Tag Archives: Barefoot Bob

Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2018 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 2018 season. 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

Baltimore Woods:

* January 19 (Fri.)/20 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Winter skies at their finest, The area surrounding the constellation Orion has more bright stars and deep-sky clusters than any other section of the sky. Still good views of Uranus.

* February 16 (Fri.)/17 (Sat. weather alternate), 5:30-8:30 p.m.

This is a good chance to see the elusive planet Mercury, right after sunset, plus the area surrounding Orion, one of the brightest in the sky. We have to start early to catch Mercury. We might still get a good view of Uranus.

* February 24 (Sat.)/25 (Sun. weather alternate), 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Solar viewing program – see our nearest star with specially-equipped solar telescopes, showing sunspots, flares, and eruptions.

* March 16 (Fri.)/17 (Sat. weather alternate), 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Goodbye to winter skies, but still great views of Orion. Maybe a few Lyrid meteors as well.

* April 13 (Fri.)/14 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Hello to Spring skies. Watch as the seasons change both on the ground and the starry night. Orion will be setting, and being replaced by Leo the lion.

* May 11 (Fri.)/12 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Spring skies will be in full view, plus Jupiter is at opposition, meaning it will be its closest, biggest, and brightest for the entire year. Venus will also be visible at the start of the program.

* June 22 (Fri.)/23 (Sat. weather alternate), 9:00-11:00 p.m.

It gets dark late this time of year so our best viewing targets will be bright planets and the moon. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will be visible. When it gets dark we will begin to see some of the southern Milky Way.

* July 20 (Fri.)/21 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-11:00 p.m.

PLANETS! Venus, Jupiter, Mars (which will be at its biggest, brightest, and closest until 2035!), Saturn, and possibly a quick glimpse of Mercury at the start of the program. Plus, a good view of the first-quarter moon, and then the southern Milky Way as the moon sets and the sky gets dark.

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

The annual Perseid meteor shower, one of the year’s finest, the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune! There is no moon in the sky so we will have fabulous views of the summer skies and southern Milky Way. Bring a lawn chair to sit and watch for meteors.

* August 25 (Sat.)/26 (Sun. weather alternate), 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Solar program – See our nearest star close-up with special telescopes that reveal flares, sunspots, magnetic storms, and granulation.

* September 7 (Fri.)/8 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Still a good view of the lingering summer skies, and the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune!

Green Lakes:

* May 18 (Fri.)/19 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Spring skies will be in full view, plus Jupiter is at opposition, meaning will be its closest, biggest, and brightest for the entire year. Venus will also be visible at the start of the program.

* July 7 (Sat.), 7:00 p.m.

Telescope Workshop! Tentatively at the reserve shelter, but check with Green Lakes the day of to make sure they don’t move the location depending on the weather.

* July 13 (Fri.)/14 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00-10:00 p.m.

This is the best view of 5 planets we will get for the summer: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, plus great views of the Milky Way when it gets dark.

* August 6 (Mon.), 7:30-9:00 p.m.

A special additional “telescope workshop” is being hosted due to popular request/demand at the well-attended July 13th event!

* August 17 (Fri.)/18 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00-10:00 p.m.

The 1st-quarter moon is visible,plus and still great views of the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and maybe a peak at Uranus and Neptune. We will also have great views of the heart of our Milky Way galaxy and the many bright clusters and nebulae visible there.

* September 28 (Fri.)/29 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Still a good view of the lingering summer skies, and the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune!

Chittenango Falls:

* June 15 (Fri.)/16 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Bob Piekiel Returns To Chittenango Falls! Meet at the ball field by the main upper parking lot. It gets dark late this time of year so our best viewing targets will be bright planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. We’ll also get to see a skinny crescent moon at the start of the program. When it gets dark we will begin to see some of the southern Milky Way.

Marcellus Library:

* August 14 (Tues.)/15 (Wed. weather-alternate), 7:30-9ish p.m.

This summer we will have a view of all bright major planets in the evening sky at once, and Mars making its closest approach to earth until 2035. The moon will also be visible, along with Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn.

Clark Reservation:

Awaiting 2018 scheduling.

Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2016 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 2016 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

Baltimore Woods:

* January 8 (Fri.)/9 (Sat. weather alternate), 7-9 p.m. (meetup.com)

Winter skies at their finest, with the many bright clusters and nebulae surrounding the constellation of Orion. The planet Uranus will be visible as well, and maybe a few leftover Quadrantid meteors.

* February 5 (Fri.)/6 (Sat. weather alternate), 7-9 p.m.

Winter skies again, with the many beautiful sights surrounding the constellation Orion. Another good look at the planet Uranus, and we may get our first peek at Jupiter as it rises in the east.

* February 27 (Sat.)/28 (Sun. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m.

Solar program in the parking lot.

* March 4 (Fri.)/5 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Jupiter will be about as close to earth as it gets, so it will be bigger and brighter than any other time in the upcoming year. Come see the king of the planets, plus a final look at the bright winter skies.

* April 15 (Fri.)/16 (Sat. weather alternate), 6-9 p.m. (Notice the early start time!)

This will be our best chance to see the planet Mercury, as it will be as high in the western sky after sunset as it ever gets. Jupiter will be visible, plus a bright moon. While the moon will blot out faint objects, this will be a great night to view the planets!

* Monday, May 9, 8-10 a.m.

Rare Transit of Mercury Across the Sun. The planet Mercury will move directly between the Earth and the Sun. Viewers with telescopes and approved solar filters will be able to observe the dark disk of the planet Mercury moving across the face of the Sun. This is an extremely rare event that occurs only once every few years. There will be one other transit of Mercury in 2019 and then the next one will not take place until 2039. (Venus will also be visible right near the sun as well).

