Tag Archives: Spokane Astronomical Society

Labor Day week astronomy events

Happy Labor Day to all! There’s a little something on the astronomy calendar just about every night this week.

Focus on astrophotography

Tacoma Astronomical SocietyThe Tacoma Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 7 in room 175 of Thompson Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus in Tacoma. The meeting topic will be DSLR photography, with four experienced shooters and two beginners sharing their tips and challenges. The club hopes to spur wider interest in the pursuit of astrophotography.

TAS will also hold one of its public nights beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, September 10 at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. The indoor program will be about the Hubble Space Telescope. Club members will be on hand with scopes for public viewing, weather permitting.

Last month for Jacobsen open houses

Theodor Jacobsen ObservatoryThe second-to-last open house of the season at the University of Washington’s Theodor Jacobsen Observatory will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 7. Recent physics and astronomy graduate Evan Davis will give a talk about exoplanets. With the recent strong evidence of a planet orbiting the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, Davis’s talk is especially relevant! Reservations are recommended.

After the September 21 open house, the outreach program will go on hiatus until March.

Astronomy clubs

beaslogo_300The Boeing Employees Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8 at the Boeing “Oxbow” Recreation center. The topic or guest speaker was yet to be announced as of this writing. Non-Boeing guests are welcome, but should RSVP to Dave Ingram, contact info on the meeting link above.

Spokane Astronomical SocietyThe Spokane Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 9 at the Riverview Retirement Community in Spokane. The guest speaker will be Don Peckham, a member of Rose City Astronomers who has been assistant director of the club’s telescope workshop since 2005. Peckham created the String Telescope Concepts and the Tensegrity String Telescope websites. He has designed and built two truss-tube telescopes, two traditional string telescopes, and three tensegrity string telescopes.

BPAA logoSaturday will be a busy night on Bainbridge Island as the Battle Point Astronomical Association holds several events. Its BP Astro Kids programs at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. September 10 will look at comets and help kids make their own. The planetarium program at 7:30 p.m. will take a look at cool Hubble Space Telescope images you may have missed. Observing will happen, weather permitting.

Seattle Astronomical SocietyThe Seattle Astronomical Society will hold its monthly free public star parties at 8 p.m. Saturday, September 10 at two locations: Green Lake in Seattle and Paramount Park in Shoreline. The star parties are cancelled in the event of weather unfavorable for astronomical observing. Watch the SAS website for the latest.

Above and Beyond closes

MOFIt’s your last week to check out the special exhibit Above and Beyond at the Museum of Flight. The interactive traveling exhibit celebrates both the history and future of flight through a variety of immersive simulations, interactive design challenges, impactful stories of innovation, and more. This large-scale exhibition invites you to experience what it takes to make the “impossible” possible. The last day to experience it is September 10. It’s free with museum admission.

Futures file

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

  • Astronaut Mike Massimino will speak at the Museum of Flight October 14
  • Author Julian Guthrie and others will talk about the Road to SpaceShipOne at the Museum of Flight October 17
  • Physicist Rainer Weiss, a key figure in gravitational wave research, will lecture at the University of Washington October 25

Up in the sky

Spot the Moon near Saturn Thursday and Mars Friday. 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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AstronoMay kicks off at PacSci

Pacific Science CenterWhy settle for one astronomy day when you can have AstronoMay? Astronomy Day is May 14, but the Pacific Science Center has the whole month packed with astronomy activities. The first is coming up at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5 in the center’s Willard Smith Planetarium, which will hook up with the Adler Planetarium and others around the country for an interactive, networked lecture, “From The Big Bang To The Multiverse And Beyond.” The talk will be given by Dr. Michael Turner of the University of Chicago, a noted cosmologist credited with coining the term dark energy. Turner will delve into what we know and also tackle some of the mysteries and puzzles of cosmology today.

Other lectures planned for AstronoMay:

  • Elena Amador, a UW graduate student in Earth and Space Sciences, presents, “Search for Water on Mars” May 14 at 10 a.m.
  • Dr. Sandeep Singh, planetary scientist at the Bear Fight Institute, presents “Saturn’s Hazy Moon, Titan” May 14 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Dr. Will Grundy of Lowell Observatory presents “Pluto & Charon Up-Close” May 22 at 2:15 p.m.

