Tag Archives: Olympic Astronomical Society

Club activity and more Viking news on this week’s astro calendar

The Vikings are sailing on Oregon, and a number of astronomy clubs in the region have meetings and events this week.

Viking at Science Pub Eugene

VMMEPPMeet some of the folks involved with the Viking Mars missions in the mid-1970s at Science Pub Eugene at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 10 at Whirled Pies at Cozmic in Eugene, Oregon. As an 11-year-old girl Rachel Tillman saved the last remaining un-flown Viking spacecraft from the scrap heap. She later became founder and is executive director of the nonprofit organization The Viking Mars Missions Education & Preservation Project. Tillman will speak at Science Pub Eugene, along with Al Treder, who worked on Viking guidance and control; Peggy Newcomb, wife of NASA Viking engineer and author John Newcomb, who passed away in March; Virgil Young, Camera Imaging Team member at Martin Marietta Laboratories; and Dr. Clare Reimers, professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.

Suggested donation for admission is $5. Science Pub Eugene is a program of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. If you can’t make this Viking Mars Mission event, it will be repeated at Science Pub Corvallis on the 14th.

Astronomy clubs

Olympic Astronomical SocietyThe Olympic Astronomical Society plans its monthly meeting for tonight (Monday, November 7) at 7:30 in room Art 103 on the campus of Olympic College in Bremerton. A look at the constellations Libra and Piscis Austrinus and a talk about the warping of time and space are included on the agenda.

beaslogo_300The Boeing Employees’ Astronomical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 10 at the Boeing “Oxbow” Fitness Center. NASA Solar System Ambassador John McLaren will give a presentation about the latest information gained from exploring the Sun. Non-Boeing visitors are welcome but need an escort to the meeting. Contact David Ingram for more information.

BPAA logoThe Battle Point Astronomical Association on Bainbridge Island has several events planned for Saturday. Parents and budding scientists attending the BP Astro Kids program at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. November 12 will learn what caused all of those craters on the Moon, and then will build their own moons to take home. At 7:30 p.m. the club’s planetarium show will look at the possible connections between dark matter, black holes, and gravitational waves. If there weather permits there will be astronomical observing as well. It all happens at the club’s Edwin Ritchie Observatory and John Rudolph Planetarium in Battle Point Park on Bainbridge.

Seattle Astronomical SocietyThe Seattle Astronomical Society will offer a workshop about understanding telescopes at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 13 at the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Experienced stargazers will discuss the basic concepts needed for choosing and using telescopes, eyepieces, and star charts. The event is open to members and non-members alike.

Futures file

You can scout out future astronomy events on our calendar. New additions to the calendar this week include the next Astronomy on Tap Seattle event, set for November 16 at Peddler Brewing Company in Ballard. By the way, there’s a nice article about the Astronomy on Tap movement in the December issue of Astronomy magazine.

Up in the sky

Neptune will appear very close to the Moon on Wednesday. The Sky This Week from Astronomy and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope have more observing highlights for the week.

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Four star parties, three astro club meetings this week

It’s a busy week for local astronomy clubs, which have meetings and star parties galore on the docket as we roll into October.

Astronomy clubs

Olympic Astronomical SocietyOlympic Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 3 in room Art 103 at Olympic College in Bremerton. Presentations will include a look back at the New Horizons mission and a recap of the club’s recent Camp Delaney Star Party.

Tacoma Astronomical Society plans its monthly meeting for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 4 in room 175 on the campus of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Discussion topics had not been posted as of this writing.

The Spokane Astronomical Society will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 7 in the Planetarium at Spokane Falls Community College. Guest speaker Sukanta Bose, a member of the physics and astronomy faculty at Washington State University, will discuss the first direct detection of gravitational waves, and how the discovery is changing astronomy.

Astronomy night at MOF

MOFThe Museum of Flight will celebrate Astronomy Night as part of its free first Thursday event beginning at 5 p.m. October 6. The evening’s activities will include programs and family activities that tour the galaxies. Local science and astronomy clubs will be on hand to share their knowledge of the heavens and views through their telescopes. Celestial wonders will shine in the museum’s portable planetarium, and NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Tony Gondola will give a special presentation at 7 pm.

