Wagman Observatory Star Parties, June 2 and 3, 2017, 30th Anniversary

Wagman Observatory Star Parties, Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, 2017, 8:45 PM

See a region of space where stars are being born, catch a dazzling view of Jupiter in the evening sky and Saturn by 10:30 PM. Visit the craters of the moon and marvel at our Milky Way Galaxy’s finest planetary nebulae and star clusters and more with the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh at the AAAP’s  Wagman Observatory  June  Star Parties  as we celebrate the 30th   Anniversary of the Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory this month.

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. There is no charge for these events, although donations are appreciated. Read more about Star Parties here.

These June 2 and 3 Wagman Star Parties create an opportunity to view the June sky: Jupiter and several of its moons, followed by Saturn, its rings and some of its moons, our own Moon 1 to 2 nights after First Quarter, the dazzling Hercules Cluster,  the Ring Nebula and much more.

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 and here.

Note: Bridge work on Russelton-Dorseyville Road is anticipated. If you take Saxonburg Blvd North, this detour is an option. Turn right onto Rte 910. Turn left onto Cove Run Road which is next to the Ice Cream Stand. Follow it to Mill Dam Road on your left (rough ride).  Follow this windy road to Rich Hill Road and Turn Left again.  (3 lefts in a row) Turn right onto Michael (Nursery) Road until it ends at Little Deer Creek Road, Russellton.  Turn Left here and follow it to the bank on right corner with Russellton-Creighton Road.  Turn right and you will see a strip mall on your right and a diner on your left. Go a tenth of a mile and under the train trestle.  Make a quick left into the Park and follow it to the top of the hill about 1.2 miles from the park entrance.  The Wagman Observatory is on your left.  Just reverse these instructions when you head home.



Respectfully submitted, Kathy DeSantis based heavily on the Press Release and Detour by Tom Reiland, Wagman Director.





March 25 & 26, 2017, Astronomy Weekend at Carnegie Science Center

Space Out Astronomy Weekend at Carnegie Science Center is Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26, 2017
Guests to the Science Center will enjoy the extras of Astronomy Weekend with the regular price of admission. Look for the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Volunteers in the First Floor Lobby Area and if weather is favorable, outside with telescopes and binoculars as wells as with telescopes on the ramp to the 2nd floor (indoors).
“Activities include special presentations in the Buhl Planetarium and the chance to SAFELY observe the sun. Other displays, activities, and exhibitors include: Astronomy displays and literature, NASA’s Night Sky Network, Hands on Moon Rocks and Meteorites. Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory, Mingo Creek Park Observatory, Amateur Telescope Making, Scopes and Photos, Digital Cameras and Video Astronomy, Computer Controlled Telescopes, Solar System Displays, Astronomy Sketching, National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank WVA, Make a comet, Make Mars soil, Make a sundial, Make a star clocks.”  From:
Members of the AAAP who want to volunteer can just show up.  Admission and Parking Fees will be waived. The Science Center will provide tables and chairs.  Please bring materials you will want to share with guests. There are many members who volunteer for this year after year. It is a fun event and new participants are welcome. If you have questions just ask an officer for more information. Ed will be there early as 8 or 8:30 AM on Saturday for set up.  The guests arrive 10 AM both Saturday and Sunday.  We stay to 5 PM on Saturday and to 4 PM on Sunday. Event closes at 7 PM and 5 PM respectively. The Lobby configuration is markedly changed since the CSC renovation.  Some of the telescopes will be set up on the ramp.  The main AAAP installation will be in the usual location. If it is warm enough telescopes and binoculars may be set up outside, too. It is also a good chance to get together with other members. Looking forward to seeing you there! Return here and to the AAAP Facebook Page for updates.


AAAP Meeting, 7:30 PM, Friday, February 10, 2017, Carnegie Science Center

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will meet 7:30 PM,  Friday, February 10, 2017 at the Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.  The meeting is free and open to the public. The featured presentation for February, the annual planetarium show will be provided by the Carnegie Science Center Staff.  Members and guests should convene on the second floor (ramp or elevator available) at the Buhl Planetarium where we will start with the planetarium show presentation at 7:30 PM. At the time of the show, the room darkens and entrance door closes until the show ends.  Please arrive before the doors close.  The show will last about 30 minutes. After a short recess the business meeting will begin. We distribute the Night Sky Network Outreach Award Pins at this meeting.  NSN Pins are awarded to members participating in 5 or more NSN eligible outreach events and feature an astronomy event of the coming year.  This year’s pin commemorates the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. There is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse from 5:34 – 9:53 PM, coinciding with the February 10 meeting.  Some AAAP members with binoculars and perhaps dobs, weather-permitting will be available at the entrance to provide a detailed view of the Moon in Penumbral Eclipse. If the skies are clear, plan to arrive in time to get a closer look at this phenomenon prior to the meeting start. The agenda will include overview of current and upcoming club activities and astronomical events.  Parking is $5 payable at the parking kiosk in the lobby. The upcoming program of 2016-17 Meeting Speakers may be downloaded here. Please see the AAAP Guide Star Newsletter and the AAAP Facebook Page for additional information.

Light Up the Sky with Stars Lecture with AAAP Member Diane Turnshek

How far do you have to travel to see the stars clearly? Join lecturer, author, and astronomer Diane Turnshek as she discusses how light pollution not only prevents us from living under a sky bright with stars, but also negatively impacts human health and the environment. Turnshek will examine how innovative science and technology can reverse this steady creep of sky glow, allowing us to view the same star-filled sky that all past generations did.

Time: Doors open at 6 pm, and the program is 7-9 pm.
Location: Carnegie Science Center
Admission: FREE!

Presenter's Photo

Diane Turnshek is a lecturer in the Department of Physics at Carnegie Mellon University and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh and is a member of the AAAP. She has published hard science fiction with a focus on space colonization and first contact. Her love of both astronomy and science fiction led her to crew the Mars Desert Research Station near Bryce Canyon, Utah in 2012, where she turned her attention to dark sky advocacy. Her fight against light pollution has taken many forms, including giving a TEDxPittsburgh talk. Turnshek is also a 2015 Dark Sky Defender award recipient, recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association for her contribution to light pollution mitigation.

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