Pleasant Hills & Jefferson Hills Library Star Party 2017-08-17

Pleasant Hills & Jefferson Hills Library Star Party 2017-08-17

Astronomy Lecture: From John Brashear to 21st Century Optics and Telescopes, by Blaise Canzian, Ph. D., 7:30 PM May 12, 2017, Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA

From John Brashear to 21st Century Optics and Telescopes, by Blaise Canzian, Ph. D.

The public is invited to the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of Pittsburgh’s Monthly Meeting Lecture, Friday, May 12, 2017, 7:30 PM, at the Science Stage of the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Telescopes have evolved both in technology and mission since the early days of John Brashear’s company. Today’s telescopes are tasked with satellite laser ranging, laser satellite communication, challenging astronomical research, and satellite imaging. Complex engineering combined with new technological advancements in optic fabrication have expanded our space situational awareness and enable astronomers to explore the universe like never before.

Dr. Blaise Canzian, Ph. D.  has a B.A. in Physics from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. He is currently the systems engineer group manager for L3 Brashear and has Read more

Wagman Observatory Star Parties, May 5 and 6, 2017

Wagman Observatory Star Parties, Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6 starting at 8:20 PM EDT


Observe the wonders of the Spring Sky, galaxies in the Coma-Virgo Cluster, planetary nebulae, star clusters, and more with the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh at the AAAP’s  Wagman Observatory May Star Parties. This opportunity for amateur astronomers, students, and the general public is part of an annual series of star parties occurring March – November at the Wagman and Mingo Observatories. There is no charge for these events, although donations are appreciated. Read more about Star Parties here.

The May Wagman Star Parties create an opportunity to view the planet Jupiter and the Moon three nights after First Quarter. Regardless of your experience or ability level you will be welcome to join the throng of avid sky watchers. Perhaps you have a telescope and do not know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help! Likewise if you are considering a telescope purchase or the addition of accessories, star charts, and books then Wagman is a good place to start. Members of the AAAP will help!

The Star Parties will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call 724-224-2510 for more information. 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. Coordinates: Latitude 40.627 degrees N, Longitude 79.813 degrees W .


Mingo Observatory Star Parties April 21 & 22, 2017

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh invites you to a Star Party at Mingo Creek Park Observatory Located in Mingo Creek Park, Mansion Hill Extension, past Shelter 10 in Washington County, PA. Phone #: 724-348-6150

Dates:  Friday and Saturday, April 21 & 22
Times:  Safe solar observing; 6:30 PM – Night sky observing; approximately 8:30 PM (Weather Permitting for observing).

Planetarium Presentations will occur rain or shine starting at 7:30 PM.

Come and learn about the Mingo Creek Park Observatory, the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh and astronomy in general. The evening events consist of the following:

* There will be safe observing of the Sun beginning approximately two hours before sunset through the 4” Lunt Hydrogen Alpha telescope.

* After dusk using both the 10” D & G Refractor and the 24” Optical Guidance Systems Reflector telescopes, observe the wonders of the April night sky. Some objects observed may include views of Jupiter and its moons, Mars and the craters of the Moon. Many deep sky objects may also be observed such as the Ring Nebula and other nebulae, clusters and double stars.

* Presentations about current events in astronomy and the Mingo Creek Park night sky will take place in the Richard Y. Haddad Planetarium at various times throughout the night. This month Fred Klein, AAAP member and astro-photographer, will be giving his presentation “What YOU can see of the Solar System”.

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 on group sizes.

NOTE: Mingo Creek Park Observatory and its grounds, as a part of Mingo Creek County Park, are a no smoking and no alcohol permitted area.

Mingo Creek Park Observatory is operated by an all-volunteer staff of members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.
Becky Nichols
Mingo Creek Park Observatory

April 7, 2017 AAAP Meeting: Hunting for Powerful Monsters, Super Massive Black Holes in Distant Galaxies by Chien-Ting Chen,Phd Astrophysicist, Penn State University

Galaxies are the building blocks that astronomers use to understand the evolution of the observable universe. During the past two decades, the most profound discovery in the cosmic evolution of galaxies is that in the center of almost every large galaxy there is a black hole with a mass range from tens of thousands to billions of times of the mass of the Sun. 

Our speaker Chen-Ting Chen,* Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Pennsylvania State University  will discuss how we find these supermassive black holes, and how their  “fiery breath” affects the evolution of their host galaxies that are usually billion of times larger in physical size. Click the image above for more about our speaker.

This lecture, “Hunting for Powerful Monsters, Super Massive Black Holes in Distant Galaxies,”  by Chien-Ting Chen, Phd,  Astrophysicist, Penn State University  is part of the monthly meeting of the Amateur Astronomers Assocition of Pittsburgh on the Science Stage,  Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Lecture begins following the meeting opening at 7:30. As part of the meeting opening there will be a brief presentation by Mars,PA‘s, Mayor Gregg Hartung and Mars New Year Spokesperson Missy Graylish. Our visitors from Mars will reveal the spectacular plans for this biennial May 4-6, 2017 event with three days of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities. Click image below for Butler County Tourism promotional video about the Mars New Year Celebration.

Mayor of Mars Greg Hartung and Missy Graylish Mars New Year Spokesperson.

A break follows lecture. AAAP April meeting resumes after break with a review of the current and upcoming club activities including the nomination of officers and astronomical events.

Parking is $5 payable at the parking kiosk in the lobby. There is no charge to attend the meeting or lecture. The public is invited to attend. 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.


Chien-Ting Chen is currently a postdoc working with Professor Niel Brandt in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Pennsylvania State University. He is also a member of the extragalactic survey and the obscured AGN science groups of ex the recently launched NuSTAR space telescope. NUSTAR was recently in the news (March 27)  for a puzzling galaxy merger.