Category Archives: Sun Observing Parties

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.

 

 

Solar Star Party – canceled

sunspots_2000_09_24

What: Solar Observing
Where: Building 1 Main Cafeteria Patio
When: Tuesday, Nov. 20, noon to 1:00 pm

The weather is looking very cloudy on Tuesday. So I have CANCELED this solar observing party. HMH 11/19/12 4pm.

Come view the Sun, our very own star, with the APL Astronomy Club. Count sunspots, see faculae and plages and maybe granulation and spicules, and compare the view through different kinds of equipment. Event will be canceled if the sky isn’t clear enough.

Open to anyone on campus who is interested.

Check here on Nov 20, 11 am, for a weather update.

Solar Star Party

sunspots_2000_09_24

The skies are clear enough, so come on ’round! We’ll have 4 ‘scopes out.

What: Solar Observing
Where: Building 200 Cafeteria Patio
When: Tuesday, Oct. 16, noon to 1:00 pm

Come view the Sun, our very own star, with the APL Astronomy Club. Count sunspots, see faculae and plages and maybe granulation and spicules, and compare the view through different kinds of equipment. Event will be canceled if the sky isn’t clear enough.

Open to anyone on campus who is interested.

Check here on Oct 16, 11 am, for a weather update.

Solar Star Party

sunspots_2000_09_24

What: Solar Observing
Where: Building 1, Main Cafeteria Patio
When: Tuesday, Sept. 18, noon to 1:00 pm

Come view the Sun, our very own star, with the APL Astronomy Club. Count sunspots, see faculae and plages and maybe granulation and spicules, and compare the view through different kinds of equipment.

Open to anyone on campus who is interested.

This event is canceled due to rain. (9/18, 9 am, Helen)

Solar Star Party

sunspots_2000_09_24

What: Solar Observing
Where: Building 200 Cafeteria Patio
When: Tuesday, July 31, noon to 1:00 pm

In conjunction with the RBSP Teachers’ Workshop. Come view the Sun, our very own star, with the APL Astronomy Club. Count sunspots, see faculae and plages and maybe granulation and spicules, and compare the view through different kinds of equipment.

Open to anyone on campus who is interested.

If it’s too cloudy the event will be canceled. Check for a Weather Status Update on July 30th about 11 am.

Venus Transit Party

2004 Transit of Venus; APOD 2004, June 9; Credit & Copyright: Jimmy Westlake (Colorado Mountain College)What: Venus Transit Party, talk and viewing
Where: Bldg 200 lobby
When: Tuesday, June 5, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
The weather will be OK for viewing (50-60% cloud cover) (June 5, 2 pm EDT; this is the final weather update).

The APL Astronomy Club and the APL Space Department are hosting a Venus Transit Party on Tuesday, June 5th. APLers and their friends and families are invited. All activities are in public areas of the lab. Club members will have several telescopes out for your viewing pleasure, including 2 H-alpha ‘scopes and several large ‘scopes with white light filters.

Bring a picnic supper and join us to witness this historic celestial event! (Can’t join us at APL? Check this page for other viewing options in the area. Have to stay home? Try watching one of the simulcasts listed here (or click on the Resources link in the menu bar above).)

4:30 pm in the building 200 lobby: Light refreshments available.

Bldg 200 Parking5 pm in Conference Room 200-E100: The Transit of Venus presented by club member Ron Farris. The talk will address the history and science of Venus transit observations, observing safety, and what to expect during the June 5th transit.

6 pm – 8:30 pm, SW corner of building 200 parking lot: Observe the transit with the club’s special solar equipment. Outside observing will be canceled if the sky is too cloudy. Observing will be located in the South West corner of the building 200 parking lot, which has the lowest North West horizon. Telescope set up starts at 4 pm. Transit begins at 6:05 pm EDT. Sunset is about 8:30 pm. If you own a ‘scope with a solar filter, bring it along and join us! (The club reserves the right to approve the safety of your set up.)

6 pm – 9 pm in the building 200 lobby and E100: Simulcasts of the transit from other observatories.

More information on the Venus Transit and Safe Solar Observing:
Transit of Venus dot org: apps, history, education, stuff to buy, etc. etc. etc.
Transits of Venus (Wiki)
2012 Transit of Venus (Wiki)
How to safely observe the sun.
What makes a safe solar filter?