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All posts by Larry Saunders

Learn about our closest star at Solar Viewing with a solar telescope at Ivy Creek Natural Area. The Charlottesville Astronomical Society will present and bring their special viewing scope which will allow us to see flares and other signs of the living cauldron that is our sun without fear of blindness. We’ll start at noon in the education building. Weather permitting we’ll go outside at 12:30. It’s like a solar eclipse made to order on the first Friday on the odd months of the year.

Leander_McCormick_ObservatoryThe Charlottesville Astronomical Society will hold its Heidi’s Night Activity for students grades 4 – 12 and parents interested in Astronomy on Friday, March 31st from 8:30 to 10 pm at the McCormick Observatory on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The event honors the memory CAS member Heidi Winter, former executive secretary to the Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who passed away in 2012. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in four activities during the evening. These include:

A laser tour of the night sky

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13c

A classroom activity

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13b

 Viewing the night sky though the historic 26” Clark refractor Heidi's NIght 11.29.13d

  View the night sky through a home-built 4” scope

Registration is required.  For more information or to register, please click here to email Steve Layman.   In case of inclement weather, the evening may be shortened and activities would be limited to indoors.

This scope comes with table legs or tripod and can be used in Altitude/Azimuth or Right Ascension/Declination mode. The scope is very portable but learning how to operate the computer control can take time. The scope is battery powered. The scope has the ability to find hundreds of objects but the size of the mirror limits what you will be able to see well.

Loaned/Stored by: Larry S.


H-Alpha Solar Image

White Light Filter Image

This double telescope is piggybacked on German Equatorial Mount (GEM) w/ four (4) D-cell battery drive.  This scope needs to be roughly polar aligned to track the sun or objects in the night sky.  The 100mm f/6 Orion refractor is fitted with a SolarMax 60mm hydrogen-alpha solar filter.  The 80mm f/11.3 Tasco refractor is fitted with a white light solar filter.  Both have 20mm eyepieces.

Loaned/Stored by: Ed P.

CaK Scope Image

This telescope can piggy-back on a scope with a ¼-20 adapter or be used on a heavy duty camera tripod. This scope views the sun at the short wavelength violet/blue end of the visible spectrum. Older observers may have difficulty seeing significant detail because the eye becomes less sensitive to this wavelength with age. The scope can be used with a webcam to image the sun.  Loaned/Stored by: Ed P.   Available for check-out.

 8″ Orange Tube Celestron SCT, no mount.  Stored by Rich D.

    (1) Aluminum hard-sided pluck-foam eyepiece/equipment case

    (1) Plastic Orion eyepiece case

    (1) 26″ Plastic Toolbox with tray and built in storage bins

    (1) 26″ Yellow Plano Toolbox

    (1) Radio Shack 140 Watt DC to AC Inverter

    (1) TrippLite 300 Watt DC to AC Power Inverter

    (1) 12.5″ Aluminum Hartman Mask for Celestron C11

    (1 Set) Astrodon 1.25 True-Balance LRGB Filters

Leander_McCormick_ObservatoryThe Charlottesville Astronomical Society will hold its tenth Heidi’s Night Activity for students grades 4 – 12 and parents interested in Astronomy on Friday, April 29, 2016 from 8:00 to 10:30 pm at the McCormick Observatory on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The event honors the memory CAS member Heidi Winter, former executive secretary to the Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who passed away in 2012. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in four activities during the evening. These include:

A laser tour of the night sky

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13c

A classroom activity

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13b

Viewing the night sky though the historic 26” Clark refractor Heidi's NIght 11.29.13d

View the night sky through a home-built 4” scope

Registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact CAS Outreach Director, Steve Layman slayman2528@comcast.net . In case of inclement weather, the evening may be shortened and activities would be limited to indoors.

Leander_McCormick_ObservatoryThe Charlottesville Astronomical Society will hold its fourth Heidi’s Night Activity for students grades 4 – 12 and parents interested in Astronomy on Friday, July 31st from 9 to 10:30 pm at the McCormick Observatory on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The event honors the memory CAS member Heidi Winter, former executive secretary to the Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who passed away in 2012. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in four activities during the evening. These include:

A laser tour of the night sky

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13c

A classroom activity

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13b

 Viewing the night sky though the historic 26” Clark refractor Heidi's NIght 11.29.13d

  View the night sky through a home-built 4” scope

Registration is required.  For more information or to register, please contact CAS President, Steve Layman slayman2528@comcast.net   In case of inclement weather, the evening may be shortened and activities would be limited to indoors.

Leander_McCormick_ObservatoryThe Charlottesville Astronomical Society will hold its fourth Heidi’s Night Activity for students grades 4 – 12 and parents interested in Astronomy on Friday, May 29th from 8:30 to 10 pm at the McCormick Observatory on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The event honors the memory CAS member Heidi Winter, former executive secretary to the Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who passed away in 2012. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in four activities during the evening. These include:

A laser tour of the night sky

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13c

A classroom activity

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13b

 Viewing the night sky though the historic 26” Clark refractor Heidi's NIght 11.29.13d

  View the night sky through a home-built 4” scope

Registration is required.  For more information or to register, please contact CAS President, Steve Layman slayman2528@comcast.net   In case of inclement weather, the evening may be shortened and activities would be limited to indoors.

