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, 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 .
Saturday’s Star Party was shortened due to clouds.
Friday’s Star Party is cancelled due to inclement weather
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
Based on the Wagman Observatory Director Tom Rieland Press Release, respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.
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:
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.