Tag Archives: North Sportsman’s Club

REMINDER: CNYO’s Public Viewing At North Sportsman’s Club And Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods TONIGHT, May 24th

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

Just a quick note to remind that you’ve a few opportunities to enjoy the May skies in CNY. Bob Piekiel will be hosting his monthly Baltimore Woods session in Marcellus, while several of us will be at the North Sportsman’s Club in West Monroe after 8 p.m. (directions below).

The NSC in google maps. Click to generate directions.

We hope you can join us!

209P/LINEAR Meteor Shower, Bob Piekiel At Baltimore Woods, And CNYO’s Public Viewing Session At North Sportsman’s Club – All This Weekend (May 23rd and 24th)!

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

This coming weekend will be a busy one for CNYO, amateur astronomers, and meteor shower hopefuls alike.

Possible Meteor Super-Storm, Late Night 23rd To Early Morning 24th

Some have already seen the articles over the past several weeks. On the night of Friday the 23rd and into the early morning of Saturday the 24th, the Earth will be passing through the debris field of Comet 209P/LINEAR, a relatively newly discovered comet (2004). All of the predictions reported so far indicate that the meteor shower produced as we go through this debris field (the remnants from the comet’s tail as it goes around the Sun) may be very dense, with some people predicting hundreds or thousands of meteors per hour within in fairly narrow window (perhaps only a few hours). Better still, the meteor shower peaks during a very old Waning Crescent Moon that won’t rise until nearly 4:00 a.m., giving us a good clear night to observe.

Not only might this be a dense meteor shower, but we may be witnessing the arrival of a brand new annual meteor shower to our yearly calendar of showers. If all goes well, you can say you were outside and observing for the first May Camelopardalids!

From the ScienceAtNASA youtube Channel.

Southern Canada and the U.S. are perfectly placed for the densest part of the predicted meteor shower based on the calculation of the comet’s path and our timing as we go through it. Scientists are predicting activity like the 2002 Leonids, which spoiled any observer that year for any other meteor shower in recent history.

Additional info about the 209P/LINEAR Meteor Shower can be found below:
* earthsky.org/space/comet-209p-linear-meteor-shower-storm-may-2014
* www.universetoday.com/111474/may-meteor-storm-alert-all-eyes-on-the-sky/
* www.space.com/25768-new-meteor-shower-comet-linear.html

At present, you’ve two Public Viewing Sessions to catch some of this meteor shower and all of the other objects in the Night Sky this weekend.

Friday, May 23rd (weather-alternate is the 24th)

Bob Piekiel hosts his monthly session at Baltimore Woods. The description for this event is below. For additional information, including RSVP’ing with Baltimore Woods for the event, Click HERE.

Join Bob Piekiel for a possible Meteor Storm! In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 24, the Earth will pass through the debris field left behind by a small comet known as P/209 LINEAR. Astronomers are predicting that this interaction may result in a brief but intense burst of meteor activity that could range from dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour. Nothing is certain, but many mathematical models are predicting that this could be the most intense meteor shower in more than a decade. Saturn will also be at its biggest for its best viewing of the whole year, plus good views of Jupiter and Mars are to be had. Come and say “hello” to the Spring Skies!

Saturday, May 24th – CNYO Hosts A Session At North Sportsman’s Club

CNYO is pleased to announce our first official Public Viewing Session at NSC for 2014. Our practice session this past April 19th was excellent, featuring New Moon Telescope’s 27″ Dobsonian and several other attending scopes.

the NSC in google maps. Click to generate directions.

In addition to possible stragglers from the 209P/LINEAR shower, attendees will be treated to views of Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, all of which are out during “reasonable hours.” Additionally, the massive group of galaxies in the vicinity of the constellation Virgo are at their highest right now (and my personal favorite edge-on galaxy, NGC 4565, is right next-door in Coma Berenices). If you had any interest to looking back several tens of millions of years, this session will be a golden opportunity.

A view of the NSC facility from the observing grounds. Click for a larger view.

We hope you can join us!

CNYO Observers Log: MOST Climate Day And North Sportsman’s Club Practice Session, 19 April 2014

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

The Saturday after NEAF was a busy one for CNYO members, including a lecture and observing session for the MOST Climate Day during the afternoon and a nighttime “dry run” for the North Sportman’s Club Public Viewing Sessions we’re on the verge of hosting for the rest of the year.

The morning started with a hectic rearrangement of speakers for the TACNY Jr. Cafe session, with Prof. Peter Plumley (MOST, Syracuse University) and Prof. Timothy Volk (SUNY-ESF) admirably filling in for a missing speaker (and the crowd requests for future topics were heavy in astronomy!). And speaking of Jr. Cafe astronomy, we note the May 17th lecture features CNYO’s own Ryan Goodson speaking on Newtonian Telescopes (with a solar session to follow if the skies hold)!

The indoor part of CNYO’s contribution to the MOST Climate Day featured myself and a lecture about the Sun/Earth relationship. While that lecture was given to only 2.5 people (one person left half-way), a 50 minute talk extended to 90 minutes thanks to some excellent discussions and deeper probing of some of the slide content.

