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, &] 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:

Bill Snyder ‘s Wizard Nebula is the February 15, 2017 Picture of the Day

The Wizard Nebula | Picture of the Day

AAAP Member, Bill Snyder ‘s Wizard Nebula is the February 15, 2017 Picture of the Day. Wizard Nebula shown below from Bill’s astrophotography website.

Congratulations, Bill, on another winner!

Bill Snyder’s (NGC 7380) the Wizard Nebula is February 15, 2017 Picture of the Day.

Follow AAAP sXo9nvMkpao4qAaYhkKYjKpO7JTfXg9ijWl+sn2v89x0ktrsIL3tVR+QSwhn+2SLagAAAABJRU5ErkJggg==

Wagman Observatory Phone & Voicemail 724-224-2510 Working & 2017 Wagman Star Party Brochure

The Wagman Observatory telephone and voicemail (724-224-2510) are restored. Thank you for your patience while the outage was rectified. The first AAAP Star Party of the 2017 Star Party Season is scheduled for March 31 at the Wagman Observatory.  The 2017 Wagman Star Party Brochure PDF file is here -Wagman_Sched_2017 and under the About tab.