Star parties

There are three star parties on the calendar for this week. The Covington Community Park Star Party is set for Friday, October 7. It’s a cooperative venture between the Boeing Employees Astronomical Society, Seattle Astronomical Society, and Tacoma Astronomical Society. We note a little confusion about the start time, as the SAS website has it at 8 p.m. and BEAS lists 7 p.m.

Tacoma Astronomical Society will hold one of its free public nights at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 8 at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. The indoor program will be the movie Cosmic Collisions. If the weather cooperates club members will have telescopes out for observing.

The Seattle Astronomical Society’s free public star parties are set for 7 p.m. Saturday, October 8 at two locations: Green Lake in Seattle and Paramount Park in Shoreline. Bad weather cancels these events so watch the club’s website or social media for updates.

Up in the sky

Watch for the Moon near Venus during twilight on Monday and near Saturn on Wednesday evening. This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope magazine and The Sky This Week from Astronomy have more observing highlights for the week.

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Annual Moon viewing festival highlights week’s calendar

The last installment of the Pacific Science Center’s Science Café series and an annual Moon viewing festival are the high points of this week’s astronomy events calendar.

Viewing the Moon

Seattle Japanese GardenThe popular annual Moon Viewing Festival at the Seattle Japanese Garden will be held beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 17 at the garden, which is within the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. The evening will include music, a haiku contest, and a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Volunteers from the Seattle Astronomical Society will be on hand with telescopes to offer a great, close-up view of the Moon. Unfortunately, as of this writing the event is sold out.

Farewell to the science café

Pacific Science CenterThe Pacific Science Center is discontinuing its Science Café program after more than ten years at The Swiss Restaurant & Pub in Tacoma, Wilde Rover in Kirkland, and, up until a year or two ago, T.S. McHugh’s in Seattle. The center plans to have many of the same sorts of speakers and topics at its new, onsite Science in the City lectures.

One final astronomy-themed science café remains on the calendar and will be held at The Swiss at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 13Josh Krissansen-Totton of the University of Washington Astrobiology Program and Department of Earth and Space Sciences will give a talk titled “The Search For Life Beyond Earth.” Krissansen-Totton will go beyond the headlines and explore how astronomers and astrobiologists are trying to detect life on exoplanets, and when they’re likely to be successful. Admission is free. Bring questions; there’s always plenty of time for Q-and-A.

OAS meets

Olympic Astronomical SocietyThe Olympic Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, September 12 in room Art 103 at Olympic College in Bremerton. They plan to make a comet, among other activities.

Futures file

You can scout out future astronomy events on our calendar. New additions this week include:

Up in the sky

September often offers great weather for stargazing as it’s still typically fairly warm in the evenings but the nights are getting longer. This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope magazine and The Sky This Week from Astronomy have observing highlights for the week.

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A look at a nearby exoplanet tops the week’s calendar

We’re back from a couple of weeks of travel and find a busy calendar of events for the week ahead.

Barnes

UW Prof. Rory Barnes at an Astronomy on Tap event in January. Photo: Greg Scheiderer.

If you missed last week’s Astronomy on Tap Seattle event—as we did because we were out of town—then you missed getting some first-hand information from Rory Barnes, Professor of Astronomy and Astrobiology at the University of Washington, about the newly discovered exoplanet in orbit around our nearest stellar neighbor. Fear not: Barnes will give a lecture titled, “Opportunities and Obstacles for Life on Proxima Centauri B” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 31 at the PACCAR IMAX® Theater at the Pacific Science Center. Barnes will discuss how this Earth-sized planet was discovered, and how we’ll go about figuring out whether it’s habitable and inhabited. Tickets to the talk are $5 and are available online. It’s free for PacSci members.

Learn about telescopes

MOFTake a look through telescopes at the Free First Thursday event at the Museum of Flight from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. September 1. The evening will include family activities and exhibits about telescopes, and NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Tony Gondola will give a presentation titled “The History of Telescopes and How They Work” at 7 p.m. in the museum’s Fluke Challenger Learning Center.

While you’re out at the Museum of Flight check out the special exhibit Above and Beyond, which celebrates both the history and future of flight through a variety of immersive simulations, interactive design challenges, impactful stories of innovation, and more. Your opportunities are running out; the exhibit closes September 10.

Star Parties

As we turn the calendar to September star party season starts to wind down. There are several on the docket for this week.

