Just a reminder that tomorrow (Wed.) evening will be our last star party until the weather cools down a bit in the Fall. The location as always is Centennial Circle outside the Fountain Hills Library, next to the Community Center. Saturn and Jupiter will be the "stars" of the show, with the crescent Moon providing that beautiful glow along with lots of amazing geology to look at. [ 61 more words ]
Just a reminder that tomorrow (Wed.) evening will be our last star party until the weather cools down a bit in the Fall. The location as always is Centennial Circle outside the Fountain Hills Library,...
Well, time has flown by since our last skywatch, and this really snuck up on me! We'll be meeting tomorrow night, Wed., March 1, 2017 in our usual place at the circle by the Library.
Part of the confusion is that we are still at a thin crescent moon stage. The alternative was to delay the skywatch until next week, but then the Moon would be almost full. This way we'll have darker skies even if we don't get to see as many lunar craters.
However the sky is full of beautiful objects to view! Probably leading off is the Great Orion Nebula, birthplace of new stars. Then we have Venus showing its waxing gibbous phase (yes, like the Moon!), lots of star clusters, the Andromeda Nebula (Galaxy)...
Hope to see you there. We'll start at dark and go until about 9:00 PM. Dress warm, but Friends of the Library will be providing hot cider and cookies to warm up your innards.
If you have a telescope you can bring to share views, you are welcome to bring it. If you have a scope you have questions about operating, then please bring that along and we'll do our best to get you up and running. ... See MoreSee Less
The Library has asked us to move our monthly skywatch to Wednesday nights, so tonight's the night! The weather actually looks like it will cooperate, so from 6-9 P.M. tonight we'll offer you views of the nearly-first-quarter Moon and stars. Bring your telescope if you have one to share the views with the public. Thanks for your support and enjoy the views! ... See MoreSee Less
Tomorrow evening (Tuesday, Nov. 8th, 2016) from 6-9 P.M., the Fountain Hills Astronomy Club in cooperation with the Fountain Hills Library will hold a free public "star party" on the circle outside the Library next to the Community Center. All are welcome to come and enjoy the views through multiple telescopes of planets, stars, star clusters and of course the craters and features of the first quarter Moon! Bring a telescope if you have one to share the views or to get some help operating it. We hope to see you there - dress warm and join us to enjoy the night sky! ... See MoreSee Less
This Saturday night, FHAC will hold a special Saturday Summer Skywatch just off Centennial Circle in the unpaved portion of the parking area near the Library. Entrance is off of El Lago Drive. We'll start at 8:30 P.M. and finish when people want to go home.
This will be our first real opportunity to see Saturn in the early evening hours. In addition, Mars is very close and bright and Jupiter is still easily visible. Combine that with the first quarter Moon, warm temps and lots of deep-sky objects and we should be in for a great evening of viewing.
Bring your phone or tablet with your favorite sky app to help you identify what is up in the sky.
Feel free to bring your own telescope if you would like some help setting it up or operating it. Binoculars are also a good way to enjoy the sky. We'll start setting up equipment around 7:30 P.M. There will be no formal presentation but you are welcome to bring reclining chairs if you want to get comfortable while you observe with binoculars.
It's a Pluto Celebration! You may remember that last July, after a 9-year interplanetary journey, the New Horizons spacecraft reached Pluto and sent back the most detailed pictures ever taken of that interesting world, its giant moon Charon and several smaller moons.
Tonight (Monday, April 11) at 7:00 pm, the Fountain Hills Astronomy Club will meet at the Community Center. Our (remote) speaker will be Steve Conard, lead engineer for the LORRI imager aboard the New Horizons spacecraft which took most of those pictures. Steve will tell us how they built, flew and operated the LORRI telescope-plus-camera instrument and share with us some of the amazing pictures of the Pluto system that have been returned to Earth.
On Tuesday, February 16th we held the monthly public skywatch in the circle in front of the Library. This month we had some young helpers, Alex and Anthony, who assisted with both setting up the area and operating telescopes. Both of them did a great job explaining to visitors how to observe through a telescope and what people were looking at. Thank you both! Thanks also to Curtis, Jim and Peter for bringing telescopes for the public. We had more than 50 visitors over the course of the evening and were able to observe the Moon, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Orion Nebula, double stars and star clusters and more. Many folks stayed right through 9:00pm and several later than that. Perfect weather made it a very enjoyable evening. Hope to see you there next month! ... See MoreSee Less
Hello fellow Stargazers! Due to Monday, February 15th being President's Day the Community Center will be closed, so we won't have our usual meeting. However it's an opportunity to do some observing and get to know your equipment. so if you'd like to meet in the empty lot next to the Circle where we have the skywatches, I'll be there from about 7-8 pm (maybe later) with a scope or two. [ 280 more words. ]
A very Happy New Year everyone! While the weather has been a bit "damp" lately, it's predicted to clear nicely for next week's meeting and stargazing activities. Monthly meeting on Monday, January 11th, 7-8:30 pm This coming Monday night, January 11th, we'll have our monthly FHAC meeting in the Fountain Hills Community Center from 7-8:30pm. We had a full house last month, so come and meet your fellow local stargazers! [ 455 more words. ]
Well it won't be a white Christmas here in Arizona but it will be a bright one, thanks to a full Moon which happens to line up with Christmas day this year. An interesting fact - the full Moon rises in the east at the same time the Sun sets in the west! (Local mountains may alter this timing a bit of course.) This is the result of the Sun, Earth and Moon being in a straight line at the time of full moon. [ 151 more words. ]
Hi fellow stargazers! Just a reminder of two activities coming up next week. On Monday, Dec. 14th from 7:00 - 8:30 pm in the Navajo room at the Fountain Hills Community Center we'll have our December club meeting. Presentations will include "How We Know the Size of the Universe" and "How to Buy a Telescope". We'll also