Ivy Creek logoCome join the members of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society on Friday, November 7, 2014 from 8:00 to 10:00 pm at the Ivy Creek Natural Area.

At 8:00 pm there will a be Lecture titled Telescope 101 in the Education Building. Then between 9:00 and 10:00 pm, there will be a variety of telescopes set up by the Barn at Ivy Creek Natural Area for observing celestial objects.

Directions to Ivy Creek Natural Area.

shostak-sethVideo Lecture
by Seth Shostak

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Seth Shostak will present a live video lecture at the University of Virginia’s Clarke Hall Room 108 at 7:00 pm.  Seth is the Senior  Astronomer and the Director of the Center for SETI* Research at the SETI Institute.  *Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.  Sponsored by the Charlottesville Astronomical Society.

Ivy Creek BarnThe Charlottesville Astronomical Society will present “First Fridays Under the Stars” at the Ivy Creek Natural Area on a regular basis.  Starting at 8 pm on September 5, 2014, the public is invited to attend at the Education Center a free 45 minute astronomy presentation followed by a 15 minute question and answer session and then, weather permitting, there will be an observing session by the barn at Ivy Creek.  Steve Layman will make a presentation called “Your Night Sky – Let’s Figure This Out” on September 5th.

Charlottesville Astronomical Society Members will bring a variety of telescopes, binoculars and green lasers to show attendees around the night sky.  Constellation identification and astro lore will be discussed.  Directions.

The events will be held rain or shine.  The lecture will happen no matter what the weather. This event will be conducted at Ivy Creek Natural Area on September 5, 2014, November 7, 2014 (7 pm start), January 2, 2015 (7 pm start), March 6, 2015 (7 pm start), May 1, 2015 (8 pm start) and July 3, 2015 (8 pm start).

The Charlottesville Astronomical Society will have their annual Dark Sky Retreat at the University of Virginia’s Fan Mountain Observatory site on Friday, August 14th and Saturday, August 15.  The back up dates are September 11th and 12th.  All club members and their invited guests are welcome to attend.  Bring a tent or stay in the Station House with a cot and sleeping bag.  Full bathroom facilities in the Station House.  Attendance is free for all club members and their guests.

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Ducard Vineyards

DuCard Members are invited to a Star Party  at DuCard Vineyards in Madison County,  Virginia on Friday, October 3rd.  At 8 pm there will be an astronomy presentation and then observing the night sky from 9 pm to 10:00 pm.  Charlottesville Astronomical Society members will bring variety of telescopes, binoculars and green lasers to show attendees around the night sky.  Directions.

Cancelled to cloudy weather.

Ivy Creek BarnCome join the members of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society as we celebrate Astronomy Day on Saturday, October 4 at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. There will be Solar viewing from noon to 5:00 pm and a Star Party from 7 – 10 pm weather permitting. There will also be a telescope build for kids and parents in the Education Center from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. There is a $50.00 charge for the telescope build and registration is required. To register for the telescope build email Steve Layman.

Directions to Ivy Creek Natural Area.

Leander_McCormick_ObservatoryThe Charlottesville Astronomical Society will hold its fourth Heidi’s Night Activity for students grades 4 – 12 and parents interested in Astronomy on Friday, January 30 from 7:30 to 9 pm at the McCormick Observatory on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The event honors the memory CAS member Heidi Winter, former executive secretary to the Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who passed away in 2012. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in four activities during the evening. These include:

A laser tour of the night sky

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13c

A classroom activity

Heidi's NIght 11.29.13b

 Viewing the night sky though the historic 26” Clark refractor Heidi's NIght 11.29.13d

  View the night sky through a home-built 4” scope

Registration is required.  For more information or to register, please contact CAS President, Steve Layman slayman2528@comcast.net   In case of inclement weather, the evening may be shortened and activities would be limited to indoors.

Zach“A Supernova in the Lab: Nuclear Research at NSCL”

Zach Constan, Outreach coordinator for Michigan State University’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (Zach is Paul Quenneville’s cousin).

Michigan State University’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) is one of the world’s leading rare isotope research facilities. How do researchers study atomic nuclei that are too small to see, exist for less than a second, and can’t be found on Earth? Simply accelerate them to half the speed of light, smash them, and then study the pieces. The secrets we learn could help explain what happens in exploding stars and the origins of elements in your body. In addition, MSU has begun constructing the $730 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a DOE Office of Science project to design and establish a world-leading laboratory that will push the boundaries of nuclear science.

Meeting starts at 6:45 pm.

 

 

whittleUVA Professor Mark Whittle

The Cosmic Microwave Background: A Window on Inflation?

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has made headline news many times over the past few years, and with good reason. The CMB comes from hot gas that was glowing at a time when the Universe was so young that most of its fundamental qualities were still simple and understandable and, most importantly, visible in the CMB’s subtle patchy patterns. In this CAS talk, I will review why the CMB gives us so much information about the universe, including the recent claims that it has revealed for the first time evidence for the cosmic birth process itself: inflation.

Meeting starts at 6:45 pm on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at McCormick Observatory.