Spring 2018 Friends and Family Star Party

The APL Astronomy Club’s Friends & Family Star Party will be held on Friday, April 20th from 6:30 pm to 10 pm. Sunset is at 7:50pm and Civil Twilight ends at 8:19pm.  Club members will be setting up telescopes prior to that, so if you are interested in club telescopes or their setup feel free to come earlier.  We expect to have several types of telescopes set up.

Where: On the lawn by the Big Dish, outside the security fence, on the west side of the main campus.

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

Clothing: dress as if the temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than what the weather prognosticators are calling for! (standing around looking through telescopes is not the most heat-generating activity you can do at night) Hats and hoods are most helpful in keeping warm.

Star gazing (and telescope viewing) is always dependent and contingent upon the weather. Please check back to this post as the date draws near to verify whether or not the star party has been cancelled due to inclement weather (rain or significant cloud cover). We will be putting weather updates here as necessary.

APLers and their friends and families are all invited to attend. Club members will have several telescopes out for your viewing pleasure, but feel free to bring your own optics if you have them – the more, the merrier!

PLEASE: NO FLASHLIGHTS! (red light or red cellophane covered flashlights would be perfectly fine, though) Also, turn the screen brightness *down* on personal electronics.

Moonset: 12:57am EDT, Moon phase: Waning First Quarter ~28% illuminated

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Fall 2017 Friends and Family Star Party

The APL Astronomy Club’s Friends & Family Star Party will be held on Friday, October 27th from 6:30 pm to 10 pm. Sunset is at 6:16pm and Civil Twilight ends at 6:43pm.  Club members will be setting up telescopes prior to that, so if you are interested in club telescopes or their setup feel free to come earlier.  We expect to have several types of telescopes set up.

Where: On the lawn by the Big Dish, outside the security fence, on the west side of the main campus.

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

Clothing: dress as if the temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than what the weather prognosticators are calling for! (standing around looking through telescopes is not the most heat-generating activity you can do at night) Hats and hoods are most helpful in keeping warm.

Star gazing (and telescope viewing) is always dependent and contingent upon the weather. Please check back to this post as the date draws near to verify whether or not the star party has been cancelled due to inclement weather (rain or significant cloud cover). We will be putting weather updates here as necessary.  AS OF 10/25: Forecast is for clear skies!

APLers and their friends and families are all invited to attend. Club members will have several telescopes out for your viewing pleasure, but feel free to bring your own optics if you have them – the more, the merrier!

PLEASE: NO FLASHLIGHTS! (red light or red cellophane covered flashlights would be perfectly fine, though) Also, turn the screen brightness *down* on personal electronics.

Moonset: 10:35pm EDT, Moon phase: Waxing First Quarter ~25% illuminated

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Second Annual Summer Intern Star Party

The APL Astronomy Club’s Summer Intern Star Party will be held Monday evening, July 31st, from 8:00 pm to 10 pm or so, depending on sky conditions [RAIN DATE is Tuesday August 1st].   Sunset is at 8:19 pm.

Club members will be setting up telescopes prior to that, so if you are interested in club telescopes or their setup feel free to come earlier. Setup will likely commence by 7 pm or so. We expect to have several types of telescopes set up.

Where: On the lawn by the Big Dish, outside the security fence, on the west side of the main campus.

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

 

Clothing: dress as if the temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than what the weather prognosticators are calling for! (standing around looking through telescopes is not the most heat-generating activity you can do at night)

Star gazing (and telescope viewing) is always dependent and contingent upon the weather. Please check back to this post as the date draws near to verify whether or not the star party has been cancelled due to inclement weather (rain or significant cloud cover). We will be putting weather updates here as necessary.

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Spring 2017 Friends and Family Star Party

The APL Astronomy Club’s Friends & Family Star Party will be held on Friday, April 28th from 7:30 pm to 10 pm or so, depending on sky conditions [RAIN DATE is Friday, May 5th]. Sunset is at 7:57 and Civil Twilight ends at 8:25.  Club members will be setting up telescopes prior to that, so if you are interested in club telescopes or their setup feel free to come earlier.  Setup will likely commence by 7 pm or so.  We expect to have several types of telescopes set up.

Where: On the lawn by the Big Dish, outside the security fence, on the west side of the main campus.

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

 

Clothing: dress as if the temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than what the weather prognosticators are calling for! (standing around looking through telescopes is not the most heat-generating activity you can do at night) Hats and hoods are most helpful in keeping warm.

