Planetary Nebula Abell 31 in Cancer, by Chuck Manges, Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day

Planetary nebula Abell 31 in Cancer, by Chuck Manges from Hooversville, Pennsylvania, Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day August 30, 2016. http://www.astronomy.com/photos

Planetary nebula Abell 31 in Cancer, by Chuck Manges from Hooversville, Pennsylvania, Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day August 30, 2016. http://www.astronomy.com/photos

Congratulations to AAAPer Chuck Manges!

Planetary nebula Abell 31 in Cancer  image is chosen as Astronomy Magazine August 30, 2016 Picture of the Day! http://www.astronomy.com/photos

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Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.

Rho Ophiuchi Complex, by Chuck Manges, Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day

The Rho Ophiuchi complex Chuck Manges from Hooversville, Pennsylvania, Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day August 12, 2016

The Rho Ophiuchi complex, by Chuck Manges from Hooversville, Pennsylvania, Astronomy Magazine Picture of the Day August 12, 2016. http://www.astronomy.com/photos

 

Congratulations to AAAPer Chuck Manges!

Chuck’s  Rho Ophiuchi complex image is chosen as Astronomy Magazine August 12, 2016 Picture of the Day! http://www.astronomy.com/photos

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Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.

Mystery Object Identified: Google Project Loon Balloon

There have been many reports of a shiny object seen over the skies of Pittsburgh on the evening of August 4, 2016. Many members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP) also saw the object while viewing the planetary line-up (Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn). Thanks to AAAP member John Pane, we know that the object was a high-altitude balloon launch as part of Google’s Project Loon. The balloon was launched from Washington state and drifted over Pittsburgh at just the right time for it to be illuminated by the sun’s last rays while the sky was getting dark.

HBAL439 flight path

The path of Google Project Loon balloon HBAL439

AAAP member John Holtz spotted a balloon shortly after arriving at Schenley Park to look for the planets. He used the positional data from flightradar24.com to calculate the position of the Google balloon as seen from his observing location. “The position relative to the star Arcturus, and the size of the object based on the range, all match what I calculated” he said. At 9 pm, the object was Read more

Matt Dieterich's Great Lagoon Nebula Astronomy Magazine POD, August 3, 2016 http://www.mdieterichphoto.com/

Matt Dieterich’s Great Lagoon Nebula, Astronomy Magazine POD, August 3, 2016 http://www.mdieterichphoto.com/

 

Astronomy Magazine  picked AAAPer Matt Dieterich’s Great Lagoon Nebula image from Mt. Rainier for their August 3, 2016 Picture of the Day! http://www.astronomy.com/photos/picture-of-day More info at Matt’s website: http://www.mdieterichphoto.com/

Congratulations Matt!

Greater Pittsburgh Viewing of 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower, Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, Six Events at Two Venues

 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

The Greater Pittsburgh Area  public is invited to view the 2016 Perseid Meteors with the  Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh at six viewing events including the designated Perseid Viewing Party at AAAP’s Mingo Observatory, August 11 into the morning of August 12, 2016, AAAP’s Wagman Obseratory August 11-12 Perseid Meteor Viewing and the regular August Star Parties at Mingo Observatory and at Wagman Observatory, Friday and Saturday evenings, August 12 and 13, 2016.

The regular Friday and Saturday star parties will be regular hours, generally beginning at dusk. Wagman’s Thursday Perseid Meteor Event (See more below.) does not begin until after 12 Midnight and ends before 5 AM, and will only occur under clear skies. The Thursday Mingo event begins at 9 PM and carries on long past Midnight in order to avail that night’s anticipated outburst of Perseid meteors, which may be as high as 200 meteors per hour. To catch this rare opportunity  no equipment or  experience is needed, as meteors are best observed with the unaided eye. With peak occuring in daylight the morning of August 12, best viewing is projected to be between moonset and prior to the first light of dawn Friday morning, August 12. Read more