Mars At Closest Proximity To Earth In 11 Years

Image of Mars in the night sky in May 2016. source:http://mars.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/nightsky/mars-close-approach/

Image of Mars in the night sky in May 2016. source:http://mars.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/nightsky/mars-close-approach/

From May 18 to June 3, 2016 Mars will be at its brightest.  Just go outside and look up (SE) for a bright “orange star” that does not flicker. That will be the “red” planet Mars.

It takes the planet Mars about two Earth years minus 50 days to make its trip about the Sun. Mars appears brightest * in our Earth sky when Earth is in the line between Mars and the Sun.  This happens about every other Earth year. Those other years Mars appears dimmer in our sky because at those times Mars and Earth are on opposite sides of the Sun. Some opposition years find Mars and Earth not only on the same side of the Sun, but also in closer proximity. 2016 is one of those years. Enjoy the view!

This year to the unaided eye Mars looks brigher and through a telescope Mars looks larger. Enjoy close-up views of the planet Mars and other wonders of the night sky at the June 10 and 11 Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Star Parties scheduled at the Wagman Observatory and at the Mingo Observatory.

Read more

Mingo Star Parties May 6 & 7, 2016

MingoSch2016%30

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh opens Mingo Observatory to the public Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, 2016. No reservations. No charge. No limit to group size. Just show up. Please refer to the Mingo 2016 Star Party Schedule.  The Observatory is located in Mingo Creek County Park, Nottingham Township, and is 10 miles east of Washington PA. The park is located off Route 88 or Route 136 in the northeast section of Washington County. Inside the park, the observatory is at the end of Mansion Hill Ext. Road (across from the Henry Covered Bridge) on the top of the hill past Shelter 10. Observatory  Site: Lat: 40° 12’ 42” N Long: 80° 1’ 14” W Elevation: 1180 ft. (360 m). Observatory Phone 724-348-6150.

Cancellation of the Saturday, April 9, Mingo Star Party

AAAP Logo - 0314 x 0314 - photo white on black - rev 2

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh regrets to announce the Saturday, April 9,2016 Mingo Observatory Star Party is cancelled due to forecasted low temperatures and lower wind chill factors regardless of how much snow does or does not fall.

Please accept our invitation to try again next weekend at the Wagman Observatory Star Parties on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, 2016 or at the next Mingo Observatory Star Parties on  Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, 2016.

Download 2016 Star Party Schedule Brochures

Wagman Star Party Schedule 2016

Mingo Star Party Schedule 2016

sXo9nvMkpao4qAaYhkKYjKpO7JTfXg9ijWl+sn2v89x0ktrsIL3tVR+QSwhn+2SLagAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==

Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.

Mingo Star Party Schedule 2016

Mingo Star Party Schedule 2016

Mingo Star Party Schedule 2016

Mingo Star Party Schedule 2016

Grants Awarded for CMU and Pitt Students to Assist AAAP Dark Sky Outreach

AAAP Logo - 0314 x 0314 - photo white on black - rev 2Thanks to Alex Gurvich (CMU Astronomy Club President)  and Corinne Hite (Pitt Space Exploration and Astronomy club president) the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP) will have some help promoting the value of dark skies in 2016. Along with their club sponsors and advisers and AAAP leadership they have secured funds to make this happen, Diane Turnshek, CMU and AAAP,  facilitator.  The Sprout Fund “Big Ideas” grant has awarded $1000 towards astronomy outreach at some AAAP 2016 Star Parties and University of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Observatory has contributed $500. The funds will purchase an International Dark Sky Association (IDA) banner promoting the value of the night sky, light pollution activity kits and a Parashield glare visor for public demonstration. It’s both the first time the these university clubs will be collaborating and the first time they will travel to Wagman Observatory and Mingo Observatory.

Updates and additional astronomy and AAAP information on AAAP’s Facebook Page.

sXo9nvMkpao4qAaYhkKYjKpO7JTfXg9ijWl+sn2v89x0ktrsIL3tVR+QSwhn+2SLagAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==

Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.