May SMAS meeting
NOTE: New time, one hour earlier. Our May SMAS club meeting will take place on Friday May 30th, 6:00 pm in the Redstart room, downstairs at the Museum of the Rockies.
With nice weather, it’s time to take out your telescope and start using it. We will learn how to collimate a Newtonian dob type and a Schmidt Cassegrain type of telescope. Having a properly collimated telescope enhances your viewing. We will have club members demonstrate how to collimate a telescope and what tools to use. Take out the eye piece from your telescope and look into your telescope, see diagram to the left… hopefully it doesn’t look like view A or B above. If it does, don’t worry, that is what we’ll help you to fix. A properly collimated telescope should look like view C. Bring your telescope and you can work along side as you listen to our members show you how to get the best out of your telescope. We will be inside as we do this class. Weather permitting we may go and try out our properly aligned telescopes. Come prepared in case we do. Class from 6-8, sun set at 9:05 pm.
As seen on TV
There has been several great astronomical events recently, and Mike Heard at KBZK helped to get the word out. A short clip for Astronomy Day was shown the first week of April, followed by a live appearance for the eclipse on the KBZK studio patio. Jacob Kushner had first light on the Hiscock Telescope on April 14th live on TV as we were waiting on the eclipse. Jacob has been building the scope from the MSGC grant with the help of several high school students and some members of SMAS.
Save the dates
There are some events that are coming up that we wanted to let you know about.
April 5 – Astronomy Day at the Museum of the Rockies 12-4pm
April 14-15 – Total Lunar Eclipse – no local event planned, but be sure to get out and observe.
April 25 – Next SMAS meeting at the Museum of the Rockies, 7pm
June 22 – the First International SUN-day, at the Bozeman Public Library 3-5pm
June 27-28 – Stars Over Yellowstone June weekend at Madison Amphitheater, with Jim Manning
July 25-26 – Stars Over Yellowstone July weekend at Madison Amphitheater, with Mike Murray
August 21-24 – Montana Starwatch: go to http://montanastarwatch.org/ for more information
Stars Over Yellowstone 2012
The dates are set for our 15th year of Stars Over Yellowstone Summer 2012.
Put these dates on your calendar and come join us for the fun.
June 22 & 23 – speaker: Jim Manning
July 20 & 21 – speakers: Michelle and Shane Larson
Aug. 17 & 18 – speaker: SPOT program from MSU
Be sure and check the details on our Stars Over Yellowstone page.
Enjoy a few pictures from our July 2011 event, more pictures are posted on our Stars Over Yellowstone page.
Dates have been set for some summer time observing.
Stars over Bozeman – Friday July 8th and Friday August 5th. Set up scopes around 9:00, observing when it gets dark. We’ll be at the Hundred Acre Park off of Oak Street again this year.
Solar Sidewalk Observing – We’ll be at the Lunch on the Lawn at the Emerson on Wednesdays 11:30-1:30 starting on July 6th. (July 13, July 20, July 27, Aug. 3, Aug. 10 and Aug. 17)
Solar Sidewalk Observing at Sweet Pea.
Plan on coming and join us this summer for some observing.
Stars over Bozeman star parties planned
The Southwest Montana Astronomical Society (SMAS) is pleased to announce:
“Stars over Bozeman”
Friday, June 11th , back up date in case of cloud cover June 12th
Friday, July 16th, back up date in case of cloud cover July 17th
Friday, August 13th, back up date in case of cloud cover August 14th
Setup at 9 pm with viewing by 10:00 pm; with better viewing after 11:00 pm. These events will be held at the 100 Acre Gallatin Regional Park located on Oak St 1.2 miles west of North 19th Street in Bozeman.
As a group of amateur astronomers we wish to share our telescopes and knowledge of the night skies to all who wish to attend this free after dark event. Club telescopes to be used range in size from small traditional 3 inch telescopes to our Pasley Dobsonian which has a 20 inch diameter lens mirror and is close to 8 feet tall, when pointing straight up. This requires the use of a ladder to look into the eyepiece for most people. We are excited to use the Pasley this summer following a refurbishing project that included having the mirror refinished.
Bring your own telescope if you wish and members of SMAS will help you to use it.
Stars over Yellowstone
Has there been any dates set yet for Yellowstone 2010 yet. Just thinking about trying to book some camping spots.
