January 5, 2018 AAAP Meeting, Space Weather and Astro Access, Anna Voelker

We wish to extend a warm invitation to university students on break as well as all AAAP members, guests, AAAP Facebook Fans, Wagman Star Party Fans, Mingo Star Party Fans, etc.! There will be a pre-meeting Meet and Greet in the Planetarium Lobby and inside the Planetarium Theater.  The informal show will allow guests to wander into and out of the performance. Roof Star Gazing  will be available, weather-permitting. All this at 6:30 PM  before the 7:30 PM meeting at the Carnegie Science Center Planetarium-Rooftop Observatory, 1 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Dress to enjoy the fresh air. A warm alternative to the rooftop will be available inside of the planetarium and in the planetarium lobby. The meeting starts at 7:30 PM in the Planetarium. AAAP members remain for the business meeting after the lecture.

Astro Access will be an fascinating lecture on both Space Weather and Astronomy Outreach to the Non-Visual and Autistic Learners  by Anna Voelker, whom some of you may know from Pittsburgh and from her TED talks. Anna Voelker, NASA Space Weather Forecaster and Science Educator specializing in astronomy accessibility, uses 3D printing and theatre games to better the reach of science to children who are blind or on the autism spectrum. Anna’s outreach has spanned Allegheny Observatory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Space Telescope Science Institute, Center of Science and Industry (COSI), and most recently the NASA Kennedy Space Center. Look forward to a lively and fascinating talk about space weather and how astronomy can be accessible and engaging for all. Anna will share videographic data of solar activity and explain its interpretation and implications here on Earth as well as in Space. As part of Anna’s examples of using non-visual means in astronomy outreach there will be a demonstration of a 3D printer courtesy of the Carnegie Scinece Center Fab Lab.  The 3D printer will be tasked to make a tactile globe of the night sky constellations.

Rooftop Star Gazing Meet and Greet/Lecture, Free and Open to the Public. $5 Parking Fee by Credit Card only at Parking Lot Exit Gate, only. Please refer to the event flyer.

Special Directions Due to Carnegie Science Center Public Construction Closure:  1. Use Lower Level Front Entrance (far left of Service Entrance). 2. Follow planetarium staff to Rangos Elevator, Planetarium, Rooftop. 3. Parking Fee by Credit Card only at Parking Lot Exit Gate. Main Entrance Lobby and Parking Kiosk are closed.

Updates on our website at www.3ap.org, on Facebook and Event Flyer Download Link: ( https://tinyurl.com/Jan5AAAP ) .

Next Meeting: February 9, 2018, Carnegie Science Planetarium, Program: Annual Planetarium Sky Show. Please check back for details.

Ursid Meteor Shower and December Solstice

Tonight begins the peak of the annual Ursid Meteor Shower, the spectacular event, caused by dust particles left behind by Comet 8P/Tuttle.  It always peaks near the time of the December Solstice (Winter Solstice) which in Pittsburgh happens today Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 11:27 AM. Experts are calling for the Ursids to peak on the night of the solstice itself, tonight December 21 this year. Best viewing is suggested to be on the morning (tomorrow) of December 22. The waxing crescent moon will set in the evening, providing moon-free viewing for the rest of the night. This shower favors more northerly latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. The expected rate per hour is 5-10 meteors, but bursts of 100 or more meteors per hour have been observed at times, over the past century. Remember as in watching any meteor shower allow a minimum of 15-20 minutes to allow your eyes to become dark accommodated and try to locate your viewing under clear and dark skies!

Annual Muzzleloader and Archery Hunting at Mingo Park December 26, 2017 through January 13, 2018

Mingo Creek Park will be open for Muzzleloader and Archery Hunting from Dec 26, 2017 through Jan 13, 2018. Often our star party guests equate open gates with a star party.  This time of year that is not true.  Beginning Friday, Dec 22 the Park Staff will leave all park gates (including Shelter 10 gate) open for the duration of the time hunting is permitted. Please avail yourself of hunting season safety considerations such as described here and here.  Members and their invited guests who may visit the Mingo Observatory hill be reminded of the hunting activity even into twilight.

AAAP 2018 Schedule of Observatory Star Parties

More on Star Parties here.

Mingo 2018 Star Party Dates: April 21, May 18 & 19, June 8 & 9, July 20 & 21, Aug 11 & 18, Sept 7 & 8, Oct 6 & 20, Nov 3 Note: 11/17/2017 Update  

Mingo 2018 Brochure coming soon. Special Hotel Rates have been negotiated for 2018 Mingo Star Party Dates. See Document here

Wagman 2018 Star Party Dates: Apr 20 & 21; May 18 & 19; Jun 22 & 23; Jul 20 & 21; Aug 17 & 18; Sep 15 & 29; Oct 13 & 27; Nov 10 2018  

Wagman 2018 Brochure coming soon.

Observatory Star Parties resume in April 2018.  In the meantime follow AAAP  Facebook and the AAAP Calendar for announcements of star gazing events scheduled at parks, libraries or other locations. Enjoy free fascinating and informative, cutting edge lectures in association with our monthly meetings held 7:30 PM on the 2nd Friday,* January through May and September through November held at the Carnegie Science Center. *Note the January 2018 Meeting will be on Friday, January 5, 2018. Actually, the January 5, 2018 AAAP Monthly Meeting in addition to the 7:30 PM lecture, includes a 6:30 – 7:30 PM Meet and Greet with Star Gazing at the Carnegie Science Center’s Rooftop Observatory.

Amazon Smile: You Shop, Amazon Gives to AAAP

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is Participating in Amazon Smile. "AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. " From http://smile.amazon.com/ .

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is participating in Amazon Smile. “Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. ” From http://smile.amazon.com/ .

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. A simple designation of Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh as your favorite charity lets you shop while Amazon gives and AAAP benefits. Thank you!

2017 AAAP Kevin J. Brunelle Astrophotography Contest Slide Show(s)

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone who submitted photos and endeavored to make the contest possible.

Download the winners only (30 MB):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kxZ0aFp3dNZ585shO8gxkfoHiSON3BvN

Download the full show (122 MB):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1snVejnxBPCN_kTiDZuq38EDye_9ZT6eG