Next Astronomy Event
ZANESVILLE ASTRONOMY CLUB/ NEXT EVENT
An Affiliate of the NASA Night Sky Network
Updated 2 August 2020
When the population is safe from the COVID-19 virus and when the Ohio University Zanesville campus reopens, our monthly events will continue. Our viewing and workshop events are free and open to the public.
The greatest astronomy event of the year occurs in August, the Perseid Meteor Shower.
It began in July and peaks on Wednesday, 12 August 2020.
Some years there are over 100 meteors per hour. Astronomers never know how many to expect on the peak night.
To watch the shower, the later the better. Eleven o'clock in the evening is a good time to begin. You may see some meteors earlier, but after midnight when the Earth has turned into the comet debris is when you will see the most. Look to the northeast or east. Have a blanket upon which to rest and look up or a lounge/yard chair. It's fun for everyone to have popcorn and beverages.
If you have a new digital phone or device, some have a "meteor mode" for taking pictures. Check it out before that night if you plan to use it. If not, use the video camera or phone aimed in the direction shown in the diagram. Videos should be 7-10 seconds. When no meteor appears, stop the video and restart a new one. You may capture a phenomenal meteor or none at all. That is how many people video thunderstorms to capture neat images of lightning.
I hope you have good weather where you live on the 12th. Meantime, enjoy clear night skies and see the Perseid meteors from the Perseus Constellation up until the peak of the 12th and after. While looking, there are free apps for your electronic devices to help you learn what everything is "up there." "Night Sky" is one. Look for others you may find you prefer.
Zanesville Astronomy Club Events are scheduled for the 2nd Saturday evening of each month at sunset.
Outdoor events are held on the OUZ campus. We use the 17" Lewis Newtonian telescope in the Lewis Observatory located at the north end of the university parking lot. Workshop events are held in the OUZ Campus Center, room 409. For your GPS, use the address of 1425 Newark Road, Zanesville, OH 43701.
Members and guests bring their curiosity and passion for astronomy to our events, the destination for persons wanting to exchange ideas, and learn more about astronomy. You are welcome to bring your telescope to share or learn how to use it. You will appreciate having binoculars. Keep a folding chair in the car for easy observing.
Children love to be included in our night events and enjoy seeing celestial objects up close. They are welcome when accompanied by an adult.
July found exciting news with Comet NEOWISE. Many times astronomers around the world find a new comet and think it will become a huge event. In reality, many of them fizzle into nothing as they burn off their water vapor and it disappears into space. As you can see by the NASAnpicture on the left, NEOWISE is getting larger. Right now it has 2 tails.
The comet was discovered on 27 March 2020 by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. They named it after the space vehicle which discovered it. When it zips through our solar system, it won't be seen again for almost 7,000 years.
When you come to our next astronomy event, bring your comet pictures to share.
I assembled NASA & ESA links for their paper model patterns of space vehicles, instruments, telescopes, etc. and posted them on a recent blog site. When you print them, I recommend the more sturdy cardstock paper, although plain paper will work. Although some of the patterns are in color, they all print well as black and white.
The patterns may be printed, cut out and assembled by persons ages 9 and up. The difficulty is listed for each from easy to moderately difficult.
Provided on each pattern is usually the history of the space object and additional information. The image to the left is the completed model of the James Webb Space Telescope. Some of the patterns are in color. They will make a beautiful educational addition to any art shelf and become a conversation starter for all ages.
This is a wonderful way to teach astronomy to children who share the model building with a parent. From experience, I recommended that 2 patterns be printed out in case a mistake is made on the first construction attempt. :-)
The link to the patterns is: https://irenebaron.com/irene-baron-blog/blog/space-instrument-models-to-print-build
The NASA Night Sky Network offers annual award pins for top volunteers of each affiliate organization for 2019. This year the pins were awarded to Irene Baron, John Bolen, Chuck Bruckelmeyer and Gregorio Biolcati Rinaldi. In the image to the left Irene holds the certificate which came with the award and has the award pin on her jacket. Congratulations to all volunteers in the Zanesville Astronomy Club!
The Circumpolar constellations are those which we can see all year. They surround the center of this image from JPL NASA. We will point them out each astronomy event, especially the brightest stars to orient you to the sky. You will learn how to find geographic north by using the stars.
