Category Archives: Baltimore Woods

Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2015 Observing Schedule

This event list will be added to as the year progresses. Check back often!

I’m pleased to have obtained the official schedule for Bob Piekiel’s growing observing and lecture programs for the 2015 season and have added them to the CNYO Calendar. For those who have not had the pleasure of hearing one of his lectures, attending one of his observing sessions, or reading one of his many books on scope optics (or loading the CD containing the massive Celestron: The Early Years), Bob Piekiel is not only an excellent guide but likely the most knowledgeable equipment and operation guru in Central New York.

Notes On Baltimore Woods Sessions:

The Baltimore Woods events calendar is updated monthly. As such, I’ve no direct links to the sessions below. Therefore, as the event date nears, see the official Calendar Page for more information and any updates on the event.

Also…

* Registration for these events are required. Low registration may cause programs to be canceled.
* $5 for members, $15/family; $8 for nonmembers, $25/family.
* To Register By Email: info@baltimorewoods.org
* To Register By Phone: (315) 673-1350

Green Lakes:

* January 9 (Fri.)/10 (Sat. weather alternate), 7 – 9 p.m.

Winter skies! Session held in the parking lot behind the office. See the Green Lakes website for directions.

Baltimore Woods:

* January 16 (Fri.)/17 (Sat. weather alternate), 7-9 p.m.

Winter skies at their finest. The area around the constellation Orion has some of the brightest examples of nebulae and clusters visible to us in the northern hemisphere. Also the king of the planets Jupiter will be on the rise.

Baltimore Woods:

* February 20 (Fri.)/21 (Sat. weather alternate), 7-9 p.m.

Winter skies again! The planet Jupiter will be at its finest, and we may get a glimpse of Venus low in the west.

Green Lakes:

* February 21 (Sat.)/22 (Sun. weather alternate), 1 – 3 p.m.

Solar Program! Session held in the parking lot behind the office. See the Green Lakes website for directions.

Baltimore Woods:

* February 28 (Sat.)/March 1 (Sun. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m.

Solar Program – See the sun and all its amazing features – sunspots, flares, magnetic storms – with specially-equipped solar telescopes.

Green Lakes:

* March 7 (Sat.)/8 (Sun. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m.

Solar Program! Session held in the parking lot behind the office. See the Green Lakes website for directions.

Baltimore Woods:

* March 13 (Fri.)/14 (Sat. weather alternate), 8-10 p.m.

Goodbye to winter skies, hello to spring, the planets Jupiter and Venus will be bold and bright.

* April 17 (Fri.)/18 (Sat. weather alternate), 8-10 p.m.

Spring skies, and the planets Jupiter, Venus, and our first look at Saturn!

* May 8 (Fri.)/9 (Sat. weather alternate) 7-10 p.m.

PLANETS! (Notice that this is a long one, set for 3 hours). This will be our best chance to see Mercury, which we get to do perhaps once or twice per year, right at sunset (come early!). Venus and Jupiter will be visible, and Saturn rises as Mercury and Venus set.

* June 12 (Fri.)/13 (Sat. weather alternate) 8-10:30 p.m.

PLANETS AGAIN! In case you missed the show last month, here’s another chance to see Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn in all their glory. It doesn’t even have to be completely dark to get good views.

Green Lakes:

* July 10 (Fri.)/11 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30 – 11 p.m.

First summer program at Green Lakes. Milky way, Venus, Jupiter, & Saturn.

Baltimore Woods:

* July 17 (Fri.)/18 (Sat. weather alternate), 9-11 p.m.

No moon and dark skies give us the best views of the summer Milky Way and the richest star fields of summer. Also Saturn will be front and center.

Clark Reservation:

* July 18 (Sat.)/19 (Sun. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m.

Summer Solar Program

Marcellus Library:

* August 11, 6-8 p.m.

Bob hosts a Solar Viewing Session as part of a How-To Festival at Marcellus Free Library.

Baltimore Woods:

* August 12 (Wed.)/13 (Thurs. weather alternate)

The annual Perseid meteor shower. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to relax on and watch for meteors while not looking through a telescope. Also great views of the summer Milky Way, and the planet Saturn.

Green Lakes:

* August 14 (Fri.)/15 (Sat. weather alternate), 8-10:30 p.m.

Summer skies and Milky Way, left-over Perseids, and Saturn.

Clark Reservation:

* August 21 (Fri.)/22 (Sat. weather alternate), 8-10 p.m.

Summer skies and Milky Way, plus Saturn.

Baltimore Woods:

* August 15 (Sat.)/16 (Sun. weather alternate) 1-3 p.m.

Summer Solar Program

* September 27 (Sun, no alternate!) 8-11 p.m.

This is our first lunar eclipse during evening hours in quite some time! Come out and see the moon covered by the earth’s shadow, and also farewell to the summer skies. NO BACKUP NIGHT!

* October 23 (Fri.)/24 (Sat. weather alternate) 8-10 p.m.

Take a look at the moon close-up, as well as the planets Uranus and Neptune, as both are placed for ideal viewing this month. After the moon begins to set, we should be able to see some of the various star clusters and galaxies of the fall skies. We may see a few Orionid meteors, as they peak the day before.

