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.
On Friday, March 24th, we have our monthly formal club meeting in the Young Student Center at Keene State College at 7pm. Contact the club Secretary for directions. Following the meeting, weather cooperating, members will move to the club's Sullivan Observatory for nocturnal viewing.
On Saturday, March 25th, we have our monthly formal observing at our club Observatory in Sullivan at 7pm. Contact the club
Secretary for directions.
Our March Program: We will focus on a NASA podcast of the March sky, the six constellations below, and another interesting timely topic TBA.
Beginning on February 16th, The Keene Public Library in conjunction with our club will host the annual public astronomy lecture series. All the lectures are free and open to the public in the Library's auditorium beginning at 7pm.
February 16, Thursday: Everything you Always Wanted to know about Gravitional Waves (But Were Afraid to Ask) presented by Salvatore Vitale of the MIT Physics Department.
February 23, Thursday: Photographing Our Galaxy's Black Hole presented by Michael Johnson from the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. p>
March 2, Thursday: Out of this World Astronomy Lecture: Sarah Mcgregor
March 21, Tuesday: Out of this World: PlutoPalooza! with John Sheff, the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.
Our thanks to Librarian and club member, Gail Zachariah, for making this happen.
We hope to see you there!
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.
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.
Winter began with the winter solstice which occurs on December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere and ends on March 20th at the spring equinox. The winter constellations are the 12 constellations that fall between 6 hours and 12 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 12 winter 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 autumn/winter.
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.
And, of course, surf around for the amazing software programs available for your computer, phone, or X device. Check out Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel - excellent free programs for your laptop or desktop. For your tablet or smart phone, give SkySafari a look.
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.
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.
Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.
Chart courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com
Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.
Chart courtesy of Clear Outside