Tag Archives: Marcellus

From The TACNY Mail List – Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties (CNYO Included)

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the TACNY mail list. Next 29 hours may be a bit too busy for additional posts, so performing the very rare double-morning posting today.

TACNY members have multiple opportunities to participate in Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties on Monday!

* On Monday, August 21 from noon to 3pm, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) will host its FREE annual Summer of Science Social outside on the MOST lawn. This year’s event will feature the partial solar eclipse, which will begin at 1:17pm and reach its maximum at 2:38pm. Join the MOST for a day filled with fun science activities and demonstrations with MOST educators, SUNY Polytechnic Institute and OCRRA.

* The most spectacular celestial event any one can experience is a Total Solar Eclipse. Southern Cayuga Planetarium will show live video feeds of the event (on the dome) on Monday August 21, from noon to 5pm. Near the Planetarium entrance a Solar telescope will follow the partial eclipse if clear skies prevail. The Program will include live feeds from NASA TV and other sites, explanations of observable phenomena, and feature total eclipse stories by Alan Ominsky and others.

* CNY Observers and Observing will be hosting observing sessions at the Liverpool, Marcellus, and Jamesville libraries from 1 to 4pm. Click here for more information.

Remember, if you miss this eclipse, the next one is in 2024, and Central NY is in the totality path!

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org and their Facebook page.

CNYO Observing Log: A Quick Overview Of The Last Month

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

CNYO members (several of them, anyway) have grown tired of sorting and cleaning their eyepieces this extra-frosty winter (not me – I think it’s fun!) and are getting ready for a long Spring and Summer of (hopefully) using them at observing sessions. With several scout, school, and public sessions scheduled or in the works, CNYO already has several successful events under their collective belts. A quick sampling of updates from these events is listed below.


1. North Syracuse Community Room For International Dark Sky Week – Tuesday, April 14

It happens to all of us at some point – we become so wrapped up in the minutia of a hobby or profession that we completely forget that the vast majority of the rest of the planet has little idea what we’re rambling on about. Light pollution – the encroachment of civilization on amateur astronomy due largely to a lack of forethought in the way people and businesses attempt to turn “the night” into “the late afternoon” – has been shown to have negative impacts on health (melatonin!), safety (street light glare!), security (blind spots big enough to eat hay!), energy conservation (714 lbs of coal are required to light one 100 W bulb for a year!), and the environment (plant cycles can be affected by stray light and the nesting and migration habits of several species have been shown to be affected by a lack of proper day/night cycles).

Within minutes of my starting the lecture on light pollution, I discovered that this was a completely brand new topic to half of the audience. The tone of the lecture changed rapidly from complaining to educating (you do learn to think on your feet a bit when giving public lectures), and I am optimistic that the audience left with a new understanding of the problem and many of the solutions now available (from simple solutions at Home Depot and Lowe’s all the way to legislation recently passed in Albany).


2. Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods – Friday, April 17

Bob’s monthly sessions at Baltimore Woods are, bar none, the most reliably-scheduled public observing events in CNY. Despite a bit of light pollution to the East-ish from Marcellus and Syracuse and a tree line that eats the very edge of the horizon for early-setting objects (and we’ve still managed to catch some photons from special objects at tree level in the past few years), the rest of the sky is wide open for constellations, planets, and the Messier Catalog.

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A colder Baltimore Woods session (February, 2015).

Bob reports that this session hosted about 20 enthusiastic observers – a sure sign that CNY was starting to thaw in April (as only the bravest/craziest made it out to the earlier sessions this year).


3. NEAF 2015 – Saturday & Sunday, April 18 & 19

Ryan Goodson and I missed the April 17th BW session, instead heading Southeast with vehicles full of both New Moon Telescopes Dobsonian parts and a very large fraction of the Stuventory. The NMT NEAF 2015 booth was (quite fortuitously) wider than expected, providing ample room for (1) Ryan to showcase a newly completed Dob, collapsible truss assemblies, and a new design prototypes and (2) me to run the biggest little used equipment sale I’ve seen in my 5 years of attending NEAF. I am pleased to report that the vast majority of the Stuventory is now in the hands of dedicated amateur astronomers from all around the Northeast and as far away as the Dubai Astronomy Group!

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Before…
During…
After…


4. Maker Hall At Parent University – Saturday, April 25

Larry Slosberg, Ryan Goodson, and I lucked out with clear skies and a large crowd of kids and adults alike at the Dr. King Elementary School. What could have been a demonstration table indoors turned into a full-on solar session outdoors in the playground, complete with some of the best and busiest views of the Sun I’ve ever seen through my Coronado PST.

