- 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 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. 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 February 2015 business meeting will take place on Friday the 20th at 7:00pm in the Student Union at Keene State College. Vice- President Angel Rosario will continue his program on the Astronomcal League's Constellation Hunter Program featuring this month the winter constellations: Auriga, Gemini, and Monoceros. Observing, weather permitting, will occur following the meeting at the club's Observatory.
Observing will also take place Saturday the 21st beginning at 7:00pm at the club's Observatory, weather permitting.
All members and interested non-members are invited. Contact the club Secretary for directions.
Annually, the Keene Library and Keene Astronomy club sponsor an astronomy lecture series in February. The programs for 2015 in the Library auditorium begin at 6:30pm and are:
2/10: Space Weather and How the World Almost Ended
with Sarah McGregor, Keene State College
Sarah McGregor, an astronomer who lectures in the Physics Department at KSC and is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Boston University. She is researching the origins of the solar wind. The solar wind is a stream of energized, charged particles, primarily electrons and protons, flowing outward from the Sun, through the solar system at speeds as high as 900 km/s and at a temperature of 1 million degrees (Celsius).
2/17: Painting the Sky: The Northern Lights with
Alexa Halford, Dartmouth College
Alexa Halford is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College where she is working with the Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses(BARREL) project. BARREL is a NASA mission operated out of Dartmouth College that works with the Van Allen Probes mission (formerly known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission).
2/24: The Day We Found The Universe with Marcia
Marcia Bartusiak is the author of five books on astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology. She is currently Professor of the Practice of the Graduate Program in Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This talk is based on Marcia Bartusiak's book, The Day We Found the Universe, which was awarded the 2010 Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize by the History of Science Society for best history-of-science book for a general audience. It was also selected a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for science & technology.
3/03: Astronomy Circa 2020 with Jeff McClintock,
Jeff McClintock is a Senior Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His focus is the study of stellar-mass black holes in X-ray binary systems and will present a preview of the Giant Magellan Telescope. This cathedral-sized telescope perched on a Chilean mountaintop will, like Star Trek's Enterprise, take us where no one has gone before. Stunning developments in optics technology will deliver images 10 times sharper than those of the Hubble Space Telescope, allowing us to explore other earths, the first stars, black holes and the origin of our Universe.
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.
Winter began with the winter solstice which occurred 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.
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 autumn/winter 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 eHow for identification tips. Pretty nifty!
To print out a 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 left photo below was taken at a 2014 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 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]