Tag Archives: Liverpool Public Library

The August 21st Solar Eclipse From Central/Upstate NY – Scheduled Lectures And Observing

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The time is finally approaching – but, before the anxiously-awaited total solar eclipse over New York on April 8th of 2024 (this is true!), we’ve another solar eclipse that will include partial coverage of the Sun by the Moon from our location this coming August 21st afternoon (plan to make yourself available from roughly 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.).

In preparation for the eclipse, CNYO will be hosting a number of lectures in the area and, for the actual observing session of the eclipse, CNYO members will be at a number of local libraries with solar-safe observing equipment. Additional sessions will be added to this page as events get scheduled.

Scheduled Lectures (Same Presentation, Different Locations):

NOPL North Syracuse, August 14th, 6:30 p.m.

* 100 Trolley Barn Ln, North Syracuse, NY 13212, nopl.org, (315) 458-6184
* Event listing on meetup and facebook

Cazenovia Public Library, August 16th, 7:00 p.m.

* 100 Albany St, Cazenovia, NY 13035, cazenoviapubliclibrary.org, (315) 655-9322
* Event listing on meetup and facebook

Jamesville Public Library, August 21st, 12:00 p.m.

* 5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville, NY 13078, (315) 446-3578 (DeWitt Branch)
* Event listing on meetup and facebook
* The Jamesville Library lecture will combine several events into one – a noon lecture, followed by the afternoon observing the the eclipse, all as part of the opening of this brand-new library on Jamesville Rd.

Observing Sessions, August 21st (1 to 4 p.m.) (Same Eclipse, Different Locations):

Liverpool Public Library – Observing with Christopher Schuck

* 310 Tulip St, Liverpool, NY 13088, www.lpl.org, (315) 457-0310
* Event listing at library, meetup and facebook

Marcellus Free Library – Observing with Bob Piekiel

* 32 Maple St, Marcellus, NY 13108, mflib.org, (315) 673-3221
* Event listing at library, meetup and facebook

Jamesville Public Library – Observing with Damian Allis

* 5110 Jamesville Road, Jamesville, NY 13078, (315) 446-3578 (DeWitt Branch)
* Event listing on meetup and facebook

If you have solar-safe observing equipment and would like to include your setup at one of these sessions, or if you plan on hosting an eclipse event in the CNY area and would like to be added to the lecture or observing list, please contact Damian at info@cnyo.org.

CNYO Observing Log: A Summary Of The Last Few Months Of 2015 In Rapid Succession

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

In the interest of full documentation of the year’s events (but because we’re running short on time), a brief post summarizing all of the unsummarized Observing Logs for the past few months (we’re done with observing for 2015 unless something really interesting happens tomorrow night!). Despite mostly unfavorable conditions, we did manage to get a few decent sessions in.

Mid-to-Late 2015 Library Lectures

1. Hazard Branch Library, Syracuse – 20 June 2015

In advance of International SUN-Day on June 21st, CNYO hosted a combined solar astronomy lecture and nearly clouded-out observing session. Provided the sky is clear (which was mostly NOT the case for the 2015 SUN-Day festivities), we’ll be running a session for International SUN-Day 2016 somewhere around town.

2. Seymour Library, Auburn – 6 October 2015

A “general introduction to astronomy” lecture was the staff request for this session, including a bit about getting around the CNY Nighttime Sky (courtesy of CNYO’s handy-dandy brochures) and a little sneak-in of the New Horizons (Pluto!) and Dawn (@ Ceres!) missions. For the record, one of the aesthetically pleasing libraries in CNY.

3. Liverpool Public Library, Liverpool – 23 November 2015

2015december30_lpl

After a rescheduling of the October 22rd lecture due to pending social obligations, CNYO returned for our twice-yearly (or more) LPL lecture, featuring a more complete session about Ceres and Pluto and all that it means to be dwarf planets in our always-interesting Solar System.

4. CNY Tech User Group @ LPL, Liverpool – 7 December 2015

CNYPCUG (but by “PC,” they mean “Tech”), which meets monthly at LPL, saw the announcement for the November 23rd session and asked for a tech-centric lecture of their own. Mixing up some of the recent dwarf planet discussion with the flurry of missions already active (with an extra emphasis on Hubble imagery), this session ran over 90 minutes and had lots of good discussions to boot.

Late 2015 Observing Sessions

2015 wasn’t a truly bad year for observing, but trying to get clear skies, little-to-no Moon, and short-notice organizing all together for some of our hoped impromptu sessions just didn’t work out too well. The four official sessions on the books are listed below.

1. Total Lunar Eclipse @ Baltimore Woods – 27 September 2015

This, THIS session was a treat. Driving out to Baltimore Woods around 8:00 p.m., the sky was completely overcast with only a few patches of anything clear-like in the distance. Within 5 minutes of BW, however, the sky just opened right up, with some of the last cloud cover making for some excellent final views of the obscured Moon before the whole sky went clear. Over 50 people were at the session, which culminated in a beautiful full lunar eclipse.

