Check in Here for Astronomy News and Updates!
The 7th Annual Nearly-Halloween AAAZ Star Party was held on Saturday, October 26th. More than 40 friends, neighbors, and newsletter readers attended the festivities.
Fay, Sue, and Gal were on display before the evening viewing started, but as the cools skies darkened, our celestial targets took the stage.
Here are a few images of this year's event. Click on the image to see the full size photo, and get a little background. If you have any questions about the telescopes, the operators, or even the Star Party itself, visit the Contact Us Page and send me an email. And, be sure to put next year's event on your calendar...it's gonna be KILLER!
For too long now, the "new breed" of astronomers have had to hype questionable events too stay copetitive in the social marketplace. Attracting visitors, guests, and attendees and generating interest in websites (say it isn't so!) and astronomy programs is part of the new push. Well, the latest quarterly newsletter details some of the worst examples of over-hyped astronomical subjects...things that ultimately REDUCE the public excitement and participation. Read all about the ways to combat this "shooting yourself in the foot...and then reloading" mentality in the latest issue. And by the way, there are several things coming up that don't need to be hyped! Download your copy of the Fall 2019 newsletter now.
We're moving into the second half of 2019, and some of our best planetary observing is just beginning. Jupiter passed through opposition in early June, and Saturn is preparing to make it's own transition into peak time, now. And, while Mars is "technically" still in the evening sky, it is so close to conjunction with the sun that its small apparent diameter and low contrast make it nearly impossible to observe.
This does however bring up an interesting situation between Mars and the other outer planets. Mars last oppostion was in 2018, and the next one won't occur until October of 2020. Jupiter, Saturn, and the other gas giants go through opposition nearly every year (Jovian oppositions are separated by about 13 months). Mars on the other hand only experiences opposition, when it rises in our east as the Sun sets in the west, every OTHER year. This happens because the Red Planet is relatively close to Earth, and it's orbit around the Sun takes about twice as long. These orbital mechanics mean that during one year Mars is on the OTHER SIDE OF THE SUN, and the NEXT YEAR it's on "our side" of Sol. So, pack up your Mars observing gear until fall 2020.
Jupiter on the other hand is reaching prime time right now. It is well positioned in the sky, riding the back of "The Scorpion", just after sunset, and it is up nearly all night. At the Grand Canyon Star Party in late June, we had great views of Jupiter's banded clouds and its Galilean Moons. Also, at the Grand Canyon event, we were treated to possibly the best view of Mercury I've seen - a beautiful crescent that was easily seen an hour after sunset with an EdgeHD 14 setup - thanks, Mike!
Then, don't forget the Ringed Wonder. Saturn is currently just about an hour behind Jupiter, just east of the teapot handle of Sagittarius. Get your telescope out and catch both of these beauties for the next three or four months - and maybe catch a glimpse of little Pluto as well. By the time we get to October, we'll begin to focus on the fall and winter sights, and the naked-eye meteor showers of October thru December.
(Planet sizes not to scale!)
ASTRONOMY ADVENTURES for ALL
Our Telescopes are Perfect for:
BIRTHDAY PARTIES - Telescopes are perfect for observers of all ages. Even very young children love seeing the moon, the planets, or event the Sun in a telescope. Older guests will appreciate other wonders of the cosmos, such as galaxies, star clusters, and nubulae.
BACHELOR/BACHELORETTE PARTIES - Talk about your "heavenly bodies!" Night time is the perfect time to view these spectacles...at least until the other fun starts.
SCHOOL or CLASS EVENTS - Whether it's an educational event or a Family Science Night, your parents, staff, and students will love peering at the night sky through our telescopes.
BUSINESS RETREATS & PICNICS - Outdoor telescope viewing is the perfect after-dinner activity for adults who have spent their whole day indoors in workshops.
FAMILY REUNIONS & ANNIVERSARIES - Barbeques and buffets are the perfect venue to entertain young and old alike with some early after-dark observing.
FAITH GROUPS - This is a great way to experience the awe-inspiring wonders of the universe.
SCOUTING OUTINGS - Some telescopes can even be taken to very remote locations. Almost any vehicle-accessible campground will allow us to support campers and scouts of all ages.
PERSONAL INSTRUCTION - Many clients just want some 1-on-1 time, an opportunity to relax and have fun, learning or gaining a bit of experience on their own equipment. We can schedule the time you need to develop your interest, whether it be passion or hobby!
SCHEDULING AN EVENT with AAAZ with
We'll Create the Perfect Adventure for You!
Getting started is as easy as giving us a call or sending us an email – our address and phone number is at the bottom of the page. We’ll send you schedules, prices, and options; we’ll even make reservations at other astronomy events, if that’s what you prefer. Maybe you’d like to tour an Arizona observatory. Astronomy Adventures staff can host you for the tour, or we can schedule your party with locally run tours by other organizations. These can even be educational and fun day-time activities that are available to all family members – there are even handicap and elderly accessible features and options.
It’s possible that during your Arizona trip you'd like to visit a planetarium show, or attend one of the astronomy activities that are conducted at local sites throughout the year. Or, you might like to visit one of the night-time observing sessions that are offered all around Arizona. Many of these events are free to visitors and the public, and we can help you find and attend them – we can even arrange transportation for your party!
Finally, our true expertise lies in conducting customized observing sessions. Our staff has years of experience attending, hosting, and even designing a wide variety of public, private and even corporate events. If you prefer, we’ll provide the tools you need to design your own event, if you don’t wish to take advantage of our expertise…but, we would really love to help you. Visit our “Links and App’s” page for some great self-help.
As you can see, we’ve been there and done that! You are only limited by your imagination. If you have an idea for a party, meeting, conference, or other event, give us a call or send us an email. We can help you explore the possibilities. We’ll provide a no-obligation estimate of what we can do to help you realize your own astronomy adventure.