra.

July 24, 2015 9 PM  looking west Venus and Jupiter are setting.  First Quarter Moon, 8 days old, is in the upper left just below Saturn.

July 24, 2015 9 PM looking west Venus and Jupiter are setting. First Quarter Moon, 8 days old, is in the upper left just below Saturn.

 

Stellarium Scieen Capture of July 24, 9:30 PM looking south with the moon and Saturn in Libra.

 

Wagman Observatory

The Star Parties start Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at 8:40 PM EDT at the 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 summer sky along with Saturn, Venus and Jupiter. Visitors will be able to observe the Moon one day after First Quarter, the Hercules cluster and the Ring Nebula.

 

Tom Reiland

Wagman Director

 

Mingo Observatory

Solar Obeserving (weather permitting)  at 5:30 p.m. Planetarium Shows (rain or shine) beginning at 7:00 p.m.Celestial Observing (weather permitting) beginning at DuskMingo Creek Park Observatory is 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 SAFELY 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.

Observe Double-stars, planetary nebulae, astonishing star clusters, distant galaxies. The Planets Saturn and its rings, Jupiter and its Galilean moons, Venus and more starting at dusk (sky conditions permitting! ).

Call 724-348-6150

GPS coordinates are Lat 40*:12′:42″ Long 80*:01′:14″

 

Students, scouts, youth groups, adults, and children accompanied by adults are welcome. If you know others who would be interested in receiving these notices, please respond to this email to send their email addresses.

Mingo Creek Park Observatory is Handicap Accessible.

Also save the date for our 10th Anniversary next month during our August 14th & 15th Star parties.

 

We hope to see you there!

 

 

Nick Martch

Director

Mingo Creek Park Observatory

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

 

New Horizons has arrived at the Pluto system.  The unmanned NASA spacecraft New Horizons will flyby Pluto  7:49 am ET on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.
There is live NASA TV coverage.   http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-tv-on-ustream/#.VaRNlM-Sp7s
There will be updates for AAAP Members on the private Yahoo User Group and for members and public on the Facebook Page:

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh on Facebook.

 

Link for NASA Ustream Live Coverage:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-tv-on-ustream/#.VaRNlM-Sp7s

 

 

Additional Pluto Flyby Information:

 

Courtesy of Anita Sohus of the NASA Museum Alliance, FYI…

 

Timing dependent on what happens during downlinks with the Deep Space Network, hence subject to change.

 

Jimmy Lee from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center provided the attached sheet. Below are the details:

 

  • On approach, LORRItakes critical optical navigation images to confirm the spacecraft is on the right course for the flyby.  The team can use these data to adjust timing of the observation sequence as late as July 12.
  • Final radio transmission prior to closest approach is received at ~11:15pm EDT on July 13.
  • During the flyby on July 14, LORRIwill take high-resolution B/W images, Ralph / MVIC will make color maps, and Ralph / LEISA will image the system in the infrared, all of which will help determine the geology and composition of the surface.
  • Closest approach to Pluto is at 7:49:57 a.m. EDTon July 14.
  • Approximately one hour after closest approach, at 8:51am EDT on July 14, the spacecraft will turn around and, with Pluto between it and the Sun, Alicewill make ultraviolet measurements to determine the composition of the atmosphere.
  • When Pluto is between the spacecraft and Earth, REXwill receive transmissions from the Deep Space Network (DSN) to determine the pressure and temperature of the atmosphere.
  • The spacecraft will orient toward Earth and make its first transmission after the closest approach at approximately 4:30 pm EDT, which arrives at earth at approximately 9:00 pm EDT.
  • Throughout the flyby, SWAPand PEPSSI will characterize the energetic particle environment, and SDC will search for dust in the Pluto system.

 

IMAGES expected to be AVAILABLE

JULY 13:         B/W images of Pluto and Charon at 15 km/pixel and 20 km/pixel (LORRI)

JULY 14:         Color image of Pluto and Charon at 28 km/pixel (Ralph/MVIC)

Color image of Charon at 7 km/pixel (Ralph/MVIC)

B/W full-frame image of Pluto at 4 km/pixel (LORRI)

 

Instruments: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Mission/Spacecraft/Payload.php

Alice – ultraviolet imaging spectrometer

LORRI – LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager

PEPSSI – Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation

Ralph – multispectral and near-infrared hyperspectral imaging instrument

Ralph/LEISA – Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array

Ralph/MVIC – Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera

REX – Radio science EXperiment

SWAP – Solar Wind Around Pluto

SDC – Student Dust Counter

 

 

Like and Follow AAAP on Facebook.

 

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh on Facebook.