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A snapshot of the observing crowd.

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A prominent prominence at 2:30 p.m.

As has been the case with all of the kids’ sessions to date, half the kids keep you on your toes and the other half approach observing with their pint-sized science caps on (these ones are easy to pick out as they spend a good long time at the eyepiece).


5. CNYO At Beaver Lake Nature Center – Thursday, April 30

Our weather-alternate session at Beaver Lake started a bit on the soupy cloud cover side, but ended up clearing nicely just after sunset to give Bob Piekiel, Chris Schuck, Larry Slosberg, and myself reasonable skies for the Moon, Jupiter, Venus, and a few bright Messiers. With a short lecture on the observing highlights for the year (see below) already loaded on the laptop, several of us waited out the Sun indoors while others allowed their eyes to adjust gradually as the skies darkened and the early bugs slowly cooled out around the main rotunda.

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Attending observers at Beaver Lake.

We’re tentatively scheduled to host a Summer observing session late August and will post as the schedule finalizes.


6. Syracuse Rotary Lecture – Friday, May 1

2015may10_rotarymbs_rgbAn invitation to speak for 30 minutes (which turned into nearly an hour with questions) to the Syracuse Rotary Club provided the perfect excuse to prep a lecture on all of the major astronomical events happening in 2015 (planets, eclipses, International SUNDay, NASA missions, and comets). How often do you end up hearing about something interesting the day after? The +30 attending Rotarians were very welcoming and engaging during the lecture, with several questions taking us far, far away from the Powerpoint presentation into all areas of astronomy. If you ever get the opportunity to lecture to a Rotary Club, take it!

A Few Quick Updates – MVAS Banquet (April 11), Baltimore Woods (April 17), NEAF Weekend (April 18/19), And Beaver Lake (April 23)!

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

A few points of note for the next several days (and one from last week).

1. MVAS Banquet – 11 April 2015

A pic from the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society’s Annual Banquet this past Saturday, April 11th. As a satellite member of the group, I was fortunate to have left Syracuse early, discovering that there are TWO Daniele’s restaurants in the Utica/New Hartford area (and Google Maps only seems to know about one of them!). These events are always a great time, complete with great food, great company, and an engaging keynote for the evening.

Due to the under-the-weather-ness of Joe Eakin from Colgate’s Ho Tung Visualization Lab, Colgate and MVAS’s own Dr. Thomas Balonek (the first MVAS’er to pay their 2016 dues!) gave a high-energy lecture on the scale of objects in the Solar System (and a ways beyond). After his first distance measure sent him out to the parking lot, he returned to send the rest of us outside to enjoy a few minutes of clear skies (the pic below, featuring the back half of CNYO’s own Christopher Shuck (and the front half of his watch)) before helping attendees get a handle on the relative sizes of objects and distances (for when the rest of us give similar lectures). It should also not go unnoticed that the club was still making note of Al Mlinar’s 100th birthday, complete with a sign-able, frame-able copy of Messier 100.

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Anyone interested in taking in a few of Prof. Balonek’s lectures are encouraged to check out the Colgate Astronomy website for posted materials: observatory.colgate.edu/lectures.html

2. Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods On Friday, April 17

Bob’s first (hopefully) comfortable evening of observing in Marcellus is happening this Friday (with Saturday as the weather-alternate) at Baltimore Woods, with Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn prime for viewing.

As with all Baltimore Woods events, they ask that you RSVP for the event through their facility. Also note that Baltimore Woods is supported by hosting these events, so there is an associated fee for the event ($5 for BW members, $8 for non-BW-members). To RSVP, contact the BW office at (315) 673-1350 or info@baltimorewoods.org.

Also, check back directly with Baltimore Woods about any cancellation and rescheduling.

3. NEAF And NEAF Solar, April 18/19

Ryan Goodson and I will be heading out Friday afternoon and will have with us nearly all of the remaining Stuventory for sale at the New Moon Telescopes booth (and will be accepting credit card payments!). Feel free to pass that info along to any NEAF attendees. And do make sure to stop by the NMT booth and also that of our friends (and fellow members) of the Kopernik Astronomical Society.

4. CNYO Spring Session At Beaver Lake Nature Center, April 23/30

We’ll have another announcement shortly, but our first session of the year at Beaver Lake will happen (weather pending) this coming Thursday, April 23rd (30th as the weather-alternate).