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TONIGHT! 12 May 2016 – Sidewalk Astronomy Night With Larry Slosberg At The Fairmount Wegmans Parking Lot, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

A snapshot of the assembled crowd, courtesy of Michelle Slosberg (click for a larger view):


Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This just in from CNY sidewalk astronomer extraordinaire Larry Slosberg.

To pre-register (just for the early head count!) – Facebook EventMeetup Event

Click above to make directions to the Fairmount Wegmans.

13177634_10208681756937167_5369930919488031320_nTonight, Thursday May 12th, I am going to be hosting another “sidewalk astronomy” night at the Fairmount Wegmans parking lot. I had a great response to the last one I did, and I know that there were many people that wanted to come but couldn’t, so here I go again.

Provided the skies stay reasonably clear, I will be setting up my telescope in the Fairmount Wegmans parking lot from about 8:30 to 10:30 (Check here at about 7:30pm to see if I have to cancel due to cloud cover). Tonight, we will be viewing Jupiter and the Moon (nearly first quarter). And maybe even Mars and/or Saturn for those who can stay later (Mars rises at 9:15 and Saturn at 9:50).

This is free for everyone. All are welcome! I never charge for my Sidewalk astronomy events because I want as many people to get the chance to look up at the night sky through a telescope as possible.

This is a CNY Observers event. We are a group of local amateur astronomers who like to get out and share the night sky with everyone!

The Dobsonian Ideal (And Design) About Town – Larry Slosberg’s Recent Sessions At Syracuse’s Quaker Steak & Lube

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

One of the benefits of being on the CNYO Facebook Page is being in the mix as members prompt impromptu observing sessions. Chief among these organizers is the most active CNYO public outreach exponent – Larry Slosberg. Larry had previously spearheaded combined Solar/Lunar sessions at ShoppingTown Mall (link 1 and link 2) in advance of Skeptics At The Pub sessions nearby, now he has taken recent sessions (and his scopes) to a very receptive Quaker Steak & Lube audience in what we all hope is a regular event for CNYO members and the attending public.


Larry and new observers, 18 August 2013. Photo by Tom Graham.

The Sun and Moon are often taken for granted by many amateur astronomers. The Moon, our closest celestial neighbor, driver of our tides, protector of our surface from many comet and meteor impacts (just check its surface), guide for the calendars of all ancient cultures, and an influencer throughout the history of human development, is also a bright object that dims most everything else by its presence. Many astronomy clubs host public viewing sessions around the New Moon just to make sure it isn’t there to spoil the views of nebulae and distant galaxies. Meanwhile, the Sun, the primary reason for our existence, is a blindingly bright object that one cannot safely look at without various forms of protection, making it something some amateur astronomers simply don’t carry the equipment around for.


More guerilla observing – Larry and crowd at Applebee’s, 15 July 2013. Photo by Michelle Marzynski.

In both cases, it only takes a few seconds behind an eyepiece to convince a new observer that these objects are much more than they appear to be to our unfiltered, unmagnified eyes. Larry, by scheduling Solar/Lunar sessions around the First Quarter Moon, capitalizes on the combined presence of both in the early evening sky, giving attendees a one-two punch at high magnification that turns both into busy, feature-rich objects that hopefully spur young and old alike to call up the SOHO website (for the Sun) and wikipedia (for the Moon) to learn all about what they’ve just seen.

Besides introducing new audiences to our only Moon and our nearest star, Larry carries on a long tradition of public outreach that arguably began with the efforts of the great (and still kicking at 97!) John Dobson, the architect of the modern “Dobsonian” telescope (and the name makes sense now). John not only instigated the growing community of amateur astronomers who take the time (and evenings) to introduce the public to the universe, he was arguably the first to develop a low-cost, large-aperture scope that ANYONE could build and use. I refer you to the youtube video Have Telescopes, Will Travel.

Larry summed it up best in a recent Facebook post:

Telescopes are to be shared by those that may never have gotten the chance to look through one. I get to give the best gift in the universe, the universe itself!


The calm before (observing) the solar storm.

As for upcoming activities, we are in the process of making these Solar/Lunar sessions into regular events, but we encourage you to join the CNYO Facebook Page, CNYO Twitter Feed, or subscribe to CNYO posts (using the Sign Up For Articles & Emails link down in the righthand column) to keep track of goings on in the near term. Also, stay tuned for a new Lunar Observing brochure to complement the Solar Brochure put together to aid Larry’s original sessions.

