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.

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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.

First Public Star Party of 2015

Photo: Venus & Gemini Setting. Photo by James Guilford.
Venus and Gemini Setting over the lake in Letha House Park – Photo by James Guilford.

Saturday night, May 23, the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) held our first Public Star Party for 2015. The event took place at the club’s observatory situated on the grounds of the Medina County Park System’s Letha House Park in Spencer, Ohio. Members of the public were generally enthusiastic, excitedly moving between telescopes. The sky was beautifully clear and allowed excellent views of the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, the Hercules Star Cluster (M13), M81 & M82, and other astronomical wonders.

CAA President William Murmann wrote, “Thanks to everyone who attended and who brought scopes to help with the program!

“The park staff said we had about 50 guests join us, including families with children.  We had clear skies all day, but some high, thin wispy stuff moved in during the evening, although we had good observing.

“It was nice to see to James Guilford, Steve Spears, Chris Christe, Chris Burke, Paul Leopold, Suzie Dills, Trevor Braun, Bob Wiersma, Jay Reynolds, Rich Rinehart, Bill & Carol Lee, Tim Campbell and Mary Ann, Steve & Gail Korylak, Rich & Nancy Whisler, Dave & Jan Heideloff, Carl Kudrna, Larry Smith — and new member Anita Kazarian, who joined us.  Sorry if I missed anyone.

“Noteworthy for the evening–Steve Korylak spotted Comet Lovejoy with his scope.

“It was a nice program and a nice get together for members.  Thanks again.”

……………..

Simulated View of Moon and Acubens
Simulated View of Moon and Acubens

Among the objects the public viewed in beautiful detail was Earth’s Moon. Early in the evening not only could observers see the brightly-lit portion of the Moon but also the Earth-lit shadowed portion of the disk. Adding to the scene was a beautiful speck of a star near the horn of the Moon: Acubens, a star in constellation Cancer.

 

Season-ending open house November 12

The CAA will host their last program and star party of the year for the Medina Park District Saturday, Nov. 12, starting at 8 PM at the Letha House building.

Club president William Murmann will give a presentation about the European Southern Observatory at 8 PM, followed by a public star gazing program if sky conditions permit.

If the skies are clear, observers will see the 17-day waning Moon offering great edge-of-terminator views of some large craters on the eastern limb including floor-fractured Petavius.

Io should be crossing Jupiter around 9:30 that moon casting its shadow on Jupiter’s cloud tops — a good target for larger scopes. All of the Galilean Moons will be visible. The Pleiades and Hyades star clusters will be up, and Orion will be rising in the east.

Club members are asked to please bring their telescopes and join in the star party.

Findley State Park star party Saturday, September 3

CAA will host a star party on the beach at Findley State Park from 9 PM to midnight (or so) on Saturday, September 3, weather permitting. The Findley program was originally set for August 6. It had to be rescheduled due to bad weather. This is the last Saturday date with a favorable Moon available for the year because park nature programs close down after the Labor Day weekend.

Those who have experienced it say that this is a great dark-sky site. Park Naturalist Roger Nikiforow said we could expect between 100 and 200 people for the program. The concession stand will be kept open before and during our star party. Nikiforow will be giving a presentation about astronomy from 7-8 PM in the nature center, and will join us with his telescope around 8:30 PM.

Any club members who would like to join us for the star party are welcome to bring a scope and come on out, though all complimentary camping sites for volunteers have been taken.

Everyone’s invited!

Findley State Park, Wellington, Ohio

2011 Convention a great night

Photo: Sunset over the still lake at park. Photo by James Guilford.
The sun sets on a beautiful day, ushering in a clear night sky full of stars. Photo by James Guilford.

It was a great night at Letha House Park! CAA members and invited astronomy club members from the area gathered under gloriously clear skies for an evening of socializing and a night of excellent observing.

Many thanks to all those who attended this annual event, and to those who brought the good food for the pot luck and helped with its preparation!  Special thanks in this regard to Marianne Wadsworth, who helped VP Mike Williams with her grilling skills.

Board member Tim Campbell brought in all the great-tasting wieners, brats, and sausages for the event at an excellent price.  Our thanks to Bob Guttwein, president of Five Star Brand Meats in Cleveland, who offered the high-quality meat at a steep discount through Tim.

Photo: Lecturer with projected image of Saturn's moon Titan. Photo by James Guilford.
Featured speaker Jay Reynolds talks about the NASA Cassini mission, shown here with a projected image of Saturn's moon Titan. The new facilities at Letha House Park were much appreciated.Photo by James Guilford.

We had visitors from the Black River, Chagrin Valley, and Mahoning Valley clubs.  It was nice to host them!

Many thanks to our secretary, Steve Spears, who got a good supply of door prizes in spite of tight economic conditions. Caffeine kudos to Ray and Lynn Paul, who brought a large coffee pot and fixings for coffee lovers.

Special thanks to Gail Korylak, who helped with the clean-up.  Gail cleaned all the tables, moved all the tables and chairs, and then vacuumed the floor.  Earlier during the dinner, she also set up and arranged the food table.  She did a great job.

Our thanks also, of course, to Jay Reynolds, who gave an interesting talk about Saturn and the Cassini Mission.

Photo: Astronomers setting up telescopes in early twilight. Photo by James Guilford
2011 Convention attendees set up their telescopes under the clear skies of early twilight. Photo by James Guilford.

The recent improvements to the park gave telescope owners the opportunity to park on solid pavement and set up their instruments on earth. Adding to the pleasure was the fact that skies over the park were the best they have been in many a year for the CAA’s event. It was a great night, indeed!

Special Findley State Park star party – CANCELED

UPDATE: Due to a very unfavorable weather forecast, the Findley State Park star party has been canceled. We hope to try again in September! — Aug. 5, 2011

CAA will host a star party on the beach at Findley State Park from 9 PM to midnight (or so) on Saturday, August 6. Mike Williams, Jay Reynolds, and Bill Murmann plan to participate and of course welcome any other club members who would like to join us. Speaking from experience, Mike and Jay say that this is a great dark-sky site. Park Naturalist Roger Nikiforow said we could expect somewhere between 100 and 200 people for the program. The concession stand will be kept open before and during our star party.  Roger will be giving a presentation about astronomy from 7-8 p.m. in the nature center, and will join us with his telescope around 8:30 p.m. CAA members are encouraged to attend and bring their own telescopes; a limited number of reserved camping spots have been set aside for participating CAA members. Everyone’s invited!

Findley State Park, Wellington, Ohio