* November 6 (Fri.)/7 (Sat. weather alternate) 8-10 p.m.

Come out for a look at the planet Uranus and the fall skies, showing off their large assortment of clusters and faint galaxies. We may see a few shooting stars from the Taurid meteor shower as well.

* December 13 (Sun.)/14 (Mon. weather alternate) 7-10 p.m.

This is the night of the Geminid meteor shower, the king of meteor showers. Produced by asteroid Phaethon 3200, these meteors are visible in the early evening skies so you don’t have to wait until to pre-dawn to see a good show! Also have a look at the winter skies and the area surrounding the constellation Orion, with some of the brightest examples of clusters and nebulae visible in the northern hemisphere.

Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2014 Observing Schedule

I’m pleased to have obtained the official schedule for Bob Piekiel’s growing observing and lecture programs for the 2014 season and have added them to the CNYO Calendar. For those who have not had the pleasure of hearing one of his lectures, attending one of his observing sessions, or reading one of his many books on scope optics (or loading the CD containing the massive Celestron: The Early Years), Bob Piekiel is not only an excellent guide but likely the most knowledgeable equipment and operation guru in Central New York.

Notes On Baltimore Woods Sessions:

The Baltimore Woods events calendar is updated monthly. As such, I’ve no direct links to the sessions below. Therefore, as the event date nears, see the official Calendar Page for more information and any updates on the event.

Also…

* Registration for these events are required. Low registration may cause programs to be canceled.
* $5 for members, $15/family; $8 for nonmembers, $25/family.
* To Register By Email: info@baltimorewoods.org
* To Register By Phone: (315) 673-1350

Green Lakes:

* February 8 (Fri.)/9 (Sat. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m.

Solar viewing session at the main office parking lot. See the Green Lakes website for directions.

Baltimore Woods:

* February 21 (Fri.)/22 (Sat. weather alternate), 7-9 p.m.

The giant planet Jupiter will be in prime viewing position all night long, as well as the brilliant winter skies surrounding the constellation Orion. Uranus and Neptune will also be visible early.

* February 22 (Sat.)/23 (Sun. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m.

A solar viewing program, featuring our nearest (and favorite) star! Come and enjoy safe views of the Sun through a variety scopes and several wavelengths.

* March 21 (Fri.)/22 (Sat. weather alternate), 7-9 p.m.

Jupiter will be visible high in the sky for excellent viewing in the evening, then come and bid farewell to the Winter Skies.

Montezuma Wildlife Refuge:

* March 28 (Fri.)/29 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Come and enjoy the late Winter / early Spring skies, featuring views of Jupiter.

Baltimore Woods:

* April 15, VERY Early Tuesday A.M. – Midnight to 2:30 am

Again, assume this starts at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 14th and goes through about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. This is the first Lunar Eclipse CNY has had in several years, and it will be visible in its entirety for all in NY State. Watch the Moon get covered by the Earth’s shadow and turn a deep shade of orange or red. Saturn and Mars will be in good viewing positions as well for scope viewing.

Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society:

* May 14 (Wednesday)

Bob Piekiel gives the lecture “Collimating Cassegrains and Two-Mirror Scopes” for our friends in the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society (MVAS).

Baltimore Woods:

* May 23 (Fri.)/24 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Bob Piekiel for a possible Meteor Storm! In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 24, the Earth will pass through the debris field left behind by a small comet known as P/209 LINEAR. Astronomers are predicting that this interaction may result in a brief but intense burst of meteor activity that could range from dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour. Nothing is certain, but many mathematical models are predicting that this could be the most intense meteor shower in more than a decade. Saturn will also be at its biggest for its best viewing of the whole year, plus good views of Jupiter and Mars are to be had. Come and say “hello” to the Spring Skies!

* June 6 (Fri.)/7 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Bob Piekiel for an in-between Baltimore Woods sessions during this weekend’s Mars and Moon Conjunction.

Baltimore Woods:

* July 18 (Fri.)/19 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Look into the heart of our Milky Way galaxy to see the finest examples of rich star clusters and gaseous nebulae. Also fantastic views of Mars and Saturn.

Green Lakes:

* July 25 (Fri.)/26 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Summer Milky Way, at the Frisbee Golf field.

Baltimore Woods:

* August 12 (Tues.)/13 (Wed. weather alternate), 8:30-11:00 p.m.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, one of the year’s finest, plus Summer Skies and the Milky Way. Look into the heart of our Milky Way galaxy to see the finest examples of rich star clusters and gaseous nebulae. Also fantastic views of Mars and Saturn.

Green Lakes:

* August 15 (Fri.)/16 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00 – 10:30 p.m.

Summer skies and left-over Perseids.

Baltimore Woods:

* August 16 (Sat.)/17 (Sun. weather alternate), 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Solar observing program

Seneca Meadows:

* August 22 (Fri.)/23 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Summer skies

Clark Reservation State Park:

* August 29 (Fri.)/30 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Baltimore Woods:

* October 8 – EARLY MORNING 4:30 – 6:30 am.

Lunar Eclipse, NO BACKUP DATE.