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Larry and observers on the Creekwalk. Click for a larger view.

Outside, Larry Slosberg hit the public observing jackpot with his 12″ Baader-ized New Moon Telescope Dob and NASA Night Sky Network Solar Kit. Between the MOST crowd, Record Store Day at Sound Garden, and a Creekwalk made busy by the clear skies and comfortable temperatures, Larry counted over a few dozen new observers before I even made it outside. To Larry’s solar collection I added a Coronado PST for some excellent H-alpha views of sunspots and several prominences that changed significantly over the course of an hour (which was made all the more impressive to passers-by when you mention that these changes could be measured in units of “Earths” instead of miles).

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An intrepid observer at the Coronado PST. Click for a larger view.

Larry and I packed up around 4:00 p.m. after giving nearly 40 people a unique view of our nearest star, providing a three-hour window before heading off to North Sportsman’s Club (NSC) for an evening session.

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Some of the NSC crew setting up. Click for a larger view.

We also used April 19th as a reintroduction to the skies above the NSC, with this session opened up to a short-list of people with scopes interested in helping reduce the lengths of observing lines at future public sessions (and we welcome others interested in bringing their scopes to these sessions to please contact us using our online form or by emailing us at info@cnyo.org).

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The Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and surroundings. Click for a larger view.

The total in attendance was between 10 and 12 over the two hours I was present (and the event continued for some time after), with about half as many scopes present (which is a great number for even large public viewing sessions). Despite it becoming a very cold evening, the combined observing list was extensive from among all parties, with New Moon Telescope’s 27″ Dob making many views extra memorable.

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The view to the Southwest (featuring a bright Jupiter near center). Click for a larger view.

We are planning our first public session for 2014 in late May, perhaps to coincide with the predicted meteor super-storm on the early morning of May 24th. Keep track of cnyo.org or our Facebook group page for details!

New For 2014 – Join Us For CNYO Events At The North Sportsman’s Club!

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

The North Sportsman’s Club was formerly known as the North Syracuse Rod & Gun Club Inc. which was established and held their first meeting on April 20, 1961. In April 2005 the club name was changed to the North Sportsman’s Club. Our facility includes a covered shooting pavillion with a range house, rifle and pistol benches, archery range, trap fields and a clubhouse with an attached pavilion. The club is used year round.

2014mar31_nsc_logoOn behalf of the rest of the board (and with thanks to CNYO’er Joe Chovan for acting as intermediary), I’m pleased to announce that CNYO has in place an arrangement with the North Sportsman’s Club (NSC, in West Monroe) to use their grounds and their facilities for observing and lecture events in 2014 (and hopefully beyond). Those who keep track of our observing logs know that our first session at NSC (summarized HERE) was a great success, including 30 people (which, for the temperature, wasn’t bad at all) and the first public light of New Moon Telescope’s massive 27″ Dobsonian.

During the several hours of that session that we were out and about (and inside and about to warm up and hang with some of the NSC members serving drinks and keeping track of indoor discussion), we all came to the conclusion that this was an excellent spot for observing.

1. It’s only 15 minutes North of Syracuse on 81 (Exit 32 (first exit after the bridge where the Seneca River empties into Oneida Lake) to 49 to 37 and there).

2. It’s away from nearly all Syracuse city lights.

3. The grounds give a perfect and open view of the East (Northeast to Southeast are clear all the way to the low tree line at the far edge of the range – see below).

4. There’s a low-lying cellphone/radio tower with a red light beyond the eastern edge (perfect for adjusting finder scopes at sunset!).

5. There’s a large open area for setting up lots of scopes.

6. The heated building is perfect for hosting lectures and thawing fingers (and with bathrooms!).

We also found the attending NSC members to be gracious hosts, taking pains to keep people fed and sipping with far-and-away the most competitive snack rates in the business, all the while having great exchanges with the astro-attendees cycling through the building (they even swapped out their outdoor lighting with red bulbs, which made all lives much easier).

The Eastern horizon from the NSC grounds.

We are in the process of putting our 2014 schedule together now that it’s warm enough for most anyone to survive an extended session after sunset. Meantime, the NSC website is always open with additional information about their organization and for those looking to support their club by joining. We will keep you posted!

CNYO Observers Log: New Moon Telescopes’ 27″ Dobsonian Observing Event At The North Sportsman’s Club, 3 November 2013

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

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The front gate of the North Sportsman’s Club in West Monroe, NY.

The first CNY public outing of New Moon Telescope’s (NMT’s) massive 27″ Dobsonian took place this past Sunday, November 3rd at the North Sportsman’s Club in West Monroe, NY. After two overcast evenings (despite Friday the 1st looking quite reasonable all afternoon) and a cloudy Sunday morning that ruined local views of the hybrid solar eclipse (see our post of the event HERE), the weather settled Sunday afternoon for what became a very cold-but-clear evening of observing at what turned out to be a quite dark location (despite its close proximity to Syracuse and its well-lit surroundings).