The supergiant red star, Betelgeuse, is in the news. In the constellation of Orion, the star is fluctuating in brightness which is normal for that star. It is about 650 light-years away. That means that the light we see from it left the star 650-years ago. If it exploded years ago, we won't know until the light of that explosion reaches us. We are watching [ast history happening with all the stars. They are at various distances from us. Our nearest star is the Sun. We learn about stars by studying our Sun. The light from our Sun takes about 8-minutes to reach us. The sunlight hitting your face was created 8-minutes earlier. Anything that happens on the Sun will not be seen by Earthlings for 8 minutes.
If Betelgeuse ever goes into a supernova stage, we'll have front row seats. We're too far away for it to hurt us, but the star will be about as bright as the full moon for a while. We're going to begin including it as the first and last star to see at each astronomy event. Let's watch what happens to it. What an exciting event in our lifetime. A supergiant star changing before our eyes.
When you arrive for an astronomy event, please sign in at the designated table inside the Rogge Pavilion next to the Lewis Observatory.
Dress for the weather. In cooler weather, wear thick-soled shoes and layered clothing. Bring gloves and a hat. You'll be outside at least an hour. If the sky is covered with clouds, we will meet in the Pavilion to talk astronomy. If your telescope needs adjustments, let Chuck Bruckelmeyer know to set up a time for him to examine it. We are extremely fortunate to have him as a member who dedicates much time to keeping the Lewis Telescope in good repair.
Binoculars are nice to have on hand during meetings. They are like two small telescopes. Dig them out of your closet and keep them available for meetings.
Experts in telescopes, Chuck Bruckelmeyer and John Bolen, are usually present to answer your questions.
In case of inclement weather, we will meet in the pavilion to discuss astronomy, examine telescopes and learn how to use them. Come with a smile and questions for us to answer. Bring your telescope if you need help with it.
OUZ- Andy Freeman, Manager of the OUZ Facilities, and Executive Assistant Linda Sinift for having the observatory maintained and the nearby lights turned off during our meetings.
ZANESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT - The Zanesville Police Department will have their patrol officer include the Lewis Observatory on their schedule of places to visit. Please thank the officer if they have time to stop and invite them to use our telescopes.
ZANESVILLE TIME RECORDER – Reporters of the newsroom, thank you for posting our events for the community.
NASA NIGHT SKY NETWORK - Dave & Vivian, thank you for updating affiliate organizations such as our club with information and workshop materials, rewards, etc.
Please share this information and URL link with family and friends who may be interested in learning more about astronomy.
During an earlier workshop at the John McIntire Public Library, information about winter constellations was well received. The images are Irene baron at the beginning, the Tshirt door prize, and some of the audience.
An earlier presentation at the public library using the NASA Night Sky Network kit, "Glass & Mirrors - An Inside Look At Telescopes," was well received. The images below show presenter Chuck Bruckelmeyer discussing his Dobsonian telescope with a few of the participants. The picture to the right is Astronomy Club member, Greg, creating a refracting telescope model using two convex lenses. The lenses had to be adjusted by each viewer to create clear magnification of a distant object.
The table top-Celestron telescope with clock drive, donated by club member Carl Matesich of Newark, may be borrowed for home use by club members for 1-2 months at a time. It will be on loan until May and available for another user at our May meeting.. If you wish to borrow that telescope in 2018 for a month or two, arrange to schedule the time with Irene (email@example.com ) That telescope is easy to carry and is supplied with a variety of lenses. When you see Carl, thank him for the donation. The telescope is pictured to the left.
The 11-inch Celestron telescope donated by Dr. Hudnell Lewis is available for our use.
Check out this NASA map for the 8 April 2024 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE. Most members of our club will live within 60-miles of totality!
Time will go fast, so plan way ahead to visit an eclipse area during the mid-day eclipse. The red line shows the area of the longest and greatest totality. If you are within the blue lines, you will see totality, but not as long of a time as you will within the red line. Cleveland will be the major eclipse city in Ohio. I imagine they will be making preparations for quite a while.
