Welcome

What we do


The Keene Amateur Astronomers Club is a group of people whose goal is the enhancement of Amateur Astronomy by education, 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 and is a non-profit corporation registered with the State of New Hampshire. 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 August 21st Solar Eclipse and Local Activities


Background:
On August 21st, we hope you know, the U.S. will experience its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years. Total solar eclipses occur every year or two or three, often in the middle of nowhere like the South Pacific or the Antarctic. What makes this one so special — at least for Americans — is that it will cut diagonally across the entire United States. The path of totality on Aug. 21 — where day briefly becomes night — will pass over Oregon, continuing through the heartland all the way to Charleston, South Carolina. Those on the outskirts — all the way into Canada, Central America and even the upper part of South America — will be treated to a partial eclipse. Check out the NASA Maps and a neat NASA animated map.

Keene Club and Keene City Library Activities:

  • Solar Eclipse Party - 8/21/2017 from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM at the Keene Public Library. We plan to see the partial solar eclipse and the Library is going to throw a totally awesome Solar Eclipse Party. Come down to the library on Monday, August 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. to celebrate the eclipse with activities, art, and stories. At 1:30 p.m. we will watch the Partial Solar Eclipse from the library lawn with members of the Keene Amateur Astronomers. We will have our two solar telescopes available and the Library will have solar glasses for folks to view the sun.
We hope you will join us!


August 2017 Club Meeting & Observing


On Friday, August 18th, we have our monthly formal club meeting at our club Observatory in Sullivan at 7pm. Contact the club Secretary for directions. Our August program will feature several presentations, a NASA podcast of the August skies, interesting aspects including the mythology of the seven constellations below, and other timely topics.
Weather cooperating, following the meeting, members will adjurn to the club's Sullivan Observatory for nocturnal viewing.

On Saturday, August 19th, we have our monthly formal observing at our club Observatory in Sullivan at 9pm. Contact the club Secretary for directions.

View This Month's Sky and Folklore


Be sure to check out what objects are visible this month before you venture out:
  • What's Up Doc? gives a nice printable listing of the celestial objects, meteors, and naked eye, binocular, and telescope objects.
  • What's Up - NASA is a sample of the objects to view with a video of the night sky.
  • SkyMaps gives you a printable 2-page monthly guide to the night sky suitable for all sky watchers, including newcomers to Astronomy.
  • Monthly Maps focuses on the monthly constellations and folklore
  • Jane Huston Jones from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California gives an overview of NASA projects and a downloadable video.
  • Hubble-Tonight's Sky gives backyard stargazers a monthly guide to the northern hemisphere's skywatching events with "Tonight's Sky."
  • Devine Sky illustrates the geography of the heavens and provides luscious printable constellation charts.
And for an overview of the celestial objects to focus on this week, check the the weekly: "The Sky This Week".


Club Topics For you Between Our Monthly Meetings


As the year progresses, club members focus on different visible constellations. Prior to our July meeting, we encourage you to check out these constellations : July: Draco, Hercules, Serpens Caput & Cauda and for August: Lyra, Aquila & Cygnus.

Robert Taylor Receives National Astronomical League Award


The Keene Amateur Astronomers Club is proud to announce that Robert Taylor, Club President/Treasurer, has recently been awarded the Astronomical League's Constellation Hunter Club - Northern Skies Certificate. Click here to check it out!


Need A Daily Space News Fix?


Interested in 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.


Astromony League Constellation Hunter & Lunar Observation Programs


The Astronomical League offers many different astronomical observing programs. These programs are designed to provide a direction for your observations and to provide a goal for you. The programs have awards, pins, and public notice to recognize the observers' accomplishments and for demonstrating their observing skills with a variety of instruments and objects. Our club is continuing its involvment with the Astronomical League's Constellation Hunter Program and Lunar Observation Program for 2016. We are providing the resources on this site for successful completion of both of excellent and rewarding activities.

The Constellation Hunter Program provides an orientation to the sky for astronomers. No special equipment (other than a planisphere and a reference for the brighter star names), and no prior knowledge. The objective is to provide a forum for the observer to become more familiar with the constellations and brighter stars and to begin to learn to navigate among the stars.

The Lunar Observation Program provides an opportunity to observe 100 special features of our moon and is well suited for the young, inexperienced observer as well as the older observer just getting into our hobby since no special observing skills are required. It is well balanced because it develops naked eye, binocular, and telescopic observing skills.


The Summer Constellations

Summer began with the summer solstice which occured on June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere and ends on September 22st at the fall equinox. The summer constellations are the 17 constellations that fall between 18 hours and 0 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 17 summer constellations and a detailed map of the sky. They also provide similar information for the other seasons.

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 summer 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 [iOS], greenbot [Android], or Amazing Telescopes [desktop/laptop] for a review of excellent astronomy software for your phone/tablet/desktop/laptop. Pretty nifty!


Viewing the ISS and Iridium Flares


Visit Heavens Above and input your observing site coordinates. Check for sighting information on the International Space Station and on the Iridium satellites.


A Recent Club Star Party


The left photo below was taken at a recent star party at the Keene observatory with members from SoVerA, KAA, and the KSC CALL program. The photo on the right is is a shot of the inside the observatory with members Jim Faux, Phinie Faux, and Bob Taylor. Both photos were taken by Claudio Veliz, SoVerA/KAA.


Never Leave Your Camera Home...


The above image of the International Space Station was taken by Gabe Klueh on August 11th, 2016, at the KAA Perseid Meteor Star Party at the club's Observatory. Gabe used his Canon Rebel T3i [f/5, 8mm, 25sec., ISO 3200] and his tripod.


Sun and Moon - Keene, NH

Clear Sky Chart - Keene, NH

Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.

Chart courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com

Clear Outside - Keene, NH

Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.

Chart courtesy of Clear Outside

Tonight's Sky - Keene, NH

Time

Keene, NH

UTC