The lectures are free with admission to the Pacific Science Center, but tickets are required and available online.

On Saturdays during May, and on Sunday, May 22, volunteers from the Seattle Astronomical Society will be set up on the courtyard of the center with solar telescopes for safe viewing of the Sun. All month long there will be exhibits and hands-on activities about space and astronomy, and planetarium presentations (our calendar has the schedule) and IMAX movies, including A Beautiful Planet 3D.

AstronoMay website and calendar.

Club news

Tacoma Astronomical SocietyArea astronomy clubs are busy this week. The Tacoma Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 in room 175 of Thompson Hall at the University of Puget Sound. There will be a presentation by Michael Laine, president of the Liftport Group, which is drawing up plans for a lunar elevator. The club will hold one of its free public nights at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. The TAS student group will make a presentation about the solar system. Observing will happen if weather permits.

Spokane Astronomical SocietyThe Spokane Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the planetarium at Spokane Falls Community College. Stefanie Milam, a project scientist with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, will give a presentation on either the James Webb Space Telescope or recent discoveries of sugar and ethanol in comets. They note the latter represents all of the makings for a wild star party.

Olympic Astronomical Society will hold its 12th annual spring Camp Delaney Star Party May 4-8 out at Sun Lakes State Park near Coulee City in Eastern Washington. Club members already on site recommend industrial strength bug protection as the mosquitos are out in force. Note the preregistration was required for the event.

Supernova impostor

Brianna Binder

Breanna Binder. Photo: Greg Scheiderer.

Dr. Breanna Binder of the University of Washington will give an astronomy colloquium at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 5 in the Physics/Astronomy Auditorium on the UW campus in Seattle. Binder will talk about supernova 2010da, which is not really a supernova, but an interesting object with a high-luminosity, variable X-ray emission. The X-ray emission is consistent with accretion onto a neutron star, making SN 2010da both a supernova impostor and likely high mass X-ray binary. Binder gave a talk about x-ray binary systems last August at the Seattle Astronomical Society’s monthly meeting.

Space Day at Museum of Flight

moflogoThursday is not only Cinco de Mayo, it is Space Day at the Museum of Flight. It’s part of the Museum’s free first Thursday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Local astronomy clubs will be on hand with information, and telescopes for observing if weather permits.

Open House at TJO

There will be an open house at the University of Washington’s Theodor Jacobsen Observatory at 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 4. As of this writing the schedule for the events talks by undergraduate students had not been published online. Volunteers from the Seattle Astronomical Society will be on hand to offer observatory tours, and perhaps a peek through its vintage six-inch 1892 Warner and Swasey telescope with Brashear objective.

Up in the sky

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks this week. Learn about the shower and other observing highlights for the week from This Week’s Sky at a Glance by Sky & Telescope magazine or The Sky This Week from Astronomy.

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Beer and art with your astronomy

This week’s busy Seattle Astronomy calendar includes a new opportunity to mix astronomy and beer, the opening of a spacey art exhibit, and several club events.

Astronomy and beer

PubSciWe’ve been enjoying Astronomy on Tap Seattle for about a year now—in fact, it will celebrate its first birthday March 23—and now there’s another opportunity to enjoy your favorite beverage with your favorite hobby. Pacific Science Center will host one of its PubSci events at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 at Hilliard’s Beer Taproom in Ballard. Matt Tilley, a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences and Astrobiology Program, will give a talk titled, “The Magnetospheres Of Solar System Planets And Beyond.” Tilley will explain how planetary magnetic fields can be used to explore things light years away and how this matters for the search for life on exoplanets.

Hilliard’s will donate one dollar to the Pacific Science Center for every beer sold at the event, so drink up for a good cause.

Coincidentally enough, Astronomy on Tap is also held in Ballard, at Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Company. This may well make Ballard the astronomy and beer capital of the world. Or at least of Seattle.

Art on the Moon

NASA photo.

NASA photo.

An out-of-this-world art exhibit will open with a gala party at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at King Street Station in Seattle. Vital 5 Productions cooked up the idea for the Giant Steps exhibition and contest to challenge students, artists, engineers, architects, designers, and other space enthusiasts to imagine and propose art projects on the surface of the Moon. The one deemed best by a panel of judges will be worth $10,000 to its creator.

