Tag Archives: Green Lakes State Park

Bob Piekiel Hosts Observing Sessions At Baltimore Woods (And More!) – 2017 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 2017 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 20 (Fri.)/21 (Sat. weather alternate), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Winter Skies at their finest, and great views of a large, crescent Venus. No other area of the sky contains as many bright stars, clusters, and nebulae as the area surrounding the winter constellation Orion!

* February 10 (Fri.)/No weather backup, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

A penumbral eclipse of the moon. This is kind of an odd-ball program, as most penumbral lunar eclipses go unnoticed. The moon passes through the earth’s partial shadow and turns a bit of a dim brown color. Interesting to see IF you know what you’re looking at (plus winter skies, but the faint objects will be obscured by the moon).

* February 18 (Sat.)/19 (Sun. weather alternate), 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Solar viewing program, plus great daytime views of Venus and the moon.

* March 3 (Fri.)/4 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Goodbye to winter skies, Maybe still a peek at Venus, and Jupiter will be rising in the east.

* March 31 (Fri.)/April 1 (Sat. weather alternate), 6:00-9:00 p.m.

This is our best chance to see the elusive planet Mercury, plus Jupiter will be rising as Mercury will be setting. Spring skies will be replacing the Winter constellations.

* May 19 (Fri.)/20 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. (meetup.com event)

Spring skies offer a large number of galaxies to be viewed, plus interesting star clusters, and the giant planet Jupiter will be visible all evening. We may also get a look at Saturn later in the program.

* June 16 (Fri.)/17 (Sat. weather alternate), 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. (meetup.com event)

Just because it gets dark late doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the night sky! Saturn and Jupiter will be easily visible, plus an early look into the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy near the end of the program.

* July 21 (Fri.)/22 (Sat. weather alternate), 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (meetup.com event)

Summer skies at their finest, looking at the rich star fields near the center of the Milky Way, plus a farewell to Jupiter. Saturn will be visible all evening, and maybe even a peek at Mercury early.

* August 12 (Sat.)/13 (Sun. weather alternate), 8:30 – 11:00 p.m. (meetup.com event)

The annual Perseid meteor shower, one of the year’s finest. Plus great views of the heart of our milky Way galaxy, and the ringed planet Saturn. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit back and watch for meteors while not looking through a telescope. We may also be able to get good views of Neptune.

* August 26 (Sat.)/27 (Sun. weather alternate), 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Solar observing! Using specially-filtered telescopes, come and see our nearest star as you’ve never seen it before. View sunspots, solar flares, and magnetic fields on the sun’s surface.

Green Lakes:

* January 14 (Sat.)/15 (Sun. weather alternate), 1-3 p.m.

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 17 (Fri.)/18 (Sat. weather alternate), 7:00-9:00 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. At the parking lot behind the main office.

Session Announcements: Bob Piekiel’s Summer 2016 Observing Schedule (With Event Links)

UPDATE: Saturday, July 9th, 5:00 p.m. – There’s supposed to be an open pocket of clear sky tonight, so Bob is going ahead with the Clark Reservation session. As a bit of advanced warning, Bob was informed late yesterday that Clark Res may be charging a $5 admission fee to the park for the event (due to the +75 people we had last year).

UPDATE: Friday, July 8th, 4:00 p.m. – Tonight’s Clark Reservation session has been rescheduled to tomorrow (Saturday, July 9th) due to cloud cover. Update to follow Saturday afternoon.

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

In the interest of a little more advanced notice for scheduled events, this page is meant to help you get your own schedules synchronized with upcoming nighttime and solar sessions hosted by Bob Piekiel (with his fellow CNYO’ers serving as wing-observers). Pending additional announcements, the list below fills out his Summer Roster (now with meetup.com and Facebook Events included).

2015august27_clark_halfcrowd

The attending crowd at last summer’s Clark Reservation session.

For the record, seven sessions in two months counts as a whole lot of fantastic CNY astronomy outreach!

July 8/9 – Bob Piekiel @ Clark Reservation, 8:00 – 10:30 p.m.

