Now Showing: CAA’s 2015 astrophoto exhibit

by William Murmann, CAA President
Photo: Gallery wall at the Rocky River Nature Center. Photo by James Guilford.
CAA’s 2015 Astrophoto Show
CAA’s astrophoto display is now up and running on the Gallery Wall at the Rocky River Nature Center!  Come and see the excellent work done by our members! The display is from September through October 2015.

Thanks to Steve Gallant, Dave Watkins, Dave Nuti, James Guilford, Chris Christe, Steve Spears, Alan Studt , and Joe Golias for providing photos for the display. We had more photos than we could fit on the Gallery Wall, so we mounted some images on nearby walls in the gallery room.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of room not all the images could be displayed. I helped hang the photos, however, and made sure that everyone who submitted images was represented. Thanks again to everyone for participating!

Convention sociable, except for skies

Photo: Jay Reynolds reports on DAWN and New Horizons
Jay Reynolds reports on DAWN and New Horizons
The 2015 OTAA Convention, hosted by the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA), was a friendly gathering featuring socializing, information, and hot weather. Members from area astronomy groups were in attendance, mixing with CAA membership at the Letha House Park Observatory site.

Observatory Director and CSU Research Astronomer Jay Reynolds gave an up-to-date presentation on space mission results from DAWN (at asteroid Ceres), and New Horizons and its just-completed flyby of the Pluto-Charon system.

After the lecture came a convivial cookout and potluck dinner which, in turn, was followed by the highly-anticipated annual door prize drawing. The hoped-for late-night star party was thwarted by clouds that moved in from the north. Spirits remained high, however; this is Northeastern Ohio after all, and clouds go with the territory!

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association would like to thank the following vendors for their generous contributions to our recent convention.  Their donations of raffle items helped to make the event such a great success.

Astrozap – Member-Owned Purveyor of Telescopes and Accessories

Bob’s Knobs – Seller of Collimation Thumbscrews

OPT Oceanside Photo & Telescope – Sellers of All Manner of Astronomy Gear

Orion Telescopes & Binoculars – Astronomy Gear Galore

TeleVue Optics – Telescopes, Accessories, Imaging

Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope – Serving Photo & Telescope Enthusiasts Since 1952

Clear skies for July 25 public stargazing

CAA Observatory - Photo by Alan Studt
CAA Observatory – Photo by Alan Studt
by William Murmann, CAA President

We had another successful public star party last night (July 25) for the Medina County Park System. CAA members brought 12 personal telescopes to Letha House Park for the 9 PM event. Our observatory director, Jay Reynolds, manned our observatory so guests could also use the club’s large scopes.

Our park hosts, Ron and Mary Hank, estimated that we had at 50 or more guests attend the star party. This included a mixture of adults and children. We had clear skies until about 11:30 PM when things clouded over. Jay said the sudden appearance of clouds had something to do with the dew point.

So far our programs for the park district in May, June, and July have had clear skies and great turnouts from the public. Let’s hope this is a trend that continues through the summer.

Apologies if I miss anyone but thanks to: Bill & Carol Lee, Larry Smith, Carl Kudrna, Rich & Nancy Whisler, Tim Campbell, Bruce Lane, Jay Reynolds, Bob Wiersma, Dave Watson, Dave Nuti, Chris Christe, Susan Petsche, and Alan Studt who joined me for our program.

New Horizons images the icy “heart” of Pluto

Photo: Icy Plains of Pluto
The Icy “Sputnik Planum” Area on Pluto – Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

In the center left of Pluto’s vast heart-shaped feature – informally named Tombaugh Regio – lies a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains and has been informally named Sputnik Planum (Sputnik Plain), after Earth’s first artificial satellite. The surface appears to be divided into irregularly-shaped segments that are ringed by narrow troughs. Features that appear to be groups of mounds and fields of small pits are also visible. This image, released July 17, was acquired by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 14 from a distance of 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers). Features as small as one-half mile (1 kilometer) across are visible. The blocky appearance of some features is due to compression of the image.

Photo: Annotated View of "Sputnik Planum" Area of Pluto.
Annotated Version of “Sputnik Planum” Image -Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI