Rockland Astronomy Club Hosts NEAF 2013!

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Barlow Bob (Rockland Astronomy Club member and Solar Observing guru) has sent an official invitation to NEAF 2013, hosted at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY (a leisurely 4 hour drive from Syracuse). Celebrating its 22nd Anniversary, NEAF is an annual two-day event featuring speakers, solar observing (neafsolar.com), workshops, and vendors, vendors, vendors!

At present, Ryan Goodson (representing New Moon Telescopes) and I are confirmed Syracuse attendees. As NEAF is THE vendor-focused daytime event in our area, it serves as a focal point (no pun intended) for many other local societies to attend and see other amateur astronomers they don’t get to see all year (and it even happens in the daytime, so you actually get to see what your nighttime cohorts look like).

I spent a large portion of NEAF 2011 attending the many astrophotography lectures (a highlight for me being Alan Friedman’s explanation of how he processed the print I later purchased) and accessorizing my own scope (“Ruby”) with Televue eyepieces. NEAF 2012 was a surgical strike with another observer looking to purchase his first high-end refracting telescope (also for imaging). In both cases – and amateur astronomers will recognize this point immediately – it is very difficult to find one location that has on display so much high-end equipment for your (1) direct questioning of vendors, (2) indirect questioning of happy (or not-so-happy) owners, and (3) general viewing pleasure. While we stress the importance of starting observing with nothing more than binoculars and a good star chart, amateur astronomy can become a VERY expensive habit depending on where you want to focus (no pun intended) your observational study. Beyond the educational lectures and workshops, NEAF provides you direct access to a wealth of equipment and information that is hard to collect from web searches alone.

So, if you’re fortunate enough to be collecting a refund on April 15th (or have been smart and saved up all year for a pilgrimage to the Televue booth), consider attending the largest indoor event in East Coast amateur astronomy.

Information about NEAF 2013 can be found at its website: www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf/index.html.

Show Hours:

* Sat. April 20 – 8:30AM to 6:00PM
* Sun. April 21 – 10:00AM to 6:00PM

Ticket Prices (at the door):

* $20.00 for adults (one day)
* $35.00 for two-day admission ticket
* Under 16 free with parent

Parking:

* FREE parking for more than 1,000 cars and RV’s

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ABOVE: a Dobsonian with everything on it!

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ABOVE: 1/2 of the vendors at NEAF 2012.

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ABOVE: more than just astronomy equipment for sale!

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ABOVE: view of the 2012 Solar Star Party.

Beaver Lake Nature Center Hosts The First Official CNYO Lecture & Observing Session – The Guiding And Wandering Stars

CNYO is delighted to have our first scheduled lecture of the year occur at Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville, NY. In a change from the last three lectures hosted at Beaver Lake, there will be NO indoor lecture session. We’ll be running the entire discussion from the central yard in front of the main building, starting the lecture near the setting of the Sun and driving the discussion of Constellations and planets as they appear to our dark-adapting eyes.

The Guiding And Wandering Stars –
Key Northern Constellations And Planet Observation

Thursday, April 25 (Rain Date: Thursday, May 2nd), 7:30 p.m.

Age Range: There are no age requirements, but please be aware (and make children aware) that fragile and expensive observing equipment will be present.

Description:The Constellations have been with us for thousands of years, but you only have a few good clear nights each month to memorize their positions as they slowly move across the sky! This outdoor lecture by the CNY Observers (www.cnyo.org) will briefly describe the history and importance of the Constellations as mythological, agricultural, and navigational guides, then will describe a simple system to begin to learn their relative positions. At the same time, Jupiter and Saturn are on opposite sides of the Southern sky, making excellent targets for binocular and telescope observing.

Admission

$3 per car • $15 per bus
Free for Friends of Beaver Lake

Contact

8477 East Mud Lake Road
Baldwinsville, NY 13027
T: (315) 638-2519
BLNC@ongov.net

Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods – 2013 Observing Schedule

I’m pleased to have obtained the official schedule for Bob Piekiel’s Baltimore Woods programs for the 2013 observing 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. I’ve (Damian) attended two of the Baltimore Woods sessions already and plan to be present for as many of the scheduled events below as possible.

Note:

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

* Friday, February 8th (Backup – Saturday 9th), 7-9 p.m.

(Available link HERE) Another fabulous look at the bright winter skies and all the glories surrounding the constellation of Orion, the Hunter. The king of the planets, Jupiter, visible as well, as will the ice giant Uranus.

* March 15 (Friday) – 16 (Saturday), 7-9 p.m.

Comet Panstarrs should be visible in the west shortly after sunset. Its brightness is a guess at this time, but it could be quite a stunning sight. Jupiter will be visible, along with the winter skies and some of the brightest examples of nebulae and star clusters.

* April 5 (Friday) – 6 (Saturday), 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Comet Panstarrs will be visible in the northwest after sunset, right next to the Andromeda galaxy! While we can’t be certain of its brightness, it may be a stunning sight. Jupiter will be visible all evening, and Saturn will be rising in the east.

* May 4 (Saturday) – 5 (Sunday), 8-10 p.m.

Eta Aquariids meteor shower, Saturn and Jupiter visible all evening, and hello to spring skies.

* June 14 (Friday) – 15 (Saturday), 9-11 p.m.

Because it gets dark very late in June, it makes sense to do a 1st-quarter moon program, as we don’t need dark skies to get great views of the moon. Saturn will also be visible, and the start of summer skies.

* July 12 (Friday) – 13 (Saturday), 9-11 p.m.

The summer milky way at its finest. During the summer, we look directly into the core of our own milky way galaxy, giving great views of many beautiful star clusters and nebulae. The planet Saturn will be visible as well.

* August 12 (Monday) – 13 (Tuesday), 9-11 p.m.

It’s the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, one of the year’s finest, along with great views of the summer Milky Way, the ringed planet Saturn, and also Uranus and Neptune. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to lie back and watch for meteors when you’re not at a telescope.

* August 24 (Saturday) – 25 (Sunday), 1 p.m.

Solar observing session, with safe views of solar detail using specially-filtered telescopes.

* September 27 (Friday) – 28 (Saturday), 7-9 p.m.

Uranus will be in best viewing position all night long, plus Venus and Saturn in the west just after sunset. We will say goodbye to the Summer Skies.

* October 11 (Friday) – 12 (Saturday), 6:30-9 p.m.

Oct. 12 is National Astronomy Day, Part 2, but let’s do our usual Friday the 11th with Saturday being the backup. This will be our best chance to see Mercury for the remainder of the year, along with a crescent Moon and Venus as well, plus hello to Fall skies. We will need to start early to glimpse Mercury.

* November 4 (Monday) – 5 (Tuesday), 7-9 p.m.

Nov. 4-5 for the Taurid Meteor shower, plus hello to Winter skies. The Taurids are a modest shower, but in contrast, the Leonids, which occur on the 17th, are going to be completely washed out this year by a full Moon.

* December 13 (Friday) – 14 (Saturday), 7-9 p.m.

The Geminid Meteor Shower – the year’s best (it sure was fantastic last year!) and Winter skies, with the brightest examples of clusters and nebulae, such as the great Orion Nebulae.