Star gazing (and telescope viewing) is always dependent and contingent upon the weather. Please check back to this post as the date draws near to verify whether or not the star party has been cancelled due to inclement weather (rain or significant cloud cover). We will be putting weather updates here as necessary.

APLers and their friends and families are all invited to attend. Club members will have several telescopes out for your viewing pleasure, but feel free to bring your own optics if you have them – the more, the merrier!

PLEASE: NO FLASHLIGHTS! (red light or red cellophane covered flashlights would be perfectly fine, though) Also, turn the screen brightness *down* on personal electronics.

Sunset: 7:57 pm EDT End civil twilight: 8:25 pm EDT

Moonset: ~10:37 pm EDT April 28 Moon phase:  ~8% illuminated

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Fall Friends & Family Star Party and Observe the Moon Night!

UPDATE 10/4/16- Now THURSDAY Oct 6 (moved up due to weather forecast)

The APL Astronomy Club’s Friends & Family Star Party will be held on THURSDAY, October 6th from 7 pm to 10 pm or so, depending on sky conditions.  Sunset is at 6:39.  Club members will be setting up telescopes prior to that, so if you are interested in club telescopes or their setup feel free to come earlier.  Setup will likely commence by 6 pm or so.  We expect to have several types of telescopes set up.  We’ll also be focusing on the Moon since the International Observe the Moon night is the following night!

Where: On the lawn by the Big Dish, outside the security fence, on the west side of the main campus.

 

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

Clothing: dress as if the temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than what the weather prognosticators are calling for! (standing around looking through telescopes is not the most heat-generating activity you can do at night) Hats and hoods are most helpful in keeping warm.

Star gazing (and telescope viewing) is always dependent and contingent upon the weather. Please check back to this post as the date draws near to verify whether or not the star party has been cancelled due to inclement weather (rain or significant cloud cover). We will be putting weather updates here as necessary.

APLers and their friends and families are all invited to attend. Club members will have several telescopes out for your viewing pleasure, but feel free to bring your own optics if you have them – the more, the merrier!

PLEASE: NO FLASHLIGHTS! (red light or red cellophane covered flashlights would be perfectly fine, though) Also, turn the screen brightness *down* on personal electronics.

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Star Party – Tonight, Monday Aug 8 @ 8 pm

UPDATE – VERY successful party.  Miraculously the skies cleared and we saw a number of interesting sights.  We managed to pull Venus and Jupiter out of the murky atmosphere near the horizon, with three of Jupiter’s moons visible.  Mars showed an intense red/orange color and we could perceive some banding on Saturn.  Add in the moon, M57 (ring nebula), M8 (lagoon nebula), albireo (binary), M5 (globular), an Iridium flare, and an ISS pass and we had a great night.  Thanks to all that could come out!

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The APL Astronomy Club will host a star party tonight (Monday August 8th) starting ~ 8 pm.  The weather forecast is not good, but there is a chance we’ll be down to 50% cloud cover by 9 pm and if so we should be able to find some interesting things to look at.

If the weather is actually stormy we will cancel – watch this website for updates!

Where:  On the lawn in front of Building 200 (the new Space Department building on the opposite side of Johns Hopkins Road from the main lobby (Building 1).
B200
Clothing:  Normally you dress as though it were 10 degrees colder than expected to allow for the lack of physical activity and the breeze.

PLEASE – NO FLASHLIGHTS (unless you have red filtered light)

 

 

 

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Mercury Transit – Monday May 9th

UPDATE – 5/9 @ 12:10 pm –  APL Astro Event CANCELLED due to inclement weather.  See http://www.nasa.gov/transit for great views!

UPDATE – 5/9 @ 8:20 am  Weather not looking good.  You must be able to see distinct shadows for us to see an image of the sun through a solar telescope.  There will be nothing to see if there are no distinct shadows.

 

Monday is the next (and last until 2019*) Mercury Transit of the Sun! We will be well placed for  viewing the entire thing – if only we had a full day to take off and observe it! The last time this event occurred was 10 years ago (November 2006).

The current weather forecast for Monday is: Mostly sunny! High of 71!  We have to have a clear view of the sun to view it through our special-purpose Solar telescopes (NEVER LOOK ANYWHERE NEAR THE SUN WITH A CONVENTIONAL TELESCOPE!).

The transit will start at 7:12:19am EDT, and be fully underway (the entire disc of Mercury will be silhouetted against the Sun) within a few minutes, at 7:15:31am EDT. The midpoint of the transit will happen at 10:57:26am EDT. Finally, the finish to the transit will begin at 2:39:14pm EDT, when the outer edge of Mercury’s disc will touch the far edge of the Sun. The transit will wrap up a few minutes later when Mercury completely disappears from view at 2:42:26pm EDT.