Tickets to the opening are $25 and are available online. The organizers suggest your shiniest costumes, though space helmets are optional. If you can’t make the big shindig, you can see the exhibit for $10 from noon until 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during March.

Planetariums this week

Pacific Planetarium in Bremerton will present its First Friday Sky Walk show this Friday, March 4, running every half hour between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The show takes a look at what objects will be visible in the night sky during the month. Tickets are $3 and are available online or at the door. For those coming from the east side of the sound, the planetarium is less than a mile from the Bremerton ferry terminal.

The Willard Smith Planetarium at Pacific Science Center has a full slate of shows for a variety of ages on Saturdays and Sundays. Check their calendar, or ours, for the schedule. Planetarium shows are $3 in addition to regular Science Center admission.

Astro club events

It’s a busy week for area astronomy clubs.

The Eastside Astronomical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29 at the Willard Geer Planetarium at Bellevue College. Patricia Terhune-Inverso, longtime EAS member and astronomy instructor at the college, will demonstrate how she uses the planetarium to teach her daily classes. The Eastside Astronomical Society started out as Friends of the Planetarium back in the early 1970s. Check out the interesting history article on the club’s website.

SpokaneThe monthly meeting of the Spokane Astronomical Society will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 in the planetarium in Science Building #28 at Spokane Falls Community College. Program details had not been published as of this writing.

The monthly meeting of the Tacoma Astronomical Society will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 in room 175 of Thompson Hall at the University of Puget Sound. We didn’t have information about the program as of this writing.

taslogoTacoma also will hold one of its free public nights at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Fort Steilacoom campus of Pierce College. There will be a presentation about binocular astronomy and, weather permitting, astronomers and telescopes will be ready to observe the night sky.

Up in the sky

Jupiter is nearing opposition and so now is a good time to observe the largest of the planets and its Galilean moons. The Moon passes close to Saturn on Wednesday. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope have other observing highlights for the week.

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Astronaut visit, three club meetings this week

A talk by a visiting astronaut and three astronomy club meetings highlight the week on the Seattle Astronomy calendar, and two of the week’s featured events are on the west side of Puget Sound.

Astronaut Wilson speaks at MOF program

Stephanie Wilson

Astronaut Stephanie Wilson. Photo: NASA.

Astronaut Stephanie Wilson, the second African-American woman to travel to space, will give a talk at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Museum of Flight. Wilson, who flew on three shuttle missions, appears in recognition of Black History Month and in conjunction with the Michael P. Anderson Memorial Aerospace Program, named after the Washington native astronaut who died in the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. The program brings in mentors for at-risk students and gives them exposure to aerospace education, improving their chances to graduate from high school.

The talk is free with admission to the museum.

Astronomy clubs meet

Three area astronomy clubs have their regular meetings scheduled this week.

The Olympic Astronomical Society gathers at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 in room Art 103 on the Olympic College campus in Bremerton. The club has a half-dozen interesting talks on its agenda for the evening.

Tacoma Astronomical Society will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2 in room 175 of  Thompson Hall on the campus of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Popular speaker Ron Hobbs, a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador, will give a talk about the DAWN mission to Ceres.

The Spokane Astronomical Society plans its monthly meeting for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5 in the planetarium at Spokane Falls Community College. Guest speaker and program information hadn’t been published as of this writing.

First Friday Sky Walk

Pacific PlanetariumIf you haven’t checked out Pacific Planetarium in Bremerton, this Friday would be a good time to do so. The planetarium presents a First Friday Sky Walk each month, with the next being on Feb. 5. These family-friendly presentations give a look at what’s up in the night sky for the coming month. The first show is at 5 p.m. and it is repeated hourly through 8 p.m. Before or after shows you can explore the planetarium’s space science exhibits and activities. Volunteers from the Olympic Astronomical Society will be present to answer your astronomy questions.

Tickets are $3 and are available online or at the door. For those coming from the east side of the sound, the planetarium is less than a mile from the Bremerton ferry terminal.

Up in the sky

The Moon passes near Mars, Saturn, and Venus this week as the early-morning lineup of planets continues. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope have other observing highlights for the week.

Follow the Seattle Astronomy calendar to keep up to date on astronomy happenings in the area.

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