October 6, 2017 AAAP Meeting: Milky Way Cartography, Loren P. Anderson, Phd. West Virginia University

Galaxy astronomy is a hot topic, as many discoveries are appearing. We anticipate the results of the Event Horizon Telesope, which as early as December may reveal the first image of the Sag A supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Recently a second supermassive black hole was discovered in the vicinity of the Sag A black hole. Satellite galaxies near our Milky Way may point to our galaxy being an outlier in its type of galaxies. Fast Radio Bursts (FRB’s) continue to be detected begging questions as well as answers to the structure and cartography of our Milky Way Galaxy.

Although we live in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see only a portion of it as the band of starlight across the sky. Our speaker, Loren Anderson, Phd., Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy West Virginia University , using primarily the Green Bank Telescope and the Aricebo Telescope and the Very Large Telescope Array ( Very Large Array, New Mexico ) studies the structure and properties of the Milky Way. He is locating the most massive star formation regions, “HII regions,” throughout the Milky Way disk, and will talk about progress toward a “complete” census of HII regions in our Galaxy, discussing ongoing work to compare the Milky Way with other similar galaxies. His work is part of HRDS: http://go.nrao.edu/hrds/ and WISE catalog: http://astro.phys.wvu.edu/wise/.

A break follows the lecture. AAAP’s October meeting resumes after break with a review of the current and upcoming club activities including  and astronomical events. The meeting location is the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Take the front entrance of the Science Center under the portico. Look straight ahead for signs to the Science Stage, to the right.  The lecture and meeting are free and open to the public.

Parking is $5 payable at the parking kiosk in the lobby. There is no charge to attend the meeting or lecture. The public is invited to attend.  Please see the AAAP Guide Star Newsletter and the AAAP Facebook Page for additional information.

Wagman Observatory Saturday, September 23, 2017 Star Party

You are invited to a Star Party at the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh’s  Wagman Observatory, Saturday, September 23, 2017, 7:15 PM

The Saturday, September 23,  Wagman Star Party starting about 7:15 PM EDT  creates an opportunity to view the Moon and the September Sky. Observe theThree Day Old  Moon along with the Hercules Cluster, the Ring Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy  and much more.  Saturn,Uranus and Neptune will be available for observing.

This invitation to amateur astronomers, students and the general public is part of AAAP’s annual series of star parties occurring March – November at the Wagman and Mingo Observatories. These events are family friendly. There is no charge for these events, although donations are appreciated. Read more about Star Parties here.

Regardless of your experience or ability level you will be welcome to join the throng of avid sky watchers. Perhaps you have a telescope and do not know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help! Likewise if you are considering a telescope purchase or the addition of accessories, star charts and books Wagman is a good place to start. Members of the AAAP will help!

The Star Parties will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call 724-224-2510 for more information. 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. Coordinates: Latitude 40.627 degrees N, Longitude 79.813 degrees W. Map and Directions under the About Tab at www.3ap.org and here.

Admission is free, though we gladly accept donations to cover the cost of operation. To reach Wagman Observatory, follow the Orange Belt (accessible from Routes 8 and 28) to Deer Lakes Park, near Russellton. Follow the road through the Park for 1.2 miles and turn left on to the Observatory grounds. Please use parking lights only when you drive through the gate.  In the observing rooms or near the outside telescopes please avoid use of bright lights: cell phones, white lights or flashlights, glow sticks, etc.  and especially no flash photograph. There is no smoking permitted anywhere on the site. Planning for next year? Wagman Observatory’s 2018 Star Party Dates have been published.

For updates, check back here and AAAP Facebook or phone the observatory, 724-224-2510,  the night of the event. Wagman Observatory Clear Sky Chart.


Annual Allegheny Observatory Open House, September 22, 2017

The Annual Allegheny Observatory Open House is scheduled for Friday evening the 22nd of September.   Guests may obtain tickets  for the tour by calling the observatory at 412-321-2400 starting at 9:00a.m. Tuesday morning the 1st of August. There is no cost for the tickets but they are in limited supply and go quickly.  Amateur Astronomer Association of Pittsburgh members will volunteer for both inside the building and bring telescopes for outside on the front lawn. AAAP Member volunteers need to login for member information to appear.