* Free and open to the public
* nysparks.com/events/event.aspx?e=126-16053.0
* facebook | meetup.com

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.

July 22/23 – Bob Piekiel @ Baltimore Woods, 9:00 – 11:00 p.m.

* 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
* facebook | meetup.com

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.

July 29/30 – Bob Piekiel @ Green Lakes, 8:00 – 10:30 p.m.

* Free and open to the public
* facebook | meetup.com

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 12/13 – Bob Piekiel @ Baltimore Woods, 8:30 – 11:00 p.m.

* 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
* facebook | meetup.com

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 13/14 – Bob Piekiel @ Clark Reservation, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

* Free and open to the public
* facebook | meetup.com

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

August 26/27 – Bob Piekiel @ Green Lakes, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

* Free and open to the public
* facebook | meetup.com

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

August 27/28 – Bob Piekiel @ Baltimore Woods, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

* 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
* facebook | meetup.com

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

CNYO Observing Log: Attempted Observing, Successful Lecture, And Maker Hall Session For January, 2016

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

A brief summary of events already had in January. For the most part, this is the time of year when most activities slow to a crawl (unless you’ve got a good few pairs of thermals to wear, in which case you’re observing is limited by conditions and the build-up of water vapor as you breath too close to an eyepiece).

Solar @ Green Lakes, Nighttime @ Baltimore Woods, January 9th

With the Friday night session a complete wash at Baltimore Woods, Bob Piekiel and I ran a double on Saturday, January 9th. The first event was a solar observing run at Green Lakes State Park (amid current construction around the main building). Sadly, this was the best-attended failed session yet, with considerable cloud cover only providing the most fleeting glimpse of the Sun before taking it away again. Attendance peaked near 25, though, which is great news otherwise. Bob will be running (and I wing-man’ing) a few more solar sessions, for which we hope the skies agree at least once.

2016feb2_greenlakessolar

Observers observing, but not as planned @ Green Lakes. Click for a larger view.

I am pleased to mention that, near the end of the session, a few mountain bikers came by the scopes to ask what we were looking at. When I said it was a failed solar observing session, one of the bikers (in an SOS shirt) mentioned that he had learned some observing with “A guy named Stu.” Taking a few minutes to remember local amateur astronomer extraordinare Stu Forster was a treat that made my otherwise overcast day.

Later that night, during what was maybe-sort-of predicted to be an opening in the sky from 7 to 8, Bob and I waited patiently at Baltimore Woods for his monthly New Moon weekend session. We went with hope, then left with 90 minutes remaining in the session as the cloud cover only got worse-and-worse. Our loss was other’s gain, of course – as we’ve had a few previous January sessions that were painfully cold but clear. 2016 has started warm but painfully cloudy.

Ceres & Pluto @ DPL 4 CNY Skeptics, January 21st

The lecture given at DeWitt Community Library for our fellow science-minded friends in CNY Skeptics was a repeat (mostly) of the Ceres & Pluto lecture given at Liverpool Public Library late last year. With a few new pics and the benefit of one full pass of the lecture, this session went fairly well (minus at least one softball-stump-the-speaker question). Plans are already in the works for a few more lectures, including one at DPL for the non-affiliated library audience.

TACNY Maker Hall @ The Dr. King Community Celebration, January 30th

2016feb2_makerhall

A view from the CNYO table (and a Meteor Game). Click for a larger view.

This past Saturday, CNYO hosted a strategically-placed table to talk astro-shop for a third MLK Community Day Celebration in a row (with continued thanks to STEM Superstar Mary Eileen Wood for the invitation to the event at Nottingham High School). With brochures, Prof. John McMahon’s graciously donated table-top scope (and a 38mm eyepiece to be able to get *anything* into focus in the background), Mars and Ceres pebbles, and a gyroscope in tow, we had about 50 kids and adults stop by over the course of the 2 hour 30 min event. Directly behind us, Dr. David Wormuth made a guest appearance and put his surgical skills to the test (well, not really) in a live demo for the attending audience.