Wagman Observatory Star Parties March 31 & April 1, 2017

Early Spring Sky at March 31 and April 1, 2017 Wagman Star Parties sparkles with wide array of bright stars, bright planets Jupiter and Mars and the Waxing Crescent Moon 15% and 25% illumination respectively.

Wagman Observatory opens AAAP’s 2017 Observatory Star Party Season (See Full Schedule Below) this Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1.

The public is invited to see a region of space where galaxies are found in clusters, be dazzled by one of the largest birth places of stars, visit the craters of the moon and view two planets in the evening sky.   It’s all part of the show during the first Spring Star Parties sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.

This time of year 10 first-magnitude stars are in the evening sky at once. No other season, even winter, can offer so many.

Wagman Observatory Star Parties start 7:40 PM EDT Friday and Saturday, March 31 and April 1 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.  There is no charge, although your donation is gladly accepted to continue outreach events.

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 observe the Moon several nights before First Quarter, and the planets, Mercury 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.

 

2017 AAAP Observatory Star Party Schedules and Star Party Dates

Wagman Observatory Schedule Brochure Download  Mar 31; Apr 1; May 5 & 6; Jun 2 & 3; Jun 30; Jul 1, 28, & 29; Aug 25 & 26; Sep 9 & 23; Oct 7 & 28; Nov4

Mingo Creek Park ObservatorySchedule Brochure Download:   Apr 21 & 22; May 19 & 20; Jun 23 & 24; Jul 14 & 15; Aug 11 & 12; Sep 15 & 16; Oct 14 & 28; Nov 11

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

March 25 & 26, 2017, Astronomy Weekend at Carnegie Science Center

Space Out Astronomy Weekend at Carnegie Science Center is Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26, 2017
Guests to the Science Center will enjoy the extras of Astronomy Weekend with the regular price of admission. Look for the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Volunteers in the First Floor Lobby Area and if weather is favorable, outside with telescopes and binoculars as wells as with telescopes on the ramp to the 2nd floor (indoors).
“Activities include special presentations in the Buhl Planetarium and the chance to SAFELY observe the sun. Other displays, activities, and exhibitors include: Astronomy displays and literature, NASA’s Night Sky Network, Hands on Moon Rocks and Meteorites. Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory, Mingo Creek Park Observatory, Amateur Telescope Making, Scopes and Photos, Digital Cameras and Video Astronomy, Computer Controlled Telescopes, Solar System Displays, Astronomy Sketching, National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank WVA, Make a comet, Make Mars soil, Make a sundial, Make a star clocks.”  From:  www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/
Members of the AAAP who want to volunteer can just show up.  Admission and Parking Fees will be waived. The Science Center will provide tables and chairs.  Please bring materials you will want to share with guests. There are many members who volunteer for this year after year. It is a fun event and new participants are welcome. If you have questions just ask an officer for more information. Ed will be there early as 8 or 8:30 AM on Saturday for set up.  The guests arrive 10 AM both Saturday and Sunday.  We stay to 5 PM on Saturday and to 4 PM on Sunday. Event closes at 7 PM and 5 PM respectively. The Lobby configuration is markedly changed since the CSC renovation.  Some of the telescopes will be set up on the ramp.  The main AAAP installation will be in the usual location. If it is warm enough telescopes and binoculars may be set up outside, too. It is also a good chance to get together with other members. Looking forward to seeing you there! Return here and to the AAAP Facebook Page for updates.

 

First Spring Star Parties at Wagman Observatory

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Announces 2017’s First Spring Star Parties at Wagman Observatory

See a region of space where galaxies are found in clusters. Be dazzled by one of the largest birth places of stars. Visit the craters of the moon and view two planets in the evening sky. It’s all part of the show during the first Spring Star Parties sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh at the Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory in Deer Lakes (Allegheny County) Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh.. The March – April Wagman Observatory Star Parties start 7:40 PM EDT Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. The Star Parties will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call the Wagman Observatory Phone 724-224-2510 for more information.

These star parties are opportunities 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 observe the Moon several nights before First Quarter, and the planets, Mercury 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.

