- About Us
Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.
Chart courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com
The Keene Amateur Astronomers Club is a group of people whose goal is the enhancement of Amateur Astronomy by fellowship, sharing knowledge and enjoyment of the hobby. The KAA Club provides outreach programs paticularly with the Keene public library and holds monthly viewing sessions at our own observatory. Regular monthly club meetings are held at the Keene State college. Anyone interested is invited to attend.
Our membership is open to students, parents, beginners, backyard amateurs and also experienced professionals. And we provide opportunities for our members to grow in one of the greatest hobbies in this world or any other!
Founded in 1957, our club has a long and distinguished history. We are also members of the Astronomical League and participate in the annual Stellafane Convention which is consistently rated as one of America’s top Star Parties.
The April 2014 business meeting will take place on Friday the 18th at 7:00pm in the Student Union at KSC. Observing, weather permitting, will occur following the meeting at the club's Observatory.
Observing will also take place Friday the 25th beginning at 7:00pm at the club's Observatory, weather permitting. Saturday, the 26th is the "cloudy" date.
All members and interested non-members are invited.
Exoplanets are planets outside of the solar system. They are also referred
to as extrasolar planets. Astronomers searched the heavens for decades
until, in 1995, The first confirmation of an exoplanet orbiting a main-sequence
star was made in 1995, when a giant planet was found in a four-day orbit
around the nearby star 51 Pegasi. Starting with that first discovery,
according to NASA, as of
December 27th 2013, 3,603 candidate planets, of which 976 are confirmed
exoplanets, have been detected. Researchers believe they will find many
more planets — a 2012 study estimated that each star of the 100 billion
or so in the Milky Way galaxy hosts on average at least 1.6 planets. The
Exoplanet Data Explorer [EDE] gives
you an interactive table and plotter for exploring data from the Exoplanet
Orbit Database. Many websites, such as Space.com
will give you the latest information on exoplanets. And there are, of
course, numerous apps for your smartphone and tablet.
Since the introduction of web browsers in the early 1990s, the Internet
has become an integeral part of our lives. One exponentially expanding
area involved personal education and on-line coursework in particular.
There are numerous opportunities for exploring areas of physics and astronomy
literally at your fingertips. While the quality may vary, the offerings
are vast and many are free. Videos, text, quizzes [with answers], homework
[not required], discussion groups, forums, and hang-outs await you. Check
out some of the offerings - all free: Astronomy:
Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe: edX; Extrasolar
Planets: MIT; Highlights
of Modern Astronomy: U. of Rochester; Imaging
Other Earths: Princeton; Astronomy:
U. of C. Berkeley;
So you have a basic need to find out the latest discoveries and theories concerning the vast area above you? Well, look no further. Check out these websites to start your search:
When you read Astronomy or Sky & Telescope magazine, you will find short
news articles clipped from journals. For in-depth information
on articles, try Phys.org. And if your favorite space news website is not here, just let us know.
Sincce the turn of the last century with the discovery of the sun's secret of ionizing our atmosphere, the sun's activities have been of importance to anyone with an interest in radio. The banner below, prepared by Paul Herman, N0NBH, persents a wealth of solor and geometric parameters on our sun's current behavior. Interested? Click on the banner.
Spring began with the vernal equinox which occured on March 20th in the Northern Hemisphere and ends on June 21st at the summer solstice. The spring constellations are the 12 constellations that fall between 12 hours and 18 hours Right Ascension. Here are several resources to help you in your viewing during the coming months.
The American Association of Amateur Astronomers provides a list of the 15 spring constellations and a detailed map of the sky. They also provide similar information for the other seasons.
StarrySkies.com also has a nice interactive map of the stars of spring.
For greater details on the sky's wonders, move your fingers over to the star website at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Or check out the details of the constellations and their stars at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
Are you looking to download a star chart or constellation map app for your smartphone or tablet computer? Here is an excellent article on available resources to guide you in your spring nighttime viewing. Some of these programs even allow you to hold your phone or tablet up to the night sky and see the exact position of the constellations. And, of course, trip over to the Apple Store or Gizmo's for a review of excellent astronomy software for your desktop/laptop. Pretty nifty!
To print out a clear map of this month's sky along with lots of information on the monthly highlights, go to SkyMaps and turn on your printer.
To view the upcoming ISS paths and/or the Iridium flares, log into Heavens Above and input your observing site coordinates. Check for sighting information on the International Space Station and on the Iridium satellites.
The above image of our moon was photographed by Jim Faux on September 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm in North Truro, MA as a jet was lifting off from Logan Airport. The image was taken with a handheld Canon D20. [1/20 sec, F5.6, ISO-200, 300MM]