Meanwhile, plan way ahead for this. Arrange family time or time with friends to visit the nearest point you wish to visit that day. Your current eclipse glasses will not be good at that eclipse as the material evidently can be used for only 3-years if it has no fingerprints or scratches. Mine aren't very pristine after the last eclipse. The newer ones will most likely be better anyway.
I hope the NASA NIght Sky Network gives us free ones again.
PLEASE SHARE INFO WITH FRIENDS!
Irene Baron and Chuck Bruckelmeyer of the Zanesville Astronomy Club made a presentation in Elson Hall at Ohio University Zanesville on 17 August 2017. If you were there, you saw it was standing room only with more people waiting in the hallways.
During the events leading up to the eclipse, 500-eclipse safety shades donated by Google & Berkeley University of California were distributed during the August club meeting and during the OUZ presentation.
During the presentation activities, persons signed in at the main desk, Many signed up to become a club member. They were from New Straitsville, Newark, Baltimore, Norwich, Quaker City, Glenford, Shawnee, Nashport, Frazeysburg, East Fultonham, Dresden, Adamsville, Minerva, New Concord, Roseville, Westerville and Zanesville. That geographic distribution shows how important Zanesville has become in astronomy family education.
Our club membership is currently 238. Not too bad after only 4-years of existence.
We would like to thank the Muskingum County community and surrounding areas for their enthusiastic support of astronomy and the Lewis Observatory. To have Ohio University Zanesville support us and provide access to the observatory is deeply appreciated. Persons associated with the University have been active with working behind the scenes, including the facilities department who provides the Campus Center rooms for our use and turns off the lights surrounding the observatory. Thanks to our members who may not arrive for all meetings, but keep their interest.
PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS OF SELECTED PAST MEETINGS
Click here for link.
The Zanesville Astronomy Club is an affiliate member of the NASA Night Sky Network!
The Night Sky Network is associated with NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, the National Science Foundation and the Astronomy Society of the Pacific. The Network provides information to the public such as local/state/national events, astronomy activities for ages pre-school through adult, videos, games and other astronomy resources.
The mission of the Zanesville Astronomy Club is to provide public outreach about astronomy. Monthly meetings are held at the Lewis Observatory located adjacent to the Rogge Pavilion on the Ohio University-Zanesville campus in Zanesville, Ohio. The 17-inch Newtonian reflector telescope in the observatory is used for celestial observations. Club organizers Chuck Bruckelmeyer and Irene Baron invite community members of all ages to enjoy viewing the galaxies, stars, the Moon and planets. Baron said, “To have such a large telescope available for the community provides a unique resource for families and amateur astronomers. I would hope citizens will continue to take advantage of the free observational opportunities available.” Baron said she is available to open the observatory for school classes, scout troops and community/service organizations. She is also available as a public speaker to discuss past and current astronomy events, reminding that Comet ISON is arriving this winter.
The URL address for the Night Sky site access is: http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/. Information about the local organization may also be found through the Zanesville Astronomy Club Facebook page and web site.
Individuals, schools districts, teachers and community organizations wishing to receive the monthly electronic Zanesville Astronomy Club newsletter are asked to send an email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citizens are reminded they may take advantage of computers at the public libraries in gaining gain access to all club and affiliated electronic astronomy sites
Visits from around the world.
A Top Author Website of 2017
MIRROR GRINDING INSTRUCTION
One of numerous workshops
Coordinator Chuck Bruckelmeyer presented a workshop at OUZ about making a telescope. He has constructed several by grinding his own concave mirror surfaces by hand. He is an expert at helping club members put together their new telescopes, help in repairing them and using his laser calibration system to align the mirrors correctly. Discuss your needs with him at monthly events. In this photo, Chuck holds one of the mirrors on which he is currently working. We are very fortunate to have him as a member and active coordinator.
Coordinator John Bolen w/Lewis Telescope
Aligning telescope to nebula
John Bolen is a ZAC Coordinator who, with Chuck Bruckelmeyer, will be hosting your viewing through the Lewis Telescope. In this image, John is setting up the telescope for a distant object through the dome opening of the observatory. John also brings his Dobsonian telescope to most events. For viewing solar eclipses and sunspots, he has special solar filters. It is quite astonishing to safely look at the sun through his telescope with solar shields. Thank you John for all your work with our organization.