AAAP Star Party, Wagman Observatory, Saturday, November 5 at 6:15 PM

Pittsburgh. PA , November 5, 2016 7 PM EST, SW - Screen Capture

Pittsburgh. PA , November 5, 2016 7 PM EST, SW – Screen Capture

Wagman Star Party starts SaturdayNovember 5 at 6:15 PM, EST at Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory, Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh.

See large clusters of stars, beautiful colored double stars, visit the craters of the moon and view the planets Venus, Saturn, Mars, Uranus and Neptune. It’s all part of the show during Mid-Autumn Star Party sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.  It is the last scheduled public event for 2016 at Wagman Observatory.

Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh invites the public to the  Wagman Observatory Star Party, SaturdayNovember 5 at 6:15 PM, EST , Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory, Deer Lakes Regional Park, Frazer Township, Pa., near the village of Russellton in northeastern Allegheny County and some 18 miles from Pittsburgh.  Wagman Observatory is located at 225 Kurn Road Tarentum, PA 15084 ~ 724-224-2510 ~ Latitude 40.627 degrees Longitude -79.813 degrees.

This is an opportunity for amateur astronomers, students and the general public to observe the wonders of both the summer and autumn skies including the First Quarter Moon, The Great Hercules Star Cluster, the Andromeda Galaxy and Double Cluster in Perseus in the telescopes at the Observatory. Did you get a new telescope recently and don’t know how to use it? Bring it along and members of the AAAP will help!

Looking to buy a telescope, accessories, star charts and books? Wagman Observatory is the place to start. We’ll have free handouts, guides and booklets to point visitors in the right direction.

The Star Parties will be held WEATHER PERMITTING. The public should call 724-224-2510 for more information. Read more

Kunkle Park Star Gazing Party – Saturday, July 2, 2016


A dark sky party with no interference from moonlight. See Saturn’s glorious rings and several of its moons, one of which, Titan, is larger than the planet Mercury. See storm clouds on Jupiter and several of its moons. See features on Mars, including its polar caps. Distant galaxies can be seen as small fuzzy objects, but star clusters in our Milky Way Galaxy are beautiful to view. Planetary nebulae, the remnants of exploded stars like our sun can be seen.

They are all part of the show during the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh’s FREE May Star Gazing Party at Kunkle Park, in Washington Township (south of Apollo). This star gazing party is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, starting at dusk, WEATHER PERMITTING.

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AAAP July 8th & 9th Star Parties at Mingo Observatory and Wagman Observatory

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh opens both the Mingo Observatory and the Wagman Observatory to the public on Friday, July 8th and Saturday, July 9th, 2016. No reservations. No charge. No limit to group size. Just show up. Our star parties feature a rich array of celestial delights. Experience the AAAP telescopes and those of our members as they reveal our solar system and more distant objects, including galaxies and nebula.

More information: Mingo Star Parties Guide

More information: Wagman Star Parties Guide

Although admission is free, we gladly accept donations at the observatory entrance desks to cover the cost of operation. There is no smoking or alcohol permitted on our observatory grounds. Please drive slowly and carefully and be aware of pedestrians, especially children. Children must be under direct parental supervision at all times.

Our helpful and informed all volunteer staff will be happy to assist you to gain in knowledge and appreciation of the night sky. Mingo and Wagman Observatories are owned and operated by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, a 501(3)(c) and your donations are tax deductible.

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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:

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

AAAP February Monthly Meeting, 7:30 PM Friday February 13, 2015 Carnegie Science Center, Bayer Science Stage

The feature presentation of the February 13, 2015 monthly meeting is the annual planetarium show, Stars Over Pittsburgh. Members should convene at the Bayer Science Stage promptly at 7:30 pm, before heading up as a group to the Planetarium. Read more