December 2016 Open House We hosted our annual open house for the public. Our guest seem to have a deep interest in astronomy. Several members spent time with them discussing various topics and demonstrating equipment. Thanks to all the club members who brought in equipment and shared their expertise with the guests. Pictured below are members and guests. Photos by Carol Tancibok
The Black Forest Star Party 2016 is a Success! Three great nights of viewing made for a successful Star Party. Many thanks to all the volunteers, attendees, vendors and speakers who helped keep the party running smoothly! We were filled to capacity on the observing field and the night skies cooperated nicely. Go to our Club in Action post to see more images.
M33 by Michael Renne and Listening to Speakers by Bill Arden
California Nebula by Bob Baumbach and Keynote Speaker by Bill Arden
Pelican Nebula and Paul from Ohio and 20″ homemade DOB by Bob Baumbach
June 2, 2016
Sam Finn gave us a very nice explanation of Gravitational Wave Astronomy. Sam has been studying this field all of his career. Sam is a club member and a Professor in the Astronomy Department at Penn State. He is slated to be one of the speakers at the Black Forest Star Party this year on this very same subject.
Transit of the Sun by Mercury, May 9, 2016
The club sponsored a viewing of the transit from 11:00 to 2:00 on Monday, May 9. At first the sky cooperated and we had some good viewing. We got many “Ooohs” and “Wows” from the visitors. We had about 30 plus visitors until about noon when the clouds moved in!
Photos by Judy Marks (Click on photos to see larger in another window)
Photos by Bob Baumbach
By Joey Nicosia Mercury is at the bottom.
By Mike Renne through the solar scope.
Trip to NYC to the American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium
The CPO took a day trip on May 7th and took in two shows at the AMNH. We saw “Dark Universe” in the planetarium, narrated by Neil DeGrasse-Tyson and an Imax 3D film narrated by Robert Redford on the National Parks. The rest of the time we visited the museum or walked about NYC.
NEAF 2016: Nine members of the club were at the North East Astronomy Forum April 8-9th. Carol and Dan spent the weekend while Bob, Dave, Matt, Liz, Bill, Mike and Sam went for a day trip on Saturday. We call the mini van ride up there and back “The Sardine Express” as it was the smallest seven passenger vehicle ever! We had a good day with some good speakers and the ever popular vendors and exhibits in the gym.
APRIL OPEN HOUSE
The April 2016 Open House was a big success!
We were attended by a Cub Scout Troop from Howard, PA and at least a dozen others
February 4th 2016 Meeting
Chris Palma, Penn State Astronomy Dept., gave a presentation about our galaxy and its influence on minor galaxies near by, giving some hint as to what our the Milky Way may look like.
White House Astronomy Night, October 19, 2015
We held the White House Astronomy Night at Tudek Park here in State College. A special thanks to Tom Kasner, Bill Arden, Dave Reasinger for setting up telescopes. We had about 30 guest viewers throughtout the evening which was good for it being a work night and cold. The skies cooperated and we saw a lot even though the transparency was low due to moon and humidity. We heard many “oohs” and “ahs” and good comments coming from the guests.
Bill Arden and Dave Reasinger setting up and a display for the public.
Dave also printed out certificates and handed them to viewers (thanks Dave, that was great) and Tom had printed up the collectors cards from the White House packet.
We celebrated the super moon, harvest moon, full moon and lunar eclipse at Tudek Park on September 27th, 2015. The turn out for the event was great with over 125 people joining us to try to see the lunar eclipse, but unfortunately the clear sky complete with the full moon gave way to clouds just as the lunar eclipse started to occur.
August Skywatch 2015
The August Skywatch was held at Bernel Park. The event started with a Discovery Center program for kids and Carol instructed some children on how to use a planetsphere.
The skies then cooperated despite a few clouds as Mike, Jim, Carmelo and Bob shared their eyepieces with 25 to 30 guests viewing the Lagoon Nebula, Saturn (big hit as usual), M13, double stars, the double cluster and several other objects. The clouds started getting thicker toward 10:30 as the Skywatch was coming to an end. All in all it was a successful outing.
2015 CPO Family Picnic
The Picnic was held July 25th at the Steamer residence. 30 members and family were in attendance. We had bar-be-que from Clem’s for the main course and everyone brought some good and tasty dishes to fill our tummies!
OBSERVING AT THE OSGOOD PROPERTY
We met at Wayne’s cabin near Coburn, PA and found a very nice observing site. The open field topped a small hill on Wayne’s property with a small orchard off to one side. The weather cooperated nicely on May 23, 2015. The moon was a bit bright at first and there was some high moisture in the sky but by midnight when the moon set the Milky Way popped out nice and bright. Bob, Mike, Sam and Wayne observed for a good bit of the night while Joe and Joey B came along to check out the site. Wayne was a very gracious host and we thank him for the opportunity to observe from such a nice site.
HIGHLAND COUNTY STAR PARTY
Many thanks to Frank and Judy Marks for inviting the CPO to their home in the mountains of Virginia. On Friday night, October 17, the evening started with beautiful clear skies. The clouds started to roll by, sparsely at first, and by midnight they were too solid to photograph through. Saturday was a dull cloudy day with a little rain. Frank and Judy sparked up our spirits by organizing a field trip to Greenbank, National Radio Observatory in West Virginia (close by). All of us that were never there before were impressed by the facility, visitor center and size of the immense radio telescope which we were able to get very close to.We also visited the Cass Scenic Railroad close by. A good time was had by all through the whole weekend!
To see images from this event: https://sites.google.com/site/rmbaumbachphoto/gallery/highland-star-party
The Central Pennsylvania Observers and the Black Forest Star Party were featured in the July 2014 issue of “State College” magazine.
The article by Jill Gleeson entitled “Starry Starry Night” is about the Cherry Springs State Park and in particular our club’s relationship with the park.
The Black Forest Star Party for 2014 is over. It was a rainy and foggy few days. Occasionally glimpses of the stars would keep us hopeful. The programs were excellent and as usual, whenever a bunch of amateur astronomers get together there is a lot of sharing and exchange of ideas. Thanks to all the people that helped make our event successful despite the uncooperative weather!
Children’s Program at Black Forest Star Party 2014
On Saturday August 23rd at the Black Forest Star Party a workshop on Mars and Mars Rover Missions was presented by various members of the Central Pennsylvania Observers Astronomy club. Information was shared with the children attending the workshop and a packet of materials was given to each child containing food to use in creating an edible Rover. A template of a Rover was provided for each child but the participants of the workshop were encouraged to be creative and design their own Rover.
Below are some photos of Rovers that were designed by the children in the workshop. The club members would like to thank all the children and parents that participated in the workshop and helped to create these Rovers.
Bob and Dan enjoy exhibits at this year’s NEAF held in April. The CPO provided transportation for six members to NEAF. One of the highlights of the show was the video conference with Neil Degrasse-Tyson.