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.
Winter Lecture Series: Mike Murray – Clark Planetarium
Mike Murray, past member of SMAS and now Programs Manager of the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, will give the second Winter Lecture at the Museum of the Rockies at 7:00PM, doors open at 6:30, Feb. 26th. His talk is titled: “Seeing in the Dark: Tales of an Amateur Astronomer.”
Sponsored by SMAS, MSGC, MOR.
Amateur astronomy has been one of the fastest growing hobbies in the country for the last 20 years. Why is that? What gets people so “hooked” on astronomy and the night sky?
Actually there could be many reasons. For some, it’s just a naturally fascinating subject. Look at how many non-science-major college students enroll in introductory astronomy courses to satisfy their general science requirement. Or maybe it was a camping experience where you saw the Milky Way or a “shooting star” for the first time. Or something that happened in the space program, like a moon mission, photos from Mars or a Hubble Space Telescope image.
The reasons may be different, but the inspiration to explore the sky has one common thread – a curiosity to discover more of nature’s secrets and feel a personal connection to the universe.
High quality observing equipment is now more widely available, and at affordable prices. But as Mike will show, you don’t have to own a big telescope and lots of computer gear to do amateur astronomy.
In this talk, Mike Murray (who worked at the Museum of the Rockies’ Taylor Planetarium in the 1990’s) will recount his moments of both inspiration and challenges as an avid amateur astronomer. From naked eye observing to getting your first telescope, Murray will demonstrate that there’s something for every age and any skill level when it comes to star gazing. Topics covered will include binocular observing, “star hopping,” astronomy clubs, star parties, choosing your first telescope, observing techniques, how to use star charts, and much more.
Mark your calendar for this outstanding speaker!!
Stars over Yellowstone
Has there been any dates set yet for Yellowstone 2010 yet. Just thinking about trying to book some camping spots.
The GLOBE at Night
The Southwest Montana Astronomical Society (SMAS) invites you to participate in the annual global sky observation known as GLOBE at Night. GLOBE at Night brings people outside to observe the constellation Orion from 16-28 March 2009. Participants simply choose a clear night on which stars are visible, take measurements of stars in this portion of the sky using GLOBE’s Magnitude Charts, and enter observations into the GLOBE at Night Web site. Data about sky quality is collected, from which scientists can begin to explore the concept of light pollution and to research the patterns of light pollution across the globe.
SMAS will be holding an informational meeting about the 2009 observation week in the Bozeman Public Library large meeting room on Saturday March 21, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. SMAS members will demonstrate how to find Orion in the night sky, how to use the GLOBE’s magnitude charts and how to log your observations. With 2009 designated as the “International Year of Astronomy”, SMAS and Globe at Night are trying to get everyone outside and looking up. This is a great way to view a fun constellation and learn more about our night sky.
March 24th UPDATE: The local CBS affiliate, KBZK, ran a piece on the GLOBE at Night event on their 5:00 and 10:00 newscast this evening, and a link to the GLOBE at Night website can be found on the KBZK website
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.
The SMAS board will meet in the board room at the Museum of the Rockies and Friday, Feburary 13 and 7:00 PM.
New Website Online…
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…
The SMAS site, a new paradigm
We’re in the midst of a major overhaul of the SMAS website. The new site provides a more blog-like atmosphere and I hope that it can become the portal to all SMAS activities and events for all club members as well as the general public. Please contact me if you would like to play a role in the evolution of our site.
And feel free to comment on anything that you find on the site…