Stars Over Yellowstone – August `09
We had yet another great weekend in Yellowstone with Jim Manning, executive director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, presenting two wonderful talks even through we were somewhat clouded out on Saturday night.
Friday night was spectacular and we had the telescopes set up in the parking lot rather than down in the meadow below the amphitheater and this worked out quite well overall. The turnout for Jim’s first campfire presentation was large and we had a huge crowd at the telescopes into the night. Jupiter was rising as the Sun set and was high in the sky as Jim’s presentation was over and the crowd moved up to the telescopes. Of course, everyone got to view Jupiter and the Galilean moons, M14 The Hercules Cluster and many other jewels of the summer sky.
On Saturday, Charlie, Dr. Sabo, Eric and Ester, and our friends from YVAA, Kevin Bebbe and Rich McCellan, were at Old Faithful for solar observing throughout the afternoon. Burt Rutan and his wife Tonya stopped by and Eric, Charlie and I got to visit with them for a few minutes about SMAS, commercial space flight, and science education among other topics. What a pleasant surprise and honor to meet and visit with these good folks.
Jim’s campfire presentation Saturday evening, Galileo’s Universe, was wonderful and a large crowd turned out. Duncan and I had decided to return to Bozeman after Jim’s presentation and so we missed the observing session but a great weekend overall. I really can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend. Cheers…
Stars Over Yellowstone – July `09
The kids and I headed down to Madison on Friday afternoon leaving a sweltering Bozeman behind us. As they always are this time of year, things were pretty busy in the park but the weather was beautiful and things were relatively quiet at the Madison campground. After hooking up with Dr. Stacy Palin, Dr. John Anderson and Dr. Shane Larson and family as well as other club members and having a nice dinner followed up with s’mores around the campfire, we all headed over to the amphitheater to get setup.
Dr. Palin presented her lecture The Lives of Stars to a large audience while SMAS members got the telescopes setup below on the meadow. After the lecture it was fairly crowded but it looked as though everyone got to put their eye to the eyepiece on several telescopes and see the many wonders of a very dark sky. A few of the favorite objects viewed were M13, the Hercules Cluster, M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, and of course, Jupiter and its Galilean moons as they rose in the southeast.
As things quieted down, we toured Sagittarius and Scorpius on the big telescopes hitting many of the wonderful emission nebulae in those constellations that we only get to see this time of year. As the night worn on, Dr. Larson and SMAS president Dr. Richard Sabo took a group of us on a wonderful tour of lesser known but spectacular objects such as NGC 5907, the Splinter Galaxy, NGC 6543, the Cats Eye Nebula, and the Veil Nebula supernova remnant.
The weather did not cooperate much on Saturday. The solar observing session at Old Faithful was pretty much clouded and rained out, although Lynn Powers stuck it out and provided handouts and deployed the solar system scale model. In the evening, the skies began to clear and Dr. Palin presented Astrostories: Constellation Stories from the Ancients to a large audience at the amphitheater but high thin clouds preventing any observing.
All in all, a good time was had by all over the weekend. Special thanks to Dr. Palin for her presentations and to all of the SMAS members who came and helped out. I also want the thank the National Park Service for letting us come and enjoy the dark skies of Yellowstone and share our love of astronomy with others.
July & August Stars Over Bozeman Star Parties
The Southwest Montana Astronomical Society is pleased to announce Stars Over Bozeman. As a group of amateur astronomers we wish to share our telescopes and knowledge of the night skies to all who wish to attend this free after dark event. Telescopes to be used range in size from small traditional 3 inch telescopes to our Pasley Dobsonian which has a 20 inch diameter lens mirror and is close to 8 feet tall when pointing straight up requiring the use of a ladder to look into the eyepiece. Bring your own telescope if you wish and members of SMAS will help you to use it.
The events will be held at the 100 Acre Gallatin Regional Park located on Oak St 1.2 miles west of North 19th Street in Bozeman. The events will be held on Friday, July 17th and Friday, August 14th starting at 10:00 PM with better viewing after 11:00 PM.If it is cloudy, the event will be cancelled.
[ Due to an editing error, the date was published in the Montana Pioneer as July 18th, so we need to have a few scopes out for a star party that night as well. ]
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