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 Keene Amateur Astronomers Club is proud to announce that Robert Taylor has recently been awarded the Astronomical League's Constellation Hunter Club - Northern Skies Certificate. The Astronomical League is composed of over two hundred and forty local amateur astronomical societies across the United States and these organizations and supporting members form one of the largest amateur astronomical organizations in the world. Bob is a resident of West Drummerston, VT, and is the current President/Treasurer of the Keene club and a long-time club member. Bob is the first member of the Keene astronomy club to have received this prestigeous honor. To qualify for the AL's Constellation Hunter Certificate, Bob needed to observe and sketch all of the 39 northern constellations with supporting sky conditions. Bob's individual sketches included numerous other objects that are visible within the boundaries of each of the 39 constellations, including but not limited to: galaxies, open clusters, globular clusters, and nebulas. Congratulations, Bob!
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.
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:
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.
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!
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