* June 10 (Fri.)/11 (Sat. weather alternate), 9:00-11:00 p.m.

The start of Summer skies, with the planet Jupiter in good view, and Mars about as close to earth as it will get for the year.

* July 22 (Fri.)/23 (Sat. weather alternate), 9:00-11:00 p.m.

Summer skies at their finest, with the many rich star clusters and nebulae visible in the direction of the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be visible.

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

The annual persied meteor shower, one of the year’s finest. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to recline on while not looking through a telescope. Great views of the summer Milky way, with the planets Mars Jupiter, Venus and Saturn visible.

* August 27 (Sat.)/28 (Sun. weather alternate), 1:00-3:00 p.m.

SOLAR VIEWING PROGRAM. Using special telescopes, come and see solar flares, prominences, sunspots, and magnetic storms on our nearest star, the sun!

* September 9 (Fri.)/10 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Say goodbye to summer skies, and view the softer constellations of Autumn. Neptune will be visible, as well maybe our last look at Saturn before it sets. Venus is getting bigger and brighter. We will also get a good look at the first-quarter moon, displaying a wealth of craters and mountain ranges.

* October 21 (Fri.)/22 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-10:00 p.m.

The Orionid meteor shower peaks at this time, plus Venus, Uranus and Neptune are in great viewing positions. The fall skies, with their many bright galaxies, will be visible through telescopes. Bring a lawn chair to lie back and watch for meteors.

* November 4 (Fri.)/5 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00-9:30 p.m.

This is the night of the Taurid meteor shower. Venus, Uranus and Neptune will be visible, as well as the start of the winter skies, with their bright nebulae and star clusters. Bring a lawn chair to lie back and watch for meteors.

*December 13 (Tue.)/14 (Wed. weather alternate), 7:00-10:00 p.m.

This is the night of the Geminid meteor shower, the year’s finest. Even though the moon will be nearly full, many Geminids are so bright they can still be seen. Bring a lawn chair to lie back and watch for meteors, and enjoy telescope views of some of the brightest winter star clusters and nebulae. Depending on the tree line, we MIGHT get a quick peek at Mercury just as it gets dark. Uranus and Neptune will be visible all evening. Venus will be a bold crescent just before dark.

Green Lakes:

* January 9 (Sat.)/10 (Sun. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m. (meetup.com)

Come view our nearest star, the sun, close up in special telescopes that give interesting views of solar flares, eruptions, and sunspots. At the parking lot behind the main office building.

* February 26 (Fri.)/27 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Come see the winter skies at their finest! The area around the constellation of Orion has more bright stars, nebulae, and clusters than any other part of the sky, plus, the planet Jupiter will be in good view as well. At the parking lot behind the main office.

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

The summer skies are at their finest, when we can look directly into the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and see it’s many rich star clusters and nebulae. The Delta Aquarids meteor shower peaks that night, and Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be visible. We might even get a peek at Mercury.

* August 26 (Fri.)/27 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Summer skies again, Plus a stunning conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the west on those nights, and Mars and Saturn also.

Clark Reservation:

* July 8 (Fri.)/9 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00-10:30 p.m.

Planets, stars, and a crescent moon! The summer skies are at their finest, when we can look directly into the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and see it’s many rich star clusters and nebulae. Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be visible. We might even get a peek at Mercury.

* August 13 (Sat.)/14 (Sun. weather alternate), 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Solar program! Using special telescopes, come and see solar flares, prominences, sunspots, and magnetic storms on our nearest star, the Sun!

Bob Piekiel Interview On thenewshouse.com – “Barefoot Astronomer Shares Passion With Stargazers”

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

Close to the recent total lunar eclipse this past September 27th, I was approached by Andy Belt of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications on the S.U. campus for an article he was writing about local amateur astronomer extraordinaire Bob Piekiel. I searched for several days after, waiting to see it hit the internets, then forgot to keep searching, and have just recently stumbled upon the article at thenewshouse.com. A nice write-up about someone many know by voice from his many sessions at Baltimore Woods and Green Lakes (to name a few), even if they don’t know him by sight (given when the observing sessions usually start!).

And, for the record, I’ll say that, if you make it down to my quote, the “the founder” should be “a founder.” Otherwise, I can’t complain. An excerpt is included below for the official record (and click here for a PDF of the full article for website posterity), then I direct your attention to the full article at: www.thenewshouse.com/story/barefoot-astronomer-shares-passion-stargazers

2015dec8_piekielwithtelescopeedited2

Article and photo by Andy Belt
September 15, 2015

Amateur astronomer known as “Barefoot Bob” educates locals
during monthly astronomy events across Central New York.

At the end of Wilson Drive, a quiet street in the sleepy village of Marcellus, New York, is a house on a small hill that stands out from all the others. The home would look like any of the other low-key ranches on the block if not for the 12 solar panels installed to the roof, or the eight-foot-tall wind turbine perched on top. A vibrant greenhouse takes up half of this already modest dwelling.

But the crown jewel of the house is in the backyard in the form of large twin telescopes that date back more than forty years. After all, this is the home of Robert Piekiel, one of Central New York’s most respected amateur astronomers. In his mind, no true stargazer’s home would be complete without the proper equipment.

Piekiel has learned nearly everything there is to know about this particular hardware. Since 2006, he’s authored 11 books on telescopes and still has more in the pipeline. A walking encyclopedia, Piekiel’s most extensive work (a history of Celestron, his favorite telescope company), took up over 1,800 pages. A CD-ROM copy of the book is available for “lighter” reading.

Born in 1961, Piekiel’s fascination with space began at an early age. “The first time I saw the rings of Saturn through a telescope as a ten-year-old, it was like a religious experience,” Piekiel said, leaning on his impressive Celestron 22 telescope, his model of choice at the moment. “I think it is for everyone who has the chance to see it.”