Protocol for Possible Problem with Wagman Observatory Telephone Voicemail

In event of malfunction of Wagman Observatory telephone (724-224-2510) voicemail please email WagmanDirector@3ap.org . Thank you for your patience while the telephone malfunctioning is addressed.

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AAAP January 13 Meeting and LiveStream

AAAP Meeting LiveStream, 7:30 PM, January 13, 2017:

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Amateur-Astronomers-Association-of-Pittsburgh-114188205266611

YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCle7_v-gjcusJz7JwzCUJ0Q/live .

We are planning to stream the speakers and possibly the meeting to the AAAP Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Amateur-Astronomers-Association-of-Pittsburgh-114188205266611

as well as to a YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCle7_v-gjcusJz7JwzCUJ0Q/live .

If you cannot make the meeting we invite you to check back for the LiveStream.

The AAAP Meeting is 7:30 PM this evening at the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center . The first and featured presentation is

“Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth”
Thomas Beatty, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds
7:30 PM, Friday, January 13, 2017 Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Meeting at the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Recent discoveries by the Kepler mission have shown us that Earth-sized planets are fairly common in the Galaxy. We expect to find several “habitable” planets that are the size and mass of Earth over the next decade, but then what? How do we distinguish between a nice temperate Earth, and an acidic metal-melting Venus? What can we learn about the climates, and even the weather, of exoplanets? Could we identify life, or even intelligence?

The second speaker after the break is John Jardine Goss
Astronomical League President www.astroleague.org . John will commemerate the 50th anniversary of the Messier Observing Certificate. The first recipient was former AAAP member Catherine Delaney.

Following the speakers there will be a business meeting with exciting announcements about our club’s upcoming activities.

 

This will be a first for AAAP to bring our meetings “live.”

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AAAP Announces 2017 Scholarship

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh announces the award of a scholarship in the amount $1,000.00.*

Objective: To promote and encourage the profession of astronomy. Must be enrolled and accepted to study astronomy, physics, or mathematics. This scholarship is limited to seniors presently enrolled in High Schools located in either Allegheny or Washington Counties of Pennsylvania. Award will be announced and winner notified by May 1, 2017. Deadline for submission: Postmarked by April 1, 2017

*This fund, administered by the AAAP, was initially made possible through the donation of an anonymous benefactor.

For additional information, please see the 2017 Scholarship page under the Resources section of this website. Read more

AAAP January 13, 2017 Astronomy Lecture “Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth” Thomas Beatty, PhD

“Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth”
Thomas Beatty, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds

7:30 PM, Friday, January 13, 2017 Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Meeting at the Science Stage,  Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Recent discoveries by the Kepler mission have shown us that Earth-sized planets are fairly common in the Galaxy. We expect to find several “habitable” planets that are the size and mass of Earth over the next decade, but then what? How do we distinguish between a nice temperate Earth, and an acidic metal-melting Venus? What can we learn about the climates, and even the weather, of exoplanets? Could we identify life, or even intelligence?

Thomas Beatty, PhD Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds

This lecture will start the January Meeting of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, beginning at 7:30 PM on Friday January 13, 2017, at the Science Stage of the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA. Plans are underway to LiveStream the lecture on the AAAP Facebook Page. The meeting is free and open to the public. More information on the meeting to follow here at www.3ap.org, AAAP Facebook and in the January Guide Star AAAP Newsletter.

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What was the Star of Bethlehem, a.k.a. the Christmas Star?

8PM Tonight, Friday December 23, 2015  Recording Available Here
What Was the Star of Bethlehem?

“What cosmic light could have guided the Three Wise Men to the newborn baby Jesus 2,000 years ago? Learn about all the theories in a free webcast today (Dec. 23) by the online Slooh Community Observatory.

During the show, experts in both religion and astronomy will discuss what the famous Star of Bethlehem might have been: Was it an actual star, a comet, a planet or something else? You can watch the webcast at Slooh.com, beginning at 8 p.m. EST (0100 GMT).”  from Space.com Read more

2016 Geminid Meteors vs. December Full Cold Moon

A Geminid Meteor. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake

A Geminid Meteor. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake

This year the Geminid Meteor Shower, traditiononally arguably (Perseid Meteor Shower) the best meteor shower of the year, is expected to peak on the night of December 13 into the morning hours of December 14, accompanied by the December Full Moon. In Pittsburgh the Moon is Full, December 13 at 7:05 PM EST with Moonrise at 5:06 PM EST that evening. This year’s mating of the Full Moon with the peak of the meteor shower is disadvantageous for optimal meteor viewing with the bright moonlight expected to wash out all but the brightest meteors.

Early Evening Meteor Viewing Windows on Wednesday and Thursday Evenings, Before 6 PM and 7 PM , Respectively, Punctuated by Spectacular Moonrises

However in the nights immediately following Geminid peak the Moon rises approximately an hour later each night allowing an early evening window with a moonless sky as shown in the Stellarium. org screen capture diagrams below. The bonus at the end of the Moonless window is the opportunity to see the spectacle of Moonrise in the crisp December air. Native Americans named the December Moon the Cold Moon or the Long Night’s Moon. When the Moon is near the horizon an optical illusion makes it appear even larger. This year, this month’s moon is at perigee or a part of its elliptical orbit when it is closer to the Earth giving it an added boost in size. In recent years these perigee moons have been popularly named Super Moons. The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is not planning a public Geminid Meteor Viewing at the time. Geminid viewing opportunities will improve in 2017 when there will be less competition from Moonlight. Read more