2017 and the Great American Eclipse
On the morning of Monday August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will cross North America. Only those along the path of totality will experience the sun being totally blocked by the moon and the sky going black. All others from Canada through the US and Mexico, and on down to Central America will experience a partial eclipse. Here in Bozeman it will be approximately 95% coverage. If you plan to go south into Wyoming or Idaho, you could experience totality. If you plan on staying here in Bozeman, be sure you have proper equipment to observe the eclipse. For a better view click on the image:
AAS-Solar-Eclipse-Safety-v160824 Follow this link for more information on how you can safely observe the eclipse
White House Astronomy Night: A Celebration of Science, Technology, and Space
Join the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society as we celebrate the White House Astronomy Night. Astronomy clubs around the nation will be heading to the lawn with telescopes to view the night sky. We will be at the Bozeman Public Library front lawn Monday October 19, 2015 starting at 6:30 p.m. Starting off with a short talk “What’s up in our night sky”, followed by viewing through telescopes.
To find out more about the White House Astronomy Night check out this link.
The Bozeman Public Library is located at 626 East Main Street, Bozeman.
SMAS Outreach to rural schools and beyond
Joe Witherspoon is the new SMAS Vice President this year, he is also the committee head for SMAS Outreach. This past week, March 24-28th, Joe worked with the Sheridan Montana public school and conducted a week of activities. Solar observing and dark sky observing, walking out The Earth is a Peppercorn to show size and distance, plus many more fun activities to engage the young students.
In June, Joe will work with a group of 11-13 year olds from over seas who are visiting the Big Sky country. He said they will make planispheres, watch a green laser constellation tour, then view stars in a dark sky setting. Most of these students live in a large city and have not seen a dark sky.
Lynn Powers is working with the Arrowhead K-8 school in the Paradise Valley. For the April total lunar eclipse, students there wanted to mark the occasion with a science night. The event will showcase the science fair, guest speakers, activities and viewing the eclipse. Students from the Bozeman High School Astronomy club will be judges for the science fair and help with the telescopes
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.
Do you own a telescope that has turned into an expensive coat rack? Did you lose your instructions and forgot how to set it up? Well dust off that scope and bring it over to the Museum of the Rockies (come even if you don’t own a telescope but intend to purchase one) on Saturday May 28th between 1:00 and 3:00 and meet some of the SMAS telescope experts. We can help you get it set up, show you how to align it and collimate it if necessary. Then we’ll show you how to use it to find some objects in the night sky. Free with admission to the Museum of the Rockies.
100 Hours of Astronomy Awards
Thanks primarily to the hard work and dedication of our Observing Chairperson, Lynn Powers, SMAS comes ‘Highly Recommended’ for our Community Outreach by the good folks at 100 Hours of Astronomy. Please take a look the 100 Hours of Astronomy site.
Thank you Lynn and all of the other club members who help with our outreach programs and activities.
Yellowstone Club Winter Lecture
SMAS 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.