Seattle Astronomical SocietyThe Seattle Astronomical Society will hold a star party at the super-dark Brooks Memorial State Park near Goldendale from September 1-5. Closer to home, the club will hold a star party beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, September 3 at the Rattlesnake Mountain Trailhead. Note that both of these events are for SAS members only; one of many good reasons to join now!

Olympic Astronomical Society will hold one of its Hurricane Ridge Star Parties Saturday, September 3. The event is free save for admission to Olympic National Park.

Oregon ObservatoryThe Brothers Star Party, a fundraiser for the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver, will be held August 31-September 5 near the town of Brothers, east of Bend, Oregon. Formerly held at Mount Bachelor, this star party has been at the new site near Brothers for several years, and the location gets high marks for dark skies. Find registration info, directions, and more details on the BSP Facebook page or website. Onsite registration is available.

Up in the sky

There’s a new Moon on Thursday, which means observing will be at its best, and Neptune reaches opposition on Friday; see if you can spot the most distant confirmed planet. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope have more observing highlights for the week.

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August is star party month

We’ve flipped the calendar to a new page, the Moon will be full tomorrow, and that means that we have star parties galore on the calendar for this week.

Table Mountain

TMSP logoThe Table Mountain Star Party is Washington’s biggest each year, and runs August 2–6 at Eden Valley Guest Ranch near Oroville, Washington. This will be the fourth year the event has been held at this location since a forest fire damaged the original site, on Table Mountain near Ellensburg, in September 2012. Preregistration for the star party is closed, but they will accept on-site registrations, which can be started by visiting the registration page on the organization’s website.

Oregon Star Party

OSP logoThe annual Oregon Star Party will be held from August 2–7 at Indian Trail Spring in the Ochoco National Forest, 45 miles east of Prineville, Oregon. The site is at an elevation of over 5,000 feet and has an unobstructed 360 degree horizon. The Oregon Star Party is considered to have the darkest skies of any major star party in the continental United States. Preregistration for the event is closed, but see the event’s registration page for information about on-site sign-ups.

Mt. Kobau

Mt. Kobau logoThe Mt. Kobau Star Party northwest of Osoyoos, British Columbia is already under way, having begun on July 30. It runs through August 7. Last year this star party ended early and abruptly as a forest fire raged through the area, threatening to cut off the way out for attendees. Fortunately, everyone escaped OK and, miraculously, the fire missed the star party site, allowing it to go on again this year. The site is at 1,800 meters. That’s above 5,400 feet for Yanks! Though it’s already under way you can still register; info is online.

Hurricane Ridge

The second of the Hurricane Ridge Star Party of the summer, organized by the Olympic Astronomical Society, will be held Saturday, August 6 at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. This star party is open to the public and free, though one must pay admission to the park. The last party of the summer at the site is set for September 3.

Science in the City

Brett Morris

Brett Morris

The Pacific Science Center will kick off a new lecture series called Science in the City this week. The inaugural event will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 2 in the PACCAR IMAX® Theater at the center. Brett Morris, a UW astronomy graduate student and one of the organizers of Astronomy on Tap Seattle, will talk about recently discovered exoplanets and their diverse and bewildering features. The talk includes a showing of the film A Beautiful Planet 3D. Admission is $10, free for PacSci members.

Club events

Olympic Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 1 in room Art 103 on the Olympic College campus in Bremerton. Program items include presentations about observing and understanding Mira variables, Astronomical League programs, and the brightest supernova in 400 years.

The Tacoma Astronomical Society‘s monthly meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 2 in room 175 of Thompson Hall on the campus of the University of Puget Sound. We have not seen specific program information. The club will also offer observing after the Jazz Under the Stars concert Thursday, August 4 in the outdoor amphitheater of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus in Parkland. Northwest vocalist of the year Eugenie Jones will be the guest performer this week. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Stargazing commences some time after 9 p.m. at PLU’s Keck Observatory. It’s free.

The Spokane Astronomical Society‘s monthly meeting is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 5 at the Riverview Retirement Community in the community center building. Topics and speakers for the meeting had not been published as of this writing.

Open House at TJO

Theodor Jacobsen ObservatoryThe twice-monthly open houses at the University of Washington’s Theodor Jacobsen Observatory may be the hottest ticket in town. Tickets for all of the talks for the August events have already been reserved, and the September talks are going fast. The next open house will be held at 9 p.m. Wednesday, August 3 at the observatory. Student Emily Farr will talk about Mars, and volunteers from the Seattle Astronomical Society will give tours of the observatory and, if the weather is clear, offer looks through its vintage telescope.

