AAAP Mingo Star Party and Wagman Star Party On Both Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, 2015

See Jupiter near to the Moon in Cancer, with bright stars and planet Venus all in view.

Looking West at 9 PM, April 25, 2015. Stellarium Screen Capture

The April Wagman Star Parties and the April Mingo Star Parties will be on April 24 and 25, 2015.  They should be especially starry nights falling at the end of the Lyrid Meteor Shower. Please plan on sticking around for the darkening of the sky when meteors are more visible to see the best ones. The  Stellarium screen capture depicts the sky looking west at 9 PM, naked-eye, counterclockwise, one sees Jupiter and the Moon with bright stars Procyon, Sirius, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Planet Venus , Capella ,  and swinging back around , Castor and Pollux.  These star parties  present an opportunity to observe other wonders of the Spring sky such as the galaxies in the Coma-Virgo Cluster, planetary nebulae and star clusters.  Did you get a telescope recently and don’t know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help!  Looking to buy a telescope, accessories, star charts and books? Our star parties are the place to start. We’ll have free handouts, guides and booklets to point visitors in the right direction.  Admission is free, though we gladly accept donations to cover the cost of operation.

Stars do not “come out” until after sunlight fades from view.  The sun does not set this weekend until approximately 8:10 PM and darkness does not descend until approximately one hour later.   Please use parking lights only when you drive through the Wagman gate or pass Shelter 10 approaching Mingo Observatory. Drive very slowly and cautiously.  There is no  alcohol or tobacco permitted on  the observatory grounds. We suggest you bring bottled water.  There is no running water on either site. There are park style restroom facilities. Dress warmly as springtime nights can be quite chilly afer the sun goes down.


Wagman Star Parties

Wagman Observatory,  225 Kurn Road, Tarentum, PA 15084  Phone 724-224-2510 Latitude 40.627 degrees, Longitude -79.813 degrees   This event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25 starting at 8:10 PM EDT.   The Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory is located in Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh. Important note to those planning on the Saxonburg Bridge.  Please scroll down to the Saxonburg Bridge Detour information listed on the website.  Wagman Observatory Information


Mingo Star Parties

Mingo Creek Park Observatory,1 Shelter 10 Road, Finleyville, PA  15332 Phone 724-348-6150 This address does not lend to mapping.  Please use the GPS Coordinates. GPS coordinates are Latitude 40*:12′:42″ Longitude 80*:01′:14″ or Latitude 40.211degrees, Longitude -80.020 degrees. Declination -9 degrees.  For directions and information about the Mingo Observatory visit  .

Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th:  Open Rain or shine, cloudy or clear!  4:00 PM for Filtered Solar Observing, 7:00 PM for Planetarium Show, Dusk for Celestial Observing.  Planetarium Schedule: 7:00 PM: Sky Show, 8:00 PM: Program – Chilean Astronomy Connection – George Guzik 9:00 PM: Sky Show, 10:00 PM: Program – Chilean Astronomy Connection – George Guzik.

Safely view the Sun early with our 4″ Lunt Solar Telescope and then see the night sky through our 24 inch Ritchey-Chretien Reflector and 10 inch Refractor telescopes.  Check back for updates.

Guests will also be guided in viewing the ISS Passes, Iridium Flares, satellite observation, etc. See Heavens-Above  for times and availibility of objects in the sky.  As the date of the event nears and more information develops it may be added as resources allow.

There is an ISS Pass predicted for just before 10:47 PM on Friday, but the altitude is so low, reaching a height of only 18°  it will be difficult to observe. That is the only ISS pass in the “Search Period” ending on May 4.


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
24 Apr -0.9 20:46:46 10° W 20:49:06 18° SW 20:51:21 10° S visible

There is an Iridium Flare predicted for Saturday but not for Friday.


Time Brightness Altitude Azimuth Satellite Distance to flare centre Brightness at flare centre Sun altitude
Apr 25, 21:47:16 0.0 53° 86° (E) Iridium 98 48 km (W) -8.3 -18°


April 25, 2015 is Spring Astronomy Day.

These Star Parties also coincide with one of two 2015 Earth Day Weekends. Celebrate the “Blue Marble.”


Rise & Set Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 2015-04-25

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Body Dawn
Rises Sets Dark
Sun 4:44 A.M. 6:26 A.M. 8:09 P.M. 9:51 P.M. 13:43
Moon 12:25 P.M. 1:53 A.M.
Mercury 7:05 A.M. 9:37 P.M.
Venus 8:29 A.M. 11:43 P.M.
Mars 7:05 A.M. 9:15 P.M.
Jupiter 1:03 P.M. 3:18 A.M.
Saturn 10:17 P.M. 8:11 A.M.
Uranus 5:49 A.M. 6:36 P.M.
Neptune 4:19 A.M. 3:23 P.M.
Pluto 1:26 A.M. 11:02 A.M.

All times are Eastern Daylight Time at sea level.

“Dawn Breaks” and “Darkness Descends” values are based on astronomical twilight (not civil twilight).

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