Kudos to Larry for showing that the first astronomical unit is the best!

TONIGHT (Friday, June 17th, 9 – 11 p.m.) – Larry’s Hosting A Sidewalk Session At Peter’s Polar Parlor

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This just in from Larry Slosberg on the Facebook Group Page (and Event):


Trying to decide what to do on a Friday night? Well, let me suggest Ice Cream and Moonlight (and Jupiter, Saturn and Mars).

Tonight, starting at 9pm, the CNYO will be at Peter’s Polar Parlor on Milton Ave in Solvay. Showing, to anyone interested, the Moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.

All are welcome, no purchase necessary (but oh so yummy) and the views through the telescope are, as always, free for all.

Where: Peter’s Polar Parlor, 3345 Milton Avenue, Syracuse, NY
When: Friday, June 17th, 9pm to 11pm

All Good Things… A Final (Official) CNY Observers (& Observing) Website Post

Greetings, fellow astrophiles –

After nearly eight years of observing announcements, CNY astronomy events, TACNY posts, major NASA announcements, Free Astronomy Magazine issue announcements, the short-lived Upstate New York Stargazing series for (archived at, and a variety of other “that’s interesting” items for your consideration, the website component to CNYO is being retired. The site itself will remain up as a record of many years of observing, lecturing, outreach, and lots of good times had among all the dedicated amateur astronomers and aspiring observers who joined in our many activities.

Anything related to future CNYO activities can be followed in the CNYO Facebook Group. And, truth be told, we barely scratched the account.

As a club, CNYO specialized in outreach wherever a decent location and parking could be had, be that at libraries, local parks, or ice cream shops. It goes without saying that there are several dedicated organizations with observatories, regular meetings, and their own outreach efforts for you to engage in astronomy with – a number of knowledgeable individuals, clubs, and their websites exist in Central New York for you to get out and look up!

For instance, keep track of observing opportunities at several Syracuse-area public parks and at Baltimore Woods with Bob Piekiel!

Depending on your location, you might find a local club *just* close enough to be worth the drive every month for meetings and observing (when the pandemic subsides. For now, consider their Zoom opportunities). From east to west…

Utica/RomeMohawk Valley Astronomical

SyracuseSyracuse Astronomical Society (the closest home for some of the CNYO participants as well)

Binghamton/VestalKopernik Astronomical

RochesterAstronomy Section Rochester Academy of

Rochester/Buffalo AreaWestern NY

BuffaloBuffalo Astronomical


And, of course, excellent sessions are to be had in your own backyard with a decent sky chart and a pair of binoculars.

Finally, the comment sections for the site will be kept open (for those comments surviving the spam filter) and the email address will remain active for years to come – Observing notes from CNYO events and other items remain most welcome!

Wishing you clear skies and limited artificial lighting.

Space is the place!

Above – Bob Piekiel, Larry Slosberg, and Damian Allis in “inaction action” before closing up shop, Perseid weekend, 2013.

Special Issue! Free Astronomy Magazine – March/April 2020 Issue Available For Reading And Download

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (March-April 2020) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at

Yes, the issue is a series of articles about the importance of amateur astronomers coming together as a community through outreach, just in time for a global pandemic to keep everyone from coming together (for a while, anyway). The issue features an opening article by myself and an international perspective (Spain, Catalonia and Italy) by the editor Michele Ferrara and other contributing language editors on the general topics of the state of amateur astronomy and outreach in our respective locations.

For the opening story, I went with a very CNY-centric perspective on some of the great observing/outreach events, as well as their hosts, we’ve known in the past decade-or-so (while trying to name-drop all the area astronomy clubs in the process). These include shout-outs to some of the better-known lectures/observers, including David Bishop with ASRAS, Larry Slosberg with CNYO, James Callens with Western NY Astronomers, Bob Piekiel and his near-rock-solid monthly schedule at Baltimore Woods, my favorite classicist and dark sky proponent Prof. John McMahon, and the late, great Barlow Bob.

For those wanting a quick look at what the issue has to offer, the Table of Contents is reproduced below.

The web browser-readable version:

Jump right to the PDF download (18 MB): March-April 2020