Category Archives: Observing

T-2 Years? The Anticipated Fizzle-Out Of The Iridium Flares – Do Not Take Them For Granted!

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The following thoroughly depressing link was sent off – with a specific mention of the possibly extra-short future of the Iridium Flares many of us enjoy observing at night – by Kopernik member (and celebrity volunteer! – featured in a great article last month readable at pressconnects.com) George Normandin earlier this year. We’ve potentially lost 7 months already from the possible countdown with this approximate-ish late post to the CNYO site (my bad).

Iridium satellite #6 (upper) and its replacement, #51, flaring 6 seconds apart in a 21.4-second exposure. The bright object on the right is Jupiter. Arcturus is the bright star at about the 7 o’clock position. Spica is just out of view in the lower right. The satellites were moving left to right. Image by Jud McCranie.

For the record, the bbc.com article title was a little less dramatic than the also excellent nationalgeographic.com and spaceflightnow.com articles about the same.

From the article at bbc.com:

One thing the new [Iridium NEXT satellites] satellites will not be capable of doing, however, is producing Iridium “flares”. These are the flashes in the sky that result when sunlight glints off the antennas of the old spacecraft.

The new satellites do not have the same configuration, so once the original constellation is de-orbited the flashes will cease.

“I’m afraid those who’ve been tracking that phenomenon over the past 20 years have another year or two to see it,” Mr Desch told BBC News.

“As someone who’s seen a couple myself, you can imagine what a thrill it is to be the CEO of a company like this and watch your satellite go overhead. But we weren’t going to spend money just to make angular shiny things on our satellites, so that phenomenon will go away – but it’s been fun.”

For the full article: www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38613275

Iridium Flares are very easy to find once you know where – and when – to look. Predictions for your locale are easy to obtain from www.heavens-above.com/IridiumFlares.aspx.

Astrophotography Workshop At The Adirondack Public Observatory In Tupper Lake, 19-22 October 2017

Greeting, fellow astrophiles!

This in from several sources recently – announcing the APO 2017 Astrophotography Workshop in Tupper Lake, NY. This year features at least one (and, hopefully, two) of our friends in the Kopernik Astronomical Society. Registration can be done on the official website:

adirondackpublicobservatory.org/events/Astrophotography-Workshop

Thursday, October 19, 2017 – 12:30pm to Saturday, October 21, 2017 – 12:30pm

An opportunity to meet, trade secrets and perform astrophotography under the darkest skies in the Eastern USA.

Who should attend?

Simply put: Everyone. Very few astrophotographers, regardless of their level, have access to dark skies. We invite you to take advantage of our location to capture images at your own level. Avoid light pollution with us. Come with your own equipment or use ours to shine with your best images.

The registration fee for the four-day Astrophotography Workshop 2017 is $120.00 per participant, with a 10% discount for APO Members.

Events will occur from October 19 – 22, and will be held at the Roll Off Roof Observatory (178 Big Wolf Rd., Tupper Lake). More details coming soon!

Visit www.TupperLake.com for lodging and dining information.

Call the APO office at (518) 359-3538 for further information about the workshop. The registration fee can be paid using PayPal (which also accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards for payment).

Registration instructions:

* Select your registration fee below: APO Members: $108, non-Members: $120
* Log in to your PayPal account
* After your transaction is complete, you’ll be sent to a registration form to enter your contact information

To register: adirondackpublicobservatory.org/events/Astrophotography-Workshop

Dark Sky Astrophotography Exchange 2016 @ The Adirondack Public Observatory – September 23-25

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The following landed in my inbox from new friends at the Adirondack Public Observatory up in Tupper Lake, NY (likely the most prime-est observing location in New York State if the light pollution maps are any indication). For those who don’t know about our neighbor to the Northeast…

The Adirondack Public Observatory Inc. is a charitable organization recognized under the laws of the IRS 501(c)(3) Not For Profit, and is also incorporated in the state of New York.

The Adirondack Public Observatory provides quality educational experiences for people of all ages through the science, technology and history of astronomy.

The Adirondack Public Observatory is free and open to the public!

The Adirondack Public Observatory, located at 178 Big Wolf Road, is open for viewing on Friday evenings from Memorial Day through Labor Day; after Labor Day it is open for public viewing on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month.

Visit our website for more details: www.apobservatory.org

The three-day event is chock-full of instructional sessions during the daytime and plenty of (hopefully) clear dark skies at night. The informational brochure is available for download below. If you plan on going, tell’em CNYO sent you!

Astrophotography2016_ver5.pdf

2016may4_apo_brochure