1. 27″ Dobsonian?!

All research indicates that NMT’s flagship 27″ Dobsonian is the largest portable telescope in New York, and it is fair to say that it is in the far end of the Gaussian size distribution of all amateur scopes in the U.S. Those who have been to any CNYO event have been treated to at least one of Ryan Goodson’s fine Dobsonian creations, as Ryan, Larry, Dan, and myself all own (at least) one. The 27″ Dob features a few notable additions to NMT’s add-on packages, including full GOTO functionality by way of Servocat and Argo Navis.

As reported by Ryan during his expedition to Okie-Tex earlier this year and made very apparent to anyone looking through the scope, the views approach unreal. Aperture is everything in telescope astronomy, with bigger mirrors making bright objects more detailed and the otherwise invisible visible. Ryan reports having been able to see three of the four corners of the Einstein Cross in Pegasus through the 27″ (that’s sitting at almost 17th magnitude!), a feat that is difficult enough to capture through astro-imaging (and those familiar with the difference between observing and imaging will understand the significance of Ryan’s capture). You can see Ryan’s walk-through of the scope in the youtube video below:

We are pleased to report that this is definitely not a one-view deal! When NMT or CNYO schedule an event that will feature the 27″ Dob, we will be sure to make note of it (the timing and the temperature were less than ideal for many of the people who responded to our announcement on the TACNY listserve, so we hope to bring that many more people out to future sessions).

And if you want to keep up-to-date on all things NMT, I urge you to like their Facebook Page and subscribe to their twitter feed.

2. North Sportsman’s Club in West Monroe, NY

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The CNYO sign at the NSC front gate (81 to 49 to 37. An easy find!).

We were fortunate to make the acquaintance of North Sportsman’s Club’s (NSC’s) John Knittel at both CNYO’s Beaver Lake Observing Session on May 2nd and NMT’s Perseid Meteor Shower Session this past August. NMT jumped at the chance to have the First CNY Light for the 27″ Dob at the NSC and CNYO members were delighted to help promote and support the event. The NSC is an ideal location for public observing, combining a large, clear range with all the amenities of home (in this case, restrooms for both genders, a heated meeting room, and coffee and cocoa on tap thanks to a few NSC members who braved the outdoors indoors and kept the conversations going). All that aside, the view from the Northeast to the Southeast is as clear as it gets right down to the low tree-lined horizon (a pleasant change of pace considering the zenith-centric views from several other locations we’ve observed from), giving observers a chance to catch first light of rising objects and many hours to track those same objects as they rise towards the zenith and fall to the still reasonable western sky.

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The NSC range and the view to the East (with the 27″ and 12.5″ Dobs). Click for a larger view.

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The same view to the East, featuring two planes, the Milky Way, and one radio tower. Click for a larger view.

3. Attendees

Despite the “school night” timing and the very-to-bitterly cold weather, approximately 30 people made it out to take in the views through the 27″ Dob, my 12.5″ NMT Dob Ruby, and Steve Capp’s 16″ NMT Dob. To the usual suspects – Larry Slosberg, Ryan and Heather Goodson, Dan Williams, and myself – local amateur astronomers Joe Chovan and David Wormuth also braved the cold to enjoy the sights. The long-distance awards go to our good friends in the Kopernik Astronomical Society – Fibber and Sally Magee, as well as Art Tilts, who arrived early and hung out late.

4. “Dressed for Stargazing Success”

The timing of the proper observing attire article in December 2013’s Sky & Telescope did not go unnoticed on our Facebook Group Discussion of the event. You don’t really appreciate how cold the outdoors can be – and how quickly the heat can leave you – until you’re standing still for long periods of time peering through an eyepiece. The physics is simple – when the temperature outdoors drops below the temperature of your skin, YOU become the heat source for the outdoors.

I suspect Ryan and I both learned (the frozen-solid way) from last February’s Baltimore Woods Session.

The solution to freezing is simple – just do what the article says and and be “Dressed for Stargazing Success.” In anticipation of the first real cold night of observing since last March, I made the pilgrimage to DeJulio’s on Burnet Avenue, walking out with dual-layer long johns, wind-proof (and pocketed) pants, a stretch face/head cover, a brim-less hat (funny thing about the brims – they keep your eye from the eyepiece), and a few extra pairs of wool socks. Was it cold out? Yes. Did I care? Not a bit.

5. Closing Up

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Ryan, Larry, Art, and Joe packing up the 27″, with Steve Capp still observing through his 16″ in the back. Click for a larger view.

Ryan and I were set up by 4:00 p.m. and observed with attitude until about 9:00 p.m. when the rest of the crowd had made the short trip back to Interstate 81 (having a location this good only 20 minutes from downtown was a real treat for those of us used to debating the unloading of the car that night).

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The North Sportsman’s Club at night, complete with the other half of the Milky Way. Click for a larger view.

CNYO gratefully acknowledges John Knittel and the members of the North Sportsman’s Club who not only made the event possible, but kept the festivities going inside to boot. We hope to do it again!