Up in the sky

Jupiter and the Moon have a close encounter on Saturday, and the five naked-eye planets are all visible in the evening sky in early August. This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope magazine and The Sky This Week from Astronomy have other observing highlights for the week.

 

 

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Answering What If? Friday in Bremerton

Planetarium events and a handful of astronomy club functions highlight the astronomy calendar for this week.

Pacific Planetarium in Bremerton plans shows titled “What If?” this Friday, July 15 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m. The sessions will take on some of the queries posed in the book What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) by Randall Munroe, the former NASA scientist turned cartoonist and creator of the comic xkcd. Admission to the programs is $5.

For those traveling to the planetarium from the east side of the sound, it is less than a mile from the Bremerton ferry terminal. Save the car fare and walk on!

Pacific Science CenterThe Willard Smith Planetarium at Pacific Science Center features daily programs on a variety of topics, and they have offerings suitable for all ages. Check our calendar, or theirs, for the schedule.

Astronomy club events

Olympic Astronomical SocietyThe Olympic Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 11 in room Art 103 at Olympic College in Bremerton. Talks on the agenda will cover the summer night sky, explosions in space, and core collapse super novae.

beaslogo_300The Boeing Employees Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting Thursday, July 14 in the Boeing “Oxbow” Recreation Center, Building 9-150, Room 201. The program will be “Juno to Jupiter: Piercing the Veil,” a presentation by solar system ambassador Ron Hobbs about the Juno mission, which arrived at Jupiter last week. A social half hour begins at 6:30 p.m. with the program slated for 7 p.m. All Boeing employees, friends and family are invited. Non-Boeing guests must be escorted, so please RSVP to BEAS president David Ingram.

You can get a preview of the program by reading our recent article with Hobbs or listening to the podcast directly below.

Tacoma Astronomical SocietyThe Tacoma Astronomical Society plans one of its free public nights for 9 p.m. Saturday, July 16 at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. The all-weather program will cover constellations and star-hopping. If the skies are clear club members will be on hand with telescopes for observing.

Up in the sky

Mercury and Venus will be very close together while Saturn and the Moon do a little dance on Friday. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance by Sky & Telescope have more observing highlights for the week.

 

 

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Discussion of space security is highlight of week’s calendar

Several area astronomy clubs have meetings and star parties this week, and the University of Washington hosts a symposium about space security.

Jackson School of International StudiesDoctoral candidates and junior fellows in the Space Security Initiative at the UW’s Jackson School of International Studies have been examining the prospects of various international spacefaring nations, and will present a briefing about their findings at the University this Wednesday, June 8. Seattle Astronomy is among the participant panel of journalists, space company representatives, government officials, military, economic development specialists, and other space thinkers involved in the discussion of the future of space exploration and security. We’ll report back on the discussion in a future post.

Astro club activity

Tacoma Astronomical SocietyThe Tacoma Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7 in room 175 of Thompson Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus. Seattle Astronomical Society member Mark de Regt will give a talk about how he moved from observing the skies from his yard to remote imaging with equipment located in the South Australia desert. He gave a similar presentation to the SAS back in March. The Tacoma group also will hold one of its free public nights beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 11 at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. An all-weather program about aurorae will be featured, and club members will have telescopes on hand for observing if weather permits.

BPAAThe Battle Point Astronomical Association has a full evening of events planned for Saturday, June 11. The club’s popular BP Astro Kids program will celebrate its first birthday at 5 p.m. by revisiting its first year of fun kid projects in a relaxed, science-based, crafty evening! Participants can come by any time as there is no talk, just celebrations! The club’s monthly planetarium program follows at 8:30 p.m., this time focusing on “Pluto & Some Planets.” Astronomer Steve Ruhl will examine the latest data about Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft. They’ll also take a brief look at the three bright planets currently in the evening sky: Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. If the sky is clear, astronomers will be on hand with telescopes. The event is free to BPAA members, $2 donation suggested for nonmembers, $5 for families.

Olympic Astronomical Society has its monthly meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 6 in room Art 103 at Olympic College in Bremerton. As of this writing the program had not been published.

Up in the sky

As the BPAA suggests, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn are all beautifully placed for viewing starting at dusk these days. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope list additional observing highlights for the week.

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