AAAP Star Party, Mingo Observatory, Saturday, November 12 at 4 PM

Stellarium.org Screen Capture of skies over mingo Observatory , November 12, 2016, 6PM, SW.

Stellarium.org Screen Capture of skies over mingo Observatory , November 12, 2016, 6PM, SW.

It is your last chance in 2016 to view Late Autumn Sky with the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh at the Mingo Observatory Star Party, SaturdayNovember 12 , 4:00 PMESTSafe Solar Observing; and approximately 5:30 PM EST, Night Sky Observing. Mingo Observatory, Mingo Creek County Park, Washington County, PA.,  Address: Mingo Observatory, 1 Shelter 10 Road, Nottingham Township, PA 15301 GPS Coordinates: 40.2110 N, 80.0190 W. PDF of Park map here. From Henry Covered Bridge follow Mansion Hill Road Extension up hill into park to the fork, where Shelter 10 Road branches to the right. Take Shelter 10 Road beyond Shelter 10 dimming lights at  the extensive clearing where atop hill to the left the observatory rests.  Park along the road below the observatory, handicapped parking at top of hill. It is suggested to use GPS coordinates rather than the address in programming a GPS to locate the site. Please call the observatory at 724-348-6150 if needed.   Mingo Creek Park Observatory and its grounds, as a part of Mingo Creek County Park, are a non-smoking and no alcohol permitted area.

Upon opening at 4:00 p.m. guests may experience SAFE Solar viewing through our 4” Lunt Hydrogen Alpha Telescope mounted on the 10” D & G Refractor also set up for  SAFE Solar viewing in filtered white light. At approximately 5:30 PM, as dark descends and weather permits we will open our 24” Optical Guidance Systems Reflector and the 10” D & G Refractor to viewing wonders of the night sky. Enjoy views of Venus, Saturn and its rings, Mars and the craters of the Moon, Star Clusters, Nebulae (Ring Nebula, Orion Nebula, and others), Galaxies, Double and Multiple Star Systems, etc.   Our Richard Y. Haddad Planetarium opens at 6:30p.m. rain or shine for Sky Shows, Movies and Lectures.

The Mingo Creek Park Observatory is accessible to persons with disabilities. Mingo Creek Park Observatory is operated by an all-volunteer staff of members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh. There is no charge for your visit, but we greatly appreciate donations to help cover operating expenses.  Read more

AAAP Mingo Star Parties, October 21 and 22, 2016


Pittsburgh Sky October 22, 2016, 7:30 PM, SW. Stellarium.org Screen Capture.

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh invites the public to the Mingo Observatory October Star Parties on October 21 and 22, 2016.

The Friday, October 21 Star Party begins at approximately 6:30 PM.  The Saturday, October 22 Star Party begins at 4:30 PM with Safe Solar Viewing through the 4” Lunt Hydrogen Alpha telescope.   Following safe solar viewing during the day, viewing of the night sky will begin at approximately 6:30 PM.  Sunset is 6:29 PM.  View the night sky through the AAAP’s  10” D & G Refractor and the 24” Optical Guidance Systems Reflector Telescope and the AAAP Member Telescopes on the observing hill. Other offerings include planetarium shows and presentations inside the Richard Y. Haddad Planetarium and tours of the stars and constellations under the night sky.

Mingo Observatory is located inside of Washington County’s Mingo Creek County Park, at 1 Shelter 10 Road Finleyville, PA 15332,  Latitude 40.211 degrees Longitude -80.020 degrees.  If using GPS, coordinates work better than the address.  Call 724-258-6150 for more information.

These October Star Parties will feature planets: red Mars, ringed Saturn, and brilliant Venus. The features of the Moons craters and plains will be seen. The Orionid Meteors, remnants of Comet Halley peaking October 20-21, 2016 will streak the skies over Mingo this weekend. Our large telescopes will reveals mysteries of  Autumn Deep Sky Objects such as spiral galaxy NGC 210,  the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635), the Pinwheel Galaxy (M33), Stephan’s Quintet, and more! ISS Pass and Iridium flare information here.

There is no charge for your visit, but we greatly appreciate donations to help cover operating expenses.  Reservations are not needed and there is no limit on group size. The observatory and its outdoor park style restroom are accessible to persons with disabilities. There is no running water on the premises. Guests are reminded to dress for the chill in the October night air, especially on the observing hill. As we are located inside of Mingo Creek County Park there is  no alcohol or smoking permitted.  Please drive slowly and cautiously especially in darkness and be alert for pedestrians and guests in place. After dark please limit the use of white lights as safety permits.  Our entirely volunteer AAAP Member staff looks forward to your visit. Read more

Upcoming AAAP Star Parties – September 10th & 24th at Wagman Observatory – September 23rd & 24th at Mingo Observatory

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh opens its observatories to the public on the following dates and locations: Wagman Observatory on September 10th & 24th (both Saturdays) and Mingo Observatory on September 23rd (Friday) & 24th (Saturday). 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. Read more

Greater Pittsburgh Viewing of 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower, Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh, Six Events at Two Venues

 A perseid meteor streaks across a star-encrusted and cloud-scattered sky. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake
A Perseid Meteor streaks across a star-encrusted and cloud-scattered sky. Image Credit: Jimmy Westlake

The Greater Pittsburgh Area  public is invited to view the 2016 Perseid Meteors with the  Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh at six viewing events including the designated Perseid Viewing Party at AAAP’s Mingo Observatory, August 11 into the morning of August 12, 2016, AAAP’s Wagman Obseratory August 11-12 Perseid Meteor Viewing and the regular August Star Parties at Mingo Observatory and at Wagman Observatory, Friday and Saturday evenings, August 12 and 13, 2016.

The regular Friday and Saturday star parties will be regular hours, generally beginning at dusk. Wagman’s Thursday Perseid Meteor Event (See more below.) does not begin until after 12 Midnight and ends before 5 AM, and will only occur under clear skies. The Thursday Mingo event begins at 9 PM and carries on long past Midnight in order to avail that night’s anticipated outburst of Perseid meteors, which may be as high as 200 meteors per hour. To catch this rare opportunity  no equipment or  experience is needed, as meteors are best observed with the unaided eye. With peak occuring in daylight the morning of August 12, best viewing is projected to be between moonset and prior to the first light of dawn Friday morning, August 12. Read more