Tag Archives: Solar Session

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.


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


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.

A Very Full August For Observing In CNY – Events List And Links To Facebook/Meetup Calendars

NOTE: As Always, check back here on the afternoons of each observing session for final announcements and/or weather-calls!

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

This post is one part bulk announcement and one part organizational test. August is full of scheduled observing sessions in the area just before everyone’s summer shifts back into school mode and we start back into doing more lectures. In order to let social media do some of the promotion work for us, we’re cramming all of the sessions into our Facebook Group Calendar and Meetup.com Events Listing.

This month is dominated (by the outdoorsy type, anyway) by the annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaking on August 12/13. Those big on “super-things” will be made aware by news agencies of the August 29th Full Sturgeon SuperMoon – which to me sounds like a jam band (the Sturgeon Moon is actually derived from many of the NY tribes who fished the Great Lakes – noting that this time of year (marked by the full Moon around towards the end of Summer) was prime for sturgeon fishing).

Venus and Jupiter set earlier and earlier each day, but we do gain Mercury in the same location. Expect a few pics trying to capture all three to appear on your Facebook feed. The night belongs to Saturn this summer and fall, with observers able to look in the direction of Pluto (and those with really big mirrors (I mean in the +25″ range) may even be able to see it. In fact, it’s right between the easily-findable stars Xi1 (5th mag) and Xi2 (3.5 mag) Sagittarii), see Ceres soon after, and, if they wait until after 11 or so, even scout out Neptune.

The Events List is summarized below, with links to our Facebook (FB) and Meetup (MU) calendars, as well as to the locations themselves and any additionally relevant information. AS ALWAYS – nearly all of these events are weather-pending, with an alternate scheduled for either the next day or, for Clark Reservation, the next week.

Feel free to RSVP by either/both of the links (including those listed for each event by the hosts) – and note some potential overlap on the 13th!

1. (FB/MU) August 8(Sat), 9 p.m. – ??? * Friends Of Rogers in Sherburne, NY

One of the few CNYO sessions ever beyond Onondaga and Oswego County, some of us will be taking our scopes on a short excursion down to Sherburne, hopefully to (1) take in a little more of the Southern Sky than we have previously, (2) catch some early shooters from the Perseid Meteor Shower and (3) introduce some Sherburne residents to some prime late-Summer observing. This event is a bit of a drive (about an hour) and, if interested, some of us may be able to arrange car pooling (depending on the sizes of the scopes being brought down).

2. (FB/MU) August 11 (Tue), 6 – 8 p.m. * Marcellus Free Library

Marcellus Free Library is hosting a How-To Fair this evening. Like the same session we ran a solar session at for Liverpool Public Library, this event will host several local organizations showing how to do any of a number of activities. To this session, Bob Piekiel will be hosting a Solar Viewing Session (weather-permitting). I’ve still several pairs of solar glasses available from our International SUNDay attempt that I’ll be giving away to attendees.

3. (FB/MU) August 12(Wed)/13(Thu), 9 – 11 (or later) p.m. * Baltimore Woods Nature Center

NOTE: BW charges a fee to all events to help support the maintenance of and other programs at its Nature Center ($6 for BW members, $9 for nonmembers). They also request that you RSVP with them so that they can keep a head-count of how well-attended their activities are (but Bob will also keep track of registered and last-minute attendees). Registration info is available at:


Bob Piekiel will be opening the gate this evening in hopes of a busy and early Perseid Meteor Shower session. We’ve had some excellent past sessions from the parking lot and front clearing of BW and hope for similar this year. Bring a blanket, reclining outdoor chair, and plenty of bug spray.

4. (FB/MU) August 13(Thu)/20(Thu), 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. * Beaver Lake Nature Center

CNYO returns for its twice-yearly observing session at Beaver Lake Nature Center, which is free with your general Beaver Lake admission fee. Beaver Lake requests prior registration so they can keep tabs on attendees (and event interest). Registration info is available at:


5. (FB/MU) August 14(Fri)/15(Sat), 8 – 10:30 p.m. * Green Lakes State Park

Bob Piekiel and I return to Green Lakes State Park for a second S’mores & Stars session (S’mores start at 7:00, observing after 8:30). Additional info is available on the Green Lakes Calendar at:


6. (FB/MU) August 15(Sat)/16(Sun), 1 – 3 p.m. * Baltimore Woods Nature Center

NOTE: BW charges a fee to all events to help support the maintenance of and other programs at its Nature Center ($6 for BW members, $9 for nonmembers). They also request that you RSVP with them so that they can keep a head-count of how well-attended their activities are (but Bob will also keep track of registered and last-minute attendees). Additional info is available at:


7. (FB/MU) August 21(Fri)/22(Sat), 8 – 10 p.m. * Clark Reservation State Park

Bob Piekiel returns to the Syracuse outskirts for a nighttime session in Jamesville. This is an excellent starter session for new observers, as the city lights simplify the sky considerably by washing out many of the faintest stars (excellent for those wanting to learn the constellations).