Wagman Observatory May 18 & 19, 2018 Star Parties

Wagman Observatory May Star Parties are Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19 starting at 8:45 PM EDT. This is an opportunity for amateur astronomers, students and the general public to observe the wonders of the Spring sky such as the galaxies in the Coma-Virgo Cluster, planetary nebulae and star clusters. View the planet Jupiter and the Moon four nights before First Quarter.   Observe the Spring Constellations, Venus and Jupiter with its four Galilean satellites.  It is all part of the show during the May Star Parties at Wagman Observatory sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh.

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. 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. The Star Parties will be held weather permitting. For more information check out our web page at: www.3ap.org, AAAP’s Facebook or phone the observatory at 724-224-2510.

AAAP 2018 Star Party Season Kicks-Off This Weekend

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh kicks-off its 2018 Star Party Season this weekend with the added “fireworks” of the Lyrid Meteor Shower and the weather looks good to very good all weekend! Wagman Observatory will have a star party on both Friday and Saturday starting at 8:05 PM. Mingo Observatory will open on Saturday at 6:00 PM for Safe Solar Viewing. Also on Saturday during the day, there will be AAAP telescope viewing and astronomy activities at the Westmoreland Earth Day, 1-6 PM, Winnie Palmer Nature Center, Latrobe, PA. On Sunday, AAAP will be at the Mt. Lebanon Earth Day (SUNDAY, 22nd APRIL 2018,11am – 3pm, MT LEBANON PARK, 900 Cedar Blvd, Mt. Lebanon, PA15228) offering telescope safe solar viewing and astronomy activities.  At Laurel Hill State Park the Earth Day Celebration starts early at 9AM, Saturday, at the Visitor Center.

During the daytime events, enjoy safe solar viewing and astronomy activities.  Night sky observing begins at dusk. Look for Lyrid Meteors when the sky darkens. These meteors will be best seen before dawn on Saturday and Sunday mornings. See the planet Venus. View the Waxing Crescent Moon. Catch a last glimpse of the Orion nebula and other wonders of the Spring sky such as the galaxies in the Coma-Virgo Cluster, planetary nebulae and star clusters. These events are free and open to the public. Star party donations are appreciated. Be sure to obtain our 2018 Star Party Schedule, printed copies at our events and downloads on our website.  Contact AAAP via Facebook or our website calendar for more updates and more information.

Spring is Here

Spring is here and AAAP is gearing up for the 2018 Star Party Season! Our AAAP observatory star parties kick-off in 3 weeks with Wagman on April 20 & 21 and Mingo on April 21. We have external star party events before that. AAAP has two spring 2018 meeting dates remaining on April 13 and May 11, at Carnegie Science Center.  Stay tuned and keep an eye on our Facebook Events and www.3ap.org website and calendar.

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.

Wagman Star Party, Saturday, November 4, 2017

Note:  As reported at 3:45 PM there was a “hopeful” clearing in Ohio and the possibility of enough clear sky to merit opening the Wagman Observatory for tonight’s Star Party.  Obviously there could be a change for the better or worse. Were there to be rain or advancing adverse conditions it would not bode well for the continuance of star party plans. Feel free to check back here and AAAP Facebook or phone the observatory, 724-224-2510 for updates.

You are invited to a Star Party at the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh’s  Wagman Observatory, Saturday, November 4,  2017, 6:20 PM

The Saturday, November 4,  Wagman Star Party starting about 6:20 PM EDT not 6:25 as previously reported. Enjoy the views of large clusters of stars, beautiful colored double stars, visit the craters of the Full Moon and view the planets Saturn, Uranus and Neptune through the telescopes at the Observatory and much more. This star party falls on the night of the November Full Moon: 1:22 AM EDT Full; November 4, 2017 Moonrise occurs at 7:02 PM EDT; Moonset 8:17 AM EST on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Times for Pittsburgh, PA from www.timeanddate.com. Daylight saving time 2017 in Pennsylvania began at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 12 and ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 5.  The November 4 Wagman Star Party concludes the Wagman 2017 Star Party Season. Next year’s dates are listed at the end of this post and on the website .

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.

AAAP will hold one more 2017 Observatory Star Party following the November 4, at Wagman Observatory on November 11 at Mingo Observatory.

Our 2018 Schedule of Observatory Star Parties is available on the website as well as below.

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

Mingo 2018 Star Party Dates: Apr 21; May 11 & 12; Jun 8 & 9; Jul 20 & 21; Aug 11 & 18; Sep 14 & 15; Oct 6 & 20; Nov 3