Based on volunteer availability, we expect to have the Lunt 60 mm H-alpha telescope set up on the lawn in front of Building 200 and the Coronado 40 mm H-alpha telescope set up on Central Green near the pergolas.

Approximate times –

Central Green – 11 – 1:30 pm

Bldg 200 – once at the beginning of transit, a couple times during the middle/near lunch (around 11am and again around noon), and once at the end of transit.

 

 

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Spring Friends/Family Star Party – Friday April 15, 2016

The APL Astronomy Club’s Friends & Family Star Party will be held on Friday, April 15th from 8 pm to 10 pm or so, depending on sky conditions. Rain date is May 13th.  Sunset is at 7:45.  Club members will be setting up telescopes prior to that, so if you are interested in club telescopes or their setup feel free to come earlier.  Setup will likely commence by 7 pm or so.  We expect to have several types of telescopes set up, including:

  1. Refractor – Stellarvue 102 mm Apochromat
  2. Reflector – Orion 12″ Dobsonian
  3. Schmidt-Cassegrain – Celestron NexStar 6″
  4. Aplanatic (Schmidt-Cassegrain with corrector for flat field and coma-free) – Celestron EdgedHD 8″
  5. Binoculars – Celestron 15 x 70 on parallelogram mount
  6. Schmidt-Cassegrain with Mallincam video camera and display – Celestron 9.25″
  7. 125 mm Maksutov or 6″ RV Reflector

Where: On the lawn by the Big Dish, outside the security fence, on the west side of the main campus.

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

Star Party on the West lawn near the Big Radio Dish

 

Clothing: dress as if the temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than what the weather prognosticators are calling for! (standing around looking through telescopes is not the most heat-generating activity you can do at night) Hats and hoods are most helpful in keeping warm.

Star gazing (and telescope viewing) is always dependent and contingent upon the weather. Please check back to this post as the date draws near to verify whether or not the star party has been cancelled due to inclement weather (rain or significant cloud cover). We will be putting weather updates here as necessary.

APLers and their friends and families are all invited to attend. Club members will have several telescopes out for your viewing pleasure, but feel free to bring your own optics if you have them – the more, the merrier!

PLEASE: NO FLASHLIGHTS! (red light or red cellophane covered flashlights would be perfectly fine, though) Also, turn the screen brightness *down* on personal electronics.
Sunset: 7:45 pm EDT

End civil twilight: 8:13 pm EDT

Moonset: ~3:30 am EDT April 16

Moon phase: First Quarter (~50% illuminated)

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Solar Viewing

Solar viewing using special SOLAR telescopes (NEVER point a conventional telescope anywhere near the sun!) FRIDAY October 23 by one of the pergolas (wooden structures) in Central Green from around 11:30 to around 1:00 pm. Come out and see a few sunspots along with some spicules and prominences if we are lucky! Bring a hat. We should have the Coronado PST and the Lunt H-Alpha set up. Please watch this page for updates – we need mostly clear to clear skies for observation.

Image of Sun, 22 October 2015

Image of Sun, 22 October 2015

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Fall Friends and Family Star Party – 18 September 2015

The APL Astronomy Club’s Friends & Family Star Party will be held on Friday, September 18th, at 7pm until 9pm or so, depending on how things are going, how many enthusiastic people are present, etc.

Star gazing (and telescope viewing) is always dependent and contingent upon the weather. Please check back to this post as the date draws nigh to verify whether or not the star party has been cancelled due to inclement weather (rain and clouds being the biggest impactors). We will be putting weather updates here as they are necessary, though at this point the conditions for Friday evening look favorable for us (finally!). There will be no rain date.

APLers and their friends and families are all invited to attend. Club members will have several telescopes out for your viewing pleasure, but feel free to bring your own optics if you have them – the more, the merrier!

PLEASE: NO FLASHLIGHTS! (red light or red celophane covered flashlights would be perfectly fine, though) Also, turn the screen brightness *down* on personal electronics.

Where: On the lawn by the Big Dish, outside the security fence, on the west side of the main campus. See map to right.

Clothing: dress as if the temperatures will be 10 degrees colder than what the weather prognosticators are calling for! (standing around looking through telescopes is not the most heat-generating activity you can do at night) Hats and hoods are most helpful in keeping warm.

Sunset: 7:11 pm EDT
End civil twilight: 7:38 pm EDT

Moonset: ~10:16 pm EDT
Moon phase: 5 days old(~30% illuminated)

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