* Monday, November 17 (backup Tuesday 18th) 8 – 10 p.m.

Leonid meteor shower and hello to fall skies. Also the planets Uranus and Neptune.

* Saturday, December 13 (backup Sunday the 14th) 7 – 9 p.m.

The Geminid meteor shower and hello to winter skies.

Bob Piekiel’s August 12th Baltimore Woods Perseid Session Now Listed As An “International Starry Night” Event

UPDATE: 28 July 2013 – The International Starry Night page for the Baltimore Woods event can be found @ THIS LINK.

Check cnyo.org on the 12th (and 13th) for final event details.
To Register By Email: info@baltimorewoods.org
To Register By Phone: (315) 673-1350
Please register for this event! Low registration may cause programs to be canceled.
Date: Monday, August 12th (weather-alternate: Tuesday, August 13th)
Cost: $5 for Baltimore Woods members/$15 for BW families; $8 for non-members/$25 for families
Time: 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (maybe beyond?)
Bring: Chairs (or something to lay on), bug spray, and long sleeves
About The Perseids: See THIS EXCELLENT SUMMARY at earthsky.org
Location: Baltimore Woods Nature Center in Marcellus, NY (directions)


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Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Bob Piekiel, Baltimore Woods, and CNYO are pleased to be hosting a local session for the “International Starry Night,” (herein referred to as “ISN”) an event organized by the “One Star at a Time” Program. While the official ISN night is scheduled for Saturday, August 10th, ISN-related events are being scheduled throughout the days around the Perseid Meteor Shower, and we have opted to host this event during the peak nights of the Perseids. Dedicated amateur astronomers cannot be bothered with such trivialities as their mental states at work on Tuesday (or weather-alternate Wednesday) mornings!

The ISN, which coincides with the Perseid Meteor Shower this year, is being used as a way to organize meteor shower observers and amateur astronomers around to world in the interest of both increasing nighttime observation and decreasing the amount of light pollution through understanding of the issues and public action. As described on the starry-night.org website (and note that their August 10th date is NOT our August 12th date):

2013july20_starrynight_620

Click on the image for a full-sized version (8 MB).

The “One Star at a Time” program is a worldwide effort to create accessible public spaces to view a starry night sky. The program uses night sky conservation to unite people across the planet, their cultures and their skies. This is a story of how people from around the world united together to give the gift of natural starlight for all children of this planet.

A National Parks Service study predicts that unless we can significantly reduce light pollution, by 2025 only 10% of people in the United States will EVER see a starry night sky in their LIFETIME. Similar concerns are coming from all around the world.

“One Star at a Time, Reclaim the starry night sky” is a campaign to engage and unite the public on a global scale to reduce light pollution so that we may reconnect with the stars and each other. The motto of Astronomers Without Borders is “One People*One Sky”. If we can unveil the inspirational night sky we share with all people of this planet, and share experiences and explorations of the cosmos together, we may regain steps toward peace… the greatest gift we could ever give to our children.

On Light Pollution…

Overcast skies and light pollution are THE biggest problems facing amateur astronomy. Unlike the weather conditions, light pollution is a problem that CAN be addressed through legislation and education. International organizations, such as the International Dark-Sky Association, and local groups that lobby for proper lighting legislation, such as SELENE-NY (selene-ny.org), have been pushing for years to educate the public on the potential health risks of light pollution, the importance of dark nights for other species, the best choices of lighting fixtures that help reduce light pollution, and the obvious cost benefits that come from lighting ONLY places that need lighting with ONLY the amount of lighting that is required.

Observers throughout CNY have noticed the increase in light pollution from many familiar observing locations – including Darling Hill Observatory, Beaver Lake Nature Center, and Baltimore Woods. The problem is one of engagement – if more people, organizations, municipalities, and companies know how to illuminate the night in keeping with pro-dark sky practices, light pollution could be greatly reduced. Imagine how much more observing could be done if the sky near our horizons were that much darker!

On the Perseid Meteor Shower…

The issue of light pollution aside, the Perseids and the Leonids often tie for the best meteor showers of the year, with the Perseids benefiting from their appearance in the mid-Summer nighttime sky. The International Starry Night event will find groups around the planet observing the Perseids together (provided the nighttime sky remains clear). And, as an added bonus, the Perseids coincide with the tail end of the Delta Aquarids, a much smaller meteor shower that is more prominent at Southern Latitudes. But we will take any additional shooting stars we can!

But wait, there’s more! The Perseids peak during a Waxing Crescent Moon, meaning the Moon will have set before or near 10:00 p.m. for all five reasonable observing nights (August 10th – 14th). Attendees will have Saturn and the Moon to observe in early-evening skies, then intrepid observers will have Neptune, Uranus, and a host of deep-sky objects to find and observe for the rest of the night.

On the Entire Perseid Meteor Shower Weekend…

The week around the August 12th peak is a busy one for CNYO members. CNYO will also be hosting a lecture and observing session on August 8th (on the 15th as a weather-alternate) at Beaver Lake Nature Center. Maybe a few decent shooting stars on the 8th will hint at a busy Perseid peak on the 10th-12th. We will keep you posted!