Southwest Montana Astronomical Society

Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • Yellowstone Club Winter Lecture

    Posted on February 16th, 2009 Lynn Powers 2 comments

    Timberline LodgeSMAS gets contacted several times throughout the year for outreach programs with various local groups.   We love these opportunities to share our passion and hobby of astronomy with the public.  As usual, I jumped at the chance when I got a call from the Yellowstone Club asking if I could bring my scope and do a talk for their Winter Lecture Series.   The site was the Timberline Cafe at 9,375 feet, accessible by snocat.  Our outreach events are more rewarding when we connect with the people, and the group that I had was great.  Even though there was a bit of snow falling, the clouds parted and I was able to give sky tours for a brief moment.  I brought along some of the Night Sky Network tool kits and was able to fill in the time with several activities.  With Comet Lulin coming into view in the next few weeks, I talked about comets and passed out star maps to show the audience how to find Comet Lulin when they are at home.

  • Board Meeting

    Posted on February 12th, 2009 Robert Banfill No comments

    The SMAS board will meet in the board room at the Museum of the Rockies and Friday, Feburary 13 and 7:00 PM.

  • Irving School ’09

    Posted on February 12th, 2009 Robert Banfill No comments

    Despite the cloudy weather, there was a pretty good turnout for the event at the Irving School last night.  We had more telescopes than we knew what to do with and many club members showed up to help out.  Even though there where early hopes of seeing the Great Nebula in Orion and maybe even the Pleiades, all we got to see was Venus which was bright enough to power through the high clouds in the southwest.

    But then there was the portable planetarium, hosted by Fred’s daughter Brigitte and Lynn Powers.  There were gaggles of kids, young and old, that enjoyed the planetarium show along with lots of cookies and brownies and hot chocolate and occasional views of Venus.

    Thanks to all of the club members who turned out and helped with things and thanks to all of the parents, children, and staff at Irving School for inviting us to share this evening with them.  Cheers…

  • Pasley Telescope Refresh

    Posted on February 7th, 2009 Robert Banfill 2 comments

    The Laura D. Pasley Memorial Telescope, the club’s venerable 20″ Star Splitter, has been long overdue for major maintenance and a few enhancements.  Our President, Dr. Richard Sabo, and Vice-president, Charlie Rose, have been quietly working away on these tasks for some time now.

    Beyond the much needed maintenance and cleaning, the scope will now be equiped with digital setting circles.  This is a truly awesome instrument and it is wonderful to see it getting the tender loving care that it deserves.  I for one am really looking forward to completion of this work.  We’ll keep you posted as things progress. Cheers…

  • New Website Online…

    Posted on February 7th, 2009 Robert Banfill No comments

    Well, we’ve taken our new website online. SMAS members are welcome to have an account and act as contributors and/or editors on this site. Please contact me if you’d like to be involved in this new and exciting endeavor.

    I will be making a presentation about the site at the next board meeting on the 13th as well as doing tutorials at the next few regular club meetings.  I’d like to encourage everyone to subscribe to the events feed on the right to keep abreast of upcoming events and news about the club. Cheers…

  • Quantum leap in our website

    Posted on February 2nd, 2009 Richard Sabo 1 comment

    This is a quantum leap in the functionality of our web site.

  • SMAS Winter Lectures Rock…

    Posted on January 31st, 2009 Robert Banfill No comments

    Dr. Stacy Palin presented the first of our 2009 winter lectures, News From The Very Latest In Very Large Arrays, last night at the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies to large and enthusiastic audience.

    She has the amazing ability to present this complex subject matter in a clear and comprehensible way.  I was amazed with the breadth of the information she was able to cover in the hour.

    “The speed of light… it’s more than just a good idea, it’s like a law.”

    We all need to extend a Very Large Thank You to Dr. Palin for taking the time to share this wonderful presentation with all of us.  Cheers…

  • SMAS Regular Meeting

    Posted on January 31st, 2009 Robert Banfill No comments

    This is the regular monthly SMAS meeting at 7:00 PM at the Museum of the Rockies.

    Kathy Karjala will make a presentation on comets.

  • Astronomical Imaging; The Point When Art Breaks Through Science

    Posted on January 31st, 2009 Robert Banfill No comments

    The night-time sky has captured the hearts and imaginations of individuals since the beginning of mankind. Join Ryan Hannahoe as he discusses the art of basic digital astronomical photography. Within his lecture, Ryan will share some of his many works, along with processing an image ‘on-the-fly’ for the audience to see how processing techniques can be applied.

    Ryan Hannahoe is the Director of Client Support Services with the Fair Dinkum Skies Observatory and is a student at Montana State University.

    Date: Friday, April 24.
    Time: 7:30 PM.
    Place: Museum of the Rockies in the Hager Auditorium.

    For more information regarding the lecture go to The Museum Of The Rockies web site.

    The above photograph was taken by Ryan Hannahoe remotely over the Internet with a telescope located in Western, Australia at the Fair Dinkum Skies Observatory. The Eta Carinae Nebula resides in the southern constellation of Carina and is roughly 6,500 light-years away from Earth. The total exposure time for this photograph adds up to over 40 hours worth of data. Come see Ryan and more of his work at his talk in the winter lecture series.

  • News From The Very Latest In Very Large Arrays

    Posted on January 30th, 2009 Administrator No comments

    The Very Large Array, the most powerful radio telescope on the planet, is in the midst of an upgrade. It will soon see more of the sky, in more detail, across more of the radio spectrum than ever before. Find out what’s happening, what’s new, and what to expect in the very near future.

    Please join Stacy Palen, Assistant Professor at Weber State University for this lecture on Friday, January 30 in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies.