Telescope Night

Photo: G.J. "Gus" Waffen points out features of his elegant Vixen Cassegrain telescope system. Photo by James Guilford.

G.J. “Gus” Waffen points out features of his elegant Vixen Cassegrain telescope system. Behind him is a vintage Thomas Cooke & Sons refractor Waffen once owned.

The June 12, 2017 meeting of the CAA featured, as its program, Telescope Night. Several members brought telescopes to the meeting and talked about their scopes’ history, qualities, and use. Equipment ranged from a large Thomas Cooke & Sons refractor built in the 1800s to a modern Vixen Cassegrain. The post-program social interlude allowed for plenty of close-up viewing of the telescopes and lively discussion. Telescope Night is an annual program taking place at the group’s June meeting.

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June 12 Meeting: “Telescope Show and Tell”

Photo: Broadhurst, Clarkson & Company Refractor from England. Photo by James Guilford.

Broadhurst, Clarkson & Company Refractor from England

The monthly general meeting of the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association will take place June 12 at 7:30 PM, at the Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Nature Center. The meeting will begin with the annual “Telescope Show and Tell. Several CAA members will bring telescopes of various types and explain the benefits of each. Sometimes the scopes are antique or unusual! The program will be ideal for beginners and those who might like to own a telescope but are not sure what type would best suit them. Questions from the audience will be taken and non-member visitors are welcome. The program is free and open to all interested.

The CAA’s monthly meetings take place at the Rocky River Nature Center; 24000 Valley Parkway; North Olmsted, Ohio, in the Cleveland Metroparks. Meetings begin with a brief business meeting followed by a refreshment and social break to discuss astronomical issues with other members; a business meeting follows.

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May Public Night

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Bob Wiersma talks telescopes and astronomy with a family at CAA’s Telescope Night

Many thanks to fellow club members who joined me to help with our public star party at Letha House Saturday night.  In spite of partly cloudy skies, we had a good turnout with about 30 guests joining us for the program–including 5 or 6 guests who brought their telescopes from home to get help in using their equipment.
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Explaining the operation of a nice reflector kit received as a gift from man’s wife

CAA members who helped with the program included: Jay Reynolds, Rich & Nancy Whisler, Bill & Carol Lee, Tim Campbell, Bob Wiersma, Ray Love, Carl Kudrna, Suzie Dills, Gus Waffen, Dave Nuti, Nora Mishey, Dave Watkins, and Bruce Lane.
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Sisters learn about their telescope and aim for the Moon.

Apologies for missing anyone.  If I missed you, thanks for your help and please let me know who you are!
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Mother and son get a look at Jupiter courtesy of Jay Reynolds and the CAA’s big SCT.

Special thanks to Jay, who spent the evening showing guests the night sky in our observatory, and to Nora Mishey who greeted and talked with guests and managed our display of astronomical materials inside the Letha House shelter.
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Nora Mishey set up a fine and impressive display in the Letha House Park meeting room that most missed – the wonders of the sky were too alluring!

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This big telescope provided views of Jupiter and moon Io casting its shadow on an equatorial cloud belt; Io’s changing position was observed over the course of the evening.

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Simulated view shows Io casting its shadow on planet Jupiter – seen via larger scopes at the star party! – Simulation by Gas Giants iOS app.

Thanks again, folks!  See you June 3 for our next public star party for the Medina County Park District!  — William Murmann, CAA President
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Spectacular view of Jupiter, courtesy Juno

Photo: South Polar Region of Jupiter

South Polar Region of Jupiter

This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection.

JunoCam’s raw images are available at http://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam for the public to peruse and process into image products. More information about Juno is online at http://www.nasa.gov/juno

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

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Saturday, May 27: Our First Public Night of the season!

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) will host our first public star party of the year for the Medina County Park District starting at 8 PM this coming Saturday, May 27. A program and the star party will take place at Letha House Park.

The public program will be a “Telescope Night” with the visitors invited to bring their personal telescopes to learn how to set up and use them starting at 8 PM.  After it gets dark, we’ll have the usual star gazing program between 9 and 11 PM.

Members: Any and all help will be appreciated!  Please bring a scope if you can and assist with the program.

CAA’s observatory is located at 5800-5994 Richman Road – Just North of Spencer Lake Road Spencer, OH 44275. Click here for a Google Map and instructions on how to get to the observatory.

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Night Sky Network recognition

Image: NASA/JPL Night Sky Network Logo

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) has received recognitions from the Night Sky Network for its astronomy outreach efforts. The Night Sky Network is a nationwide coalition of amateur astronomy clubs bringing the science, technology, and inspiration of NASA’s missions to the general public, a partnership between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

“Congratulations to your club on 60 years dedicated to astronomy, observing, and outreach,” Night Sky Network officials wrote. “We salute your commitment to your community and enjoy hearing about all of the incredible events you host.” The letter continued, “Over the last decade we have been honored to partner with you … may our partnership continue for many decades to come and further the interest of astronomy for everyone.”

A separate mailing included award pins imprinted, “Night Sky Network Star,” and certificates to be used in recognizing outstanding CAA volunteers. “We deeply admire your outreach efforts and activities; bringing the love of the stars to the public is hard but rewarding work.”

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Do your best with what you have and you may just make a masterpiece

Photo: IC 434 & B33, The Horsehead Nebula - by Joe Golias

IC 434 & B33, The Horsehead Nebula – by Joe Golias

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association has a number of members interested in and skilled at astrophotography – an activity that is both similar to and different from traditional terrestrial photography. One of our skilled practitioners is Joe Golias, owner of Astrozap.com – local maker and seller of telescope accessories. Golias was in attendance at a winter star party in Florida when he made the remarkable image seen above.

“Conditions were pretty good throughout the week with the exception of one strong storm that hit mid week,” Golias wrote. “Otherwise is was clear, calm and warm most of the time. This was not my intended target but had some issues with a dead battery the first night in my mount which killed my go to capabilities. I had to pick an object that I could easily see through my spotting scope and just decided to concentrate on this object the rest of the week.”

Technical Information:

Object: IC 434 & B33 – The Horsehead Nebula
Acquisition Data: The Florida Keys, February 2017
Telescope: Takahashi FSQ-106EDX IV @ f/5.0
Mount: Losmandy G-11
Camera: SBIG STT8300 with self-guiding filter wheel.
Exposure time: 12 Hours using the following filters. HA, Red, Blue & Green.
Processing Software: Images Plus and Photoshop 7.0.

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