Lecture: Mars Interdisciplinary Studios Final Show (Mars Habitat)

Monday, May 2, 2016 (7 PM)
Where: Carnegie Mellon University Studio for Creative Inquiry (CFA-111)
What: Mars Interdisciplinary Studios Final Show (Mars Habitat)

Join our interdisciplinary class of students, made up of engineers, architects, scientists, designers, computer science majors and creative technologists, as we explore a concept for an inflatable/deployable (semi)autonomous greenhouse for Mars. The two courses “Building an Atmosphere” and “Responsive Mobile Environments” deal with both the structures and systems needed to sustain life in an extreme alien environment while engaging also in broader cultural interactions.

Panel Talk – Designing for Mars with guests from NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and NASA Ames. Followed by a presentation and exhibit of student work. Refreshments provided. This event is free and open to the public. Please pass along the invitation. All are welcome!

More Info: http://cmu-mars-studio.com/

Solar Observing and Telescope Viewing at Carrie Furnaces, Steel to Sustainable Festival

Enjoy solar observing  with AAAP at the Carrie Furnaces Steel to Sustainable Festival on Saturday, 7 PM,  April 23, 2016. See Rivers of Steel for ticket prices.

The Carrie Furnaces (40.4130° N, 79.8907° W) Steel to Sustainable Festival  includes a 100th year anniversary of the hard hat art show, three bands and many food trucks. It is a ticketed event and supports the Carrie Furnace National Monument, part of the National Parks Service. AAAP members will offer safe solar viewing through solar filtered telescopes. AAAP members volunteer need to register prior to the event in order to get their gate pass. Those AAAP members who have not yet indicated their intention, may request a volunteer gate pass to through comments on the website by Friday.

The Carrie Furnaces 6 and 7 are extremely rare examples of pre-WW II ironmaking. They tower 92 feet high and have brick lined walls of  2.5″ thick steel plate. From 1907 to 1978 they provided iron for the Homestead Mill  and will become one of the focal points of the proposed Homestead Works National Park.

This event is an opportunity for not only astronomy outreach to our guests but also an opportunity for AAAP members to see a part of local history and to support an event which in turn supports a National Monument. Our National Parks celebrate 100 years this year.

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Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis.

Solar Observing at Mt. Lebanon Earth Day, 10 AM – 2 PM, April 23, 2016


Sunspot Group AR 12192 of October 25, 2014. It was the largest sunspot in 24 years. Olympus Digital Camera. Photo Credit Dan Pedan

Large Sunspot Group AR 12192 of October 25, 2014. Olympus Digital Camera. Photo Credit Dan Pedan
The above image is the sort of view one will see through the member telescopes. AAAP member Dan, above caught an unusually  large sunspot.

Join in the family fun at Mt. Lebanon Earth Day and get hands-on experience looking through safe solar filtered telescopes.

Warning:  Never look directly at the Sun with or without a telescope. Permanent eye damage can result. Only safe specialized solar observing filters can shield the invisible damaging rays.

AAAP solar observing outreach will be featured again this year at the 2016 Mt. Lebanon Earth Day Celebration, 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday, April 23, 2016 in Uptown Mt. Lebanon. AAAP is thrilled to return with an all new crew to this annual event sponsored by the Mt. Lebanon Environmental Team.  Click here for a list of sponsors and non-profits including AAAP participating in this fun event.

Terry Mealy is leading the AAAP delegation to Mt. Lebanon Earth Day. If you are an AAAP member and would like more information on how you can still volunteer at this event send an email or leave a comment on this website. Please finalize your arrangements at least 24 hours prior to the event. The event is free and open to the public.

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Cosmic Happenings: Weekend of April 22-24, 2016


Lots of astronomy events are happening around town this weekend. Get out and enjoy some cosmic fun! For more details, visit our club calendar at: https://wp.3ap.org/calendar/

Astrophotgraphy and Possible Night Sky Viewing at David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Friday, April 22, 2016, 5PM – 9PM.

M51WhirlpoolGalaxy, Photo Credit Bill snyder

Above M51 Whirpool Galaxy, Photo Credit Bill Snyder

Astrophotography of award-winning AAAP astrophotogrphers Bill Snyder and Matt Dieterich will be shown at the Art and Arifact  Market, 5-9 PM, West Wing Lobby of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center as part of the 2nd Annual 2016 Pittsburgh Earth Day.  The Art and Artifact Market celebration in the Lobby is free and open to the public and includes an evening of music, a curated art exhibit featuring local artists, organic and handmade vendors and activities for all ages. Enjoy the sounds and grooves from the DJ Detour crew during the event!

Matt Dieterich Glacier Park Milky Way

Above Glacier Park Milky Way Photo Credit Matt Dieterich

AAAP members and officers attending the event will have the opportunity to enjoy the astrophotography and to share their enthusiasm for astronomy, the club and light pollution awareness. All interested members and the public are invited. Because of the venue change from the Hall to the Lobby which had a direct path to a river shore convocation area and possible clouds and rain on Friday, telescope volunteers are in the process of being released from their commitments for Friday night viewing. Read more

AAAP Astroimager Matt Dieterich Mt. Rainier Astroimage US Postage Stamp Image Released Today

Star Trails Stamp

US Postal Service Star Trails at Mt. Rainier Stamp image released today features AAAPer Matt Dieterich’s stunning Astrophotograph of star trails over Mt. Rainier.

In the USPS Press Release today, Mr. Dieterich is quoted:

“This night was one I will never forget,” said Dieterich, who worked at Mount Rainier as an intern with the National Park Service Geoscientist-in-the-Parks to educate the public on dramatic views of the stars and the effect of light pollution near highly populated areas. “After working with visitors at the Mount Rainier astronomy program on June 22, 2015, I noticed there was an aurora, so I drove down to Reflection Lake to capture it.”

“The location was perfect as it contained a view of Mount Rainier and water for reflections,” he continued. “To create this star trails image I took 200 photos in a two-hour window between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. with my Nikon D750 and 24mm lens set at F/1.4 and ISO 5000. Since the Earth is rotating, each 8-sec. exposure shows stars at slightly different locations. When the photos are combined into one image the stars create a circular pattern around the North Star, which is just out of view at the top of the image. The pink aurora spread throughout the background sky. Mountaineers can be seen with their white headlamps climbing Mount Rainier on the right side of the volcano.”

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