AAAP February Meeting Features Brashear Time Capsule 7:30 PM, Friday, February 12, 2016

AAAP Logo - 0314 x 0314 - photo white on black - rev 2

AAAP February Meeting, 7:30 PM, Friday, February 12, 2016 features guest speaker Art Glaser from the Heinz History Center to discuss the contents of the Brashear Time Capsule found during the March 17, 2015 demolition of the John A. Brashear Factory  (Perry South neighborhood of PittsburghPennsylvania). The meeting location is Allegheny Observatory, 159 Riverview Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15214, United States. Carpooling is encouraged to economize parking. For more information and updates check back here as the date nears, AAAP Facebook and look forward to the AAAP February Guide Star Newsletter. Read more about John A. Brashear here.


Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.

21+Rocket Science Tonight at Carnegie Science Center


Meet with AAAP president and interested AAAP members tonight January 15, 2016, 6-10 PM, at 21+Rocket Science at Carnegie Science Center.  Just drop in no reservation needed.  Guests may purchase tickets from the CSC website or at the door.  Guests should see CSC for more info. AAAP members can check with the AAAPgh List and or club officers. AAAP supports CSC and holds many of its monthly meetings at the Science Center. This is a great opportunity to share club and astronomy information with the public and to promote the Carnegie Science Center.

Carnegie Science Center plans an unforgetable evening exploring the Space Race and Rocket Science teaming up with the City Theatre to present present scenes from the world premiere of “Some Brighter Distance,” which explores the true story of Arthur Rudolph, a German rocket scientist who helped American win the space race before being cast out of the country. Preview scenes from the play even before its theatrical debut on Jan. 23. Actors will perform under the stars in the Buhl Planetarium; a planetarium show will follow the performance.

Bring your questions for a Q-and-A session with some of the cast and crew and astronomers to learn about this important time in American history.

All that, plus explosive demonstrations in the Works Theater, design and launch your own straw-rocket, ride on the zero-gravity simulator, build a space shuttle glider and in the Science Stage, watch vintage films depicting what people thought space travel would be like in the future.*

Also, if in town earlier in the day enjoy AAAP Member Bill Snyder’s Astrophotography  Exhibit in the Conney M. Kimbo Gallery at the University of Pittsburgh, there from January  11th to 22, 2016. Hours: Monday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesday–Thursday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday noon–5 p.m.



Updates and additional astronomy and AAAP information on AAAP’s Facebook Page.


Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.

AAAP Scholarship for High School Seniors

To promote, improve and encourage the profession of Astronomy, the AAAP will provide an award in the amount of $1000 for High School Seniors who are presently enrolled in either Allegheny or Washington Counties who are planning to study astronomy, physics or mathematics.  Deadline for submission: April 1, 2016

Additional details and the application packet can be found here.

Quadrantids, First Meteor Shower of 2016, January 3-4, 2016

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks Sunday night into Monday Morning, January 3-4, 2016.  The Waning Crescent Moon should be little interference. Sky shown here is 1:00 AM, Monday January 4, 2016 Quadrantid radiant, is approximately 15 degrees above the horizon (Stellarium screen capture). The Quadrantid radiant is in the corner of a right angle formed by the Big Dipper and bright star Arcturus.  Notice the accompanying meteor showers labeled in aqua and gold: pi Geminids, delta Cancerids, December Leonis Minorids, as well as Comet Catalina  (c/2013 u10), slightly east azimuth 65 degrees.

2016 Quadrantids

As indicated in Accuweather’s  the national weather map thumbnail below for Sunday Dusk through Monday Dawn Pittsburgh local weather is hindered by partial clouds however much of the country in a wide band from Texas through southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond anticipates good viewing.


AAAP’s Weather Resources indicate those in the Northern and Eastern Greater Pittsburgh Area may have an ideal clear sky opportunity on either side of Midnight.  Considering Pittsburgh weather it can vary.   If you cannot watch the Quadrantid meteors live you can see them with the Slooh Space Camera and with Ustream . The NASA Ustream channel includes a lively commentary by NASA scientists. Read more