Tag Archives: Chuck Higgins

Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society Feature In The Utica Observer-Dispatch

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

Our friends (and some fellow members) at the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society (MVAS) were featured this past Sunday, May 21st in the Utica Observer-Dispatch. Link to the article is below:

www.uticaod.com/article/20160521/NEWS/160529932/

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Caption: Mark DiOrio / Observer-Dispatch From left, Zach Handzel, Carol and Chuck Higgins, and Joel Seif of the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society, stand with a Meade 16-inch telescope at the Barton-Brown Observatory at the Waterville Public Library, May 17, 2016 in Waterville, N.Y.

From the article by Alissa Scott:

The club was formed in 1989 by a group of seven amateur astronomers at Hamilton College. The group would have its first public meeting July 12 of that year.

“The first meeting had 60 people in attendance,” according to information on the society’s website. “The evening’s speakers presented slides and photographs of the sky’s most noted features, from the moon to distant galaxies, the Milky Way, Comet Halley as seen from the Mohawk Valley and a brilliant aurora. Once the meeting adjourned, members and visitors used the telescope in Hamilton College’s observatory to view the moon and Saturn.”

It was an article published in the O-D previewing that first meeting that enticed Joel Seif, the club’s current president.

“I am the only person who comes to the meetings who was at the very first meeting,” Seif said. “I remember you couldn’t even find a parking space.”

Now, volunteering members meet on the second Wednesday of every month for a two-part session — about an hour of presenting, and then an hour of club business. The public is welcome to those meetings at the Waterville Public Library.

2016 U.S. Star Parties And Astro Events Calendar – Still Remembering Barlow Bob (By Helping Keep The Community Connected)

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

www.cnyo.org/2016-u-s-star-parties-and-astro-events/

I wanted to get this post out before the year gets any further (not farther) along. I am pleased to announce that the 2016 edition of U.S. Star Parties And Astro Events calendar is available on the CNYO website for your star party planning pleasure (and/or download). This is an as-complete-as-google-and-email-will-allow list of all of the star parties happening in the U.S. for the year (complete as of this posting, so check back to the main page often), including all of the events that were announced in 2015 but that haven’t had 2016 dates announced yet (and we’re keeping track of those links as well).

2016feb2_Barlow-Bob-FullThis list, now maintained by Chuck Higgins of Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society and myself and is a continuation of the same original star party list compiled by the late-great Barlow Bob (shown at-play at right, who co-managed it with Chuck Higgins starting a few years back and before BB’s passing in 2014. For those who don’t know about Barlow Bob, his contribution to NEAF in the form of the NEAF Solar Star Party (Astronomy Technology Today article downloaded from www.asgh.org), or his own solar astronomy outreach, please check out THIS LINK on the CNYO website. The image above comes from a nice remembrance at Stargeezer Radio).

You can always find the page by hovering over the CALENDAR link the top menu list on the CNYO website. The excel file and list will be updated as we find new info for new events. If you want to add events to this list, please do so (contact Damian at info@cnyo.org, or use our CONTACT page)! We are also awaiting corrections, comments, new links, additional announcements, etc., from current items on the list – specifically the blue items at the bottom of the page.

And What Is This Star Party Of Which You Speak?

2016feb2_TexasSta-Party2009_341Very briefly – a chance for you to join many other enthusiastic amateur astronomers for a night of group star gazing, comparing eyepieces, assorted discussions, wandering around to see the variety of scopes in the community, and generally having a great time spending as much of the night as you can looking up. You should try to take in at least one each year!

And might one of the events on this list be your first Star Party? Have you been kicked out of one lately and don’t know why? Do you want to NOT face the wrath of several hundred dark-adapted, caffeine-crazed astronomers in a single flicker of a flashlight? The I strongly encourage you to take a look at a few of the links below – which all cover proper Star Party Etiquette. As you will see, all the links basically say the same thing. With that kind of a consensus view, you know that we fellow attendees mean business. If you need more reading, just google star party guide. Attendees have a lot to say!

* www.astrohbg.org/CSSP/images/CSSP_Images/PDF/StarPartyEtiquette.pdf
* www.astro-tom.com/tips_and_advice/star_party_tips.htm
* www.company7.com/library/starpty.html
* www.astromax.org/faq/aa01faq16.htm
* bfsp.org/rules-and-faq/

I hope to see your dark, featureless outline at at least one of the events on the list. If you find one happening right in your own vicinity that you didn’t even know existed, thank Barlow Bob.

U.S. Star Parties And Astro Events Calendar For 2015 – Continuing A Great Idea

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

For several years, those in the Barlow Bob email loop were treated to a Word doc containing a list of East Coast Star Parties, complete with web links and locations “Courtesy Barlow Bob and Friends.” Starting two years ago, this event list was compiled by Barlow Bob and Chuck Higgins of the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society. For my part, this list served two great purposes. First, it allowed me to keep track of (and pass along) astro events not too far from Central New York (many an easy drive for overnight stays). Second, it was a great way to see how other clubs had their websites arranged (which was great for stealing ideas and widgets – it’s a large enough community where you can see what seems to work and not work with only a few hours of snooping around!).

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Barlow Bob at the center of the 2014 NEAF Solar Star Party.

As a way to continue Barlow Bob’s tradition of outreach beyond his own solar observing sessions (I often called him the “Postman of Amateur Astronomy” for the number of emails he would forward along), I am pleased to report that the compilation of 2015 Star Parties has been completed (and we’ve only missed a few events already) by Chuck Higgins and myself. The link can be found when you hover over the “Calendar” link above and an official page has been setup on the CNYO website, complete with PDF, DOCX, and HTML versions (the HTML case so you can copy + paste the table into your own pages if you like).

2015 U.S. Star Parties And Astro Events

PDF VersionWord DOCX VersionTable’d HTML Version

(www.cnyo.org/2015-u-s-star-parties-and-astro-events/)

The list is, as of 6 April 2015, as accurate as our web searches and other organizations’ websites has allowed – but we expect a few changes to appear as situations require and as some organizations announce their official dates. We’ll keep the official page here updated accordingly.

In the meantime, I see this list and can only remark on how many clubs we have in the US full of members who enjoy and appreciate the Night Sky. As you’ll see checking out event info pages, these Star Parties are usually wide open to the public as well. As someone who’s organized such events, I can say with certainly that it is no trivial matter to arrange all of the details for a successful Star Party. That is to say, the hosts for these events really want *you* to enjoy and appreciate the Night Sky as well.

If you see a problem, want to add an event, or have any other comment about the page, please drop a line to info@cnyo.org and Chuck and I will reply accordingly. Otherwise, get yourself outside a few times this year!