Great food, friendship, observing, and prizes at annual convention

Our rescheduled September 24 OTAA Convention was a success with great weather, good food, starry skies, and good times! The event took place at the CAA’s observing site in the Medina County Park System’s Letha House Park West. Many thanks go out to the generous CAA officers and members who worked diligently to make the event happen.

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association would also like to thank the following vendors for their donations raffle prizes for the convention:

Astrozap
P.O. Box 502
Lakewood, OH 44107

Bob’s Knobs
6976 Kempton Rd.
Centerville, IN 47330

Knightware
305 Evans Estates Drive
Cary, North Carolina 27513

Oceanside Photo & Telescope
918 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92054

Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076

Tele Vue Optics, Inc.
32 Elkay Dr.
Chester, NY 10918

Yes, our next OTAA Convention is already scheduled: Saturday, August 19, 2017. See you then?

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Milky Way stars during public star party

Photo: Looking South Along the Lake at Letha House Park, Milky Way Glowing Overhead, the Moon Sinking Low in the West. Photo by Alan Studt.
Looking South Along the Lake at Letha House Park, Milky Way Glowing Overhead. Photo by Alan Studt. Nikon D810: ISO 3200, 13 sec., f/2.8, 14mm.

We had great sky conditions for our August 6 public star party at Letha House Park. We didn’t get an exact count, but I think there were between 75 and 100 guests who came for the program, including Park Ranger Bob who stopped by to say hello.

I had to make a quick count in the dark, but I think we had about 12 telescopes for this Medina County Park District program. Two telescopes were brought by new members who I believe joined one of our star parties for the first time.

Many thanks to Dave Nuti, Chris Christe, Bruce Lane, Jay Reynolds, Nora Mishey, Carl Kudrna, Rich & Nancy Whisler, Bob Wiersma, Alan Studt, Rob Seig, Bob & Mary Deep, and Gale Franko who joined me to help with the program!

Thanks to Jay, who manned the observatory and gave our new 12-inch go-to scope a workout to show the night sky to our numerous  guests.  And thanks also to Nora, who brought delicious homemade cookies and her astronomy Q & A display, and who served as a host in the building to help promote our club and the park district’s programs.

Reported by William Murmann, CAA President

Photo: Summer Milky Way. Photo by Alan Studt.
Summer Milky Way. Photo by Alan Studt. Nikon D810: ISO 5000, 15 sec., f/2.8, 14mm.

Rescheduled OTAA Convention: September 24

The CAA’s annual OTAA Convention event has been rescheduled to take place on September 24, 2016 at Letha House Park West; registration should begin at 3:00 PM. The gathering was to have been held July 30 but a scheduling issue prevented it taking place.

Socializing, a cookout, door prize raffle, astronomy talk, and (weather permitting) star party are planned for the day and night. Members of the CAA and other regional astronomy clubs are invited to attend. In the event of cloudy or inclement weather, all events except for stargazing will take place.

Image: All-Sky Map, September 24, 2016
All-Sky Map, September 24, 2016 – Click to Embiggen

Letha House Park West features an enclosed, heated and air conditioned event building with modern lighting, projection equipment, and restrooms. The CAA maintains its observatory at Letha House Park and that facility will be open during the star party. The parking lot is paved and a large, grassy area adjacent to the lot makes for easy telescope setup. Nighttime skies are good (considering the Northeastern Ohio location) allowing for rewarding observations.

CANCELED: Annual OTAA Convention

Due to a scheduling conflict involving our Letha House Park venue, our planned July 30, 2016 OTAA Convention has been CANCELED. We are disappointed and upset that this issue developed outside of the CAA’s responsibility but circumstances afford us no alternatives. The officers and members of the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association regret any inconvenience this emergency cancellation may cause.

UPDATE: The event has been rescheduled to take place on September 24, 2016 at Letha House Park West. Announcements concerning the event will be posted soon. 7/29/2016

Public Star Party Saturday, June 11

Image: Simulated View of Saturn and Some Moons
Simulated View of Saturn and Some Moons

The CAA will host a public star party for the Medina County Park District at 9:00 PM at Letha House Park West. See Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, and more! A cloudy night alternative program will be offered should weather conditions be an issue. Members: please bring your scope to help if you can.

Road closure/detour: Due to a Medina County Highway Engineer’s road improvement construction project, Spencer Lake Road will be closed just east of Richman Road where you would normally access Letha House Park West. This section of road will be closed from June 6 through the end of July 2016. Click HERE for a detour map.

Saturday, September 19: International Observe the Moon Night

Photo: Moon Just Before First Quarter
Moon Just Before First Quarter

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) will host a public observing night at their Letha House Park observatory Saturday night, September 19, from 8:00 to 10:00. For location and observatory information, click here!

Come see the moon (and other objects) via members’ telescopes. The observatory will also be open for public viewing, and members will be available to answer your questions. No registration or fees, just show up and enjoy the night sky!

The event will feature Earth’s Moon but planets and deep space objects will also be observed, weather conditions permitting. The night’s event will serve as a local venue of International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN). The InOMN is an annual, world-wide public engagement program that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of Earth’s Moon.

Everyone on Earth is invited to join the celebration by attending an InOMN event — and uniting on one day each year to look at and learn about the Moon together.

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