2015december30_2015sept27_eclipse_sequence

The best part of the whole session – and the one I made mention of for people to take a second look – was just how bright the restive the sky becomes when the Moon is dimmed so significantly. One could have had a full New Moon observing session, complete with galactic views and all the subtle highlights one could wish for, all while having this dark orange/red Moon *right there* in the sky. Bob Piekiel was kind enough to make a montage of the event, which I include above (click for a larger view).

2. North Sportsman’s Club, West Monroe – 10 October 2015

This session was mostly organized on our Facebook Group and even received a small but active (8) attendance (including a guest appearance by New Moon Telescope’s own Ryan Goodson) despite a clerical error in the organization itself not allowing us to make it through the gate (so, not wanting to waste a clear sky, we unloaded and observed from the long NSC driveway – the field being too far away to want to risk carrying scopes around).

3. Joint Nottingham/Corcoran Observing Session @ Corcoran High School – 6 December 2015

2015december30_corcoran

A shining example of Murphy’s Law of Astronomy – “If you schedule it, it will be cloudy. If you cancel, it will be clear.” The session was scheduled for December 4th, with the 5th and 6th as alternates. The 4th was a wash, and the 5th looked to be – until we cancelled the session, after which those who still attended reported having an hour of clear skies for observing. We set the 6th as a make-or-break session – which mostly broke. Despite a busy 70 minutes with 18 attendees, we were only able to catch a poor view of the Andromeda Galaxy and a moderately washed-out view of the Pleiades. The discussion more than made up for the weather, however, and we plan to return again to try our luck near the heavily lit Corcoran High School football field (sadly, Nottingham High School does not fare much better).

4. Geminid Meteor Shower @ Baltimore Woods – 13/14 December 2015

As far as reported observing, this session went solely to Bob Piekiel at his special session at Baltimore Woods. With a one hour clearing on the evening of the 13th, Bob and his two attendees managed six bright meteors and a number of deep sky objects before packing it up. The 14th, sadly, was not an option for observing due to increased cloud cover, meaning CNY, yet again, largely missed out on one of the great meteor showers.

The 2016 calendar is getting populated and plans are in the works for more sessions. Stay tuned and Happy New Year!

Recent Auroral Activity, Prediction Websites, And Chances Of The Next Few Days – Head’s Up!

Greetings fellow astrophiles (and those checking in from the syracuse.com page about auroral activity this week)!

For those not in the magnetic field line loop, Sunspot 2371 (which several of us saw in full glory at the Hazard Branch Library this past Saturday) let off a significant coronal mass ejection (CME for short) in our direction that made it to Earth two days ago. This has produced some gorgeous aurora for those not coated in cloud cover or light pollution (as was the case for Syracuse at its peak on Monday). CNYO’s David Wormuth has kept the board aware of potential observing the past two nights, while at least one member of ASRAS posted a picture from his own locale that shows just enough aurora with an 8 second exposure. When Glenn Coin from syracuse.com asked about potential activity yesterday, I “kept it local” by passing the image along (included in Glenn’s article “Northern lights could be visible this week in Upstate New York”).

The current auroral activity from SWPC/NOAA

We may be due for another glow-worthy event in the next day or two as a smaller storm passes by. We’re keeping track of predictions for early-early Thursday morning to see if activity will be worth waking up extra early for (or not sleeping at all). If you want to see/capture aurora:

Naked Eye:

* Look North!
* The higher (the elevation) the better
* Avoid having a big city to your North
* For the best view, wait until the Moon sets. That’s going to put you out to 2 or 3 a.m. right now, but not having its glow will improve auroral sights.

Camera – same as Naked Eye observing, but include the following:

* High ISO (+1600)
* Longer exposures (try the 5 second to 15 second range on most small cameras, then experiment with longer sessions with a good DSLR)
* Steady tripod – it is supposed to be clear enough in the next few nights, but wind will complicate your picture taking

Want to keep track for yourself?

www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/NorthAmerica – The direct North America prediction page from the Geophysical Institute

www.swpc.noaa.gov/communities/space-weather-enthusiasts – The Space Weather Enthusiast dashboard from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (you didn’t even know we had one of those!)

solarham.net – Solar activity isn’t just for space scientists. The Sun is of great importance to HAM Radio operators. You can tell how serious they are by the very thorough presentation of data.

www.aurorasaurus.org – this is an awesome idea. It’s a perfect mix of twitter and google maps. If you see aurora, you make a quick post on the website to let others know it may be active in your area. If enough people report, I say trust the posts and make a drive. Why wait for predictions when you can keep track of real-time data?

We’ll be keeping track of events over the next few days. For those who want to see what caused the whole mess, I encourage you to come to Liverpool Public Library tonight for their How-To Festival, where we’ll have solar scopes (and solar glasses) available to get a good view of the very prominent sunspots currently on the surface. And if we go late enough, maybe even a sneak peak of Jupiter and Venus as their conjunction brings them especially close to one another on June 30th (which we plan to have a session for as well. Stay tuned!).