For more information, updates and directions please check back here and our Facebook Page.

Media: As always during our events, we offer on-site or telephone interviews, remote broadcast and filming opportunities to the media. Regarding this upcoming Wagman Observatory Star Party and other Wagman Observatroy events please contact Tom Reiland [Obs: 724-224-2510   Home Phone number by request through Facebook, webform, & WagmanDirector@3ap.org] for scheduling. Thank you for your assistance with our educational programs.

 

AAAP March 10 Meeting and Speaker Presentation: High-Energy Astrophysics: the Fascinating World of Supernova Explosions and Pulsars, Presenter: Harsha Blumer, PhD

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will meet 7:30 PM, Friday, March 10, 2017, Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

The Lecture Presentation begins at 7:30 PM:

High-Energy Astrophysics: the Fascinating World of Supernova Explosions and Pulsars.

Presenter: Harsha Blumer, PhD, Post-doctoral researcher, West Virginia University , Morgantown, WVA and Geeenbank Observatory. Lecture will be held on the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA at 7:30 PM, Friday March 10, 2017.

Abstract of Talk

An observer looking at the night sky sees a peaceful, never changing universe. However, there exists a violent and highly energetic universe concealed by this serene starlit sky. A universe that is filled with catastrophic blasts from the death of massive stars or supernova explosions, which are nature’s spectacular fireworks, to the birth of exotic stars such as the neutron stars (incredibly dense stellar objects as big as the city of Pittsburgh, but with a teaspoonful of neutron star material weighing about billion tons), or the magnetars – the most magnetic stars with a magnetic field of about a hundred trillion fridge magnets. The launch of high-resolution X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes in the last decade has offered new perspectives on our understanding of these sources and the prospects for continued discoveries are very promising. I will talk about these exotic stars that provide us with a unique opportunity to explore the behavior of matter and energy under the influence of its most extreme environments and magnetic fields, impossible to be reproduced on earth.

Harsha Blumer, Phd.

Harsha Blumer is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the West Virginia University. She has a Master of Science degree in Physics from the Mahatma Gandhi University and a Master of Technology degree in Space and Atmospheric Sciences from the Center for Space Science and Technology Education, affiliated with the United Nations. About 10 years ago, she moved to Canada where she did her PhD studies in Astrophysics and worked as a Postdoc at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honours during her academic career, including the Governor General Academic Gold Medal in 2014 which is the most prestigious award given to a doctoral student in Canada. Her research is focused on studying the aftermath of supernova explosions of stars, pulsars, and magnetars. At WVU, she is also the Project Director for the Pulsar Search Collaboratory program, a joint project between the Green Bank Observatory, West Virginia University, and 13 other institutions throughout the United States, aimed at involving high-school students and teachers in pulsar searching to give them real research experience with the Green Bank Telescope.

After an intermission the March business meeting follows. The agenda will include overview of current and upcoming club activities and astronomical events.  Parking is $5 payable at the parking kiosk in the lobby. The upcoming program of 2016-17 Meeting Speakers may be downloaded here. Please see the AAAP Guide Star Newsletter and the AAAP Facebook Page for additional information.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tom Reiland Names “Space Tunnel,” A New Asterism

Congratulations to Tom Reiland on naming “Space Tunnel” as a new asterism.
 
AAAPer Tom Reiland is credited for identifying a new asterism called, “Space Tunnel.” That’s about 20 he will have logged in 30 years. Tom states,” They come in all sizes. It’s similar to finding shapes or patterns in clouds, only we see them in various star groupings. One of my favorites is a mini Cassiopeia in Perseus near the open cluster Trumpler 2. It’s listed as Reiland 2 after my star cluster in Cepheus.”
 
Note: Space  Tunnel is not in the books yet. Others of Tom’s asterisms are: https://books.google.com/books?id=AgkCl1L1G2cC&pg=PA209&lpg=PA209&dq=What+is#v=onepage&q=What%20is&f=false
sXo9nvMkpao4qAaYhkKYjKpO7JTfXg9ijWl+sn2v89x0ktrsIL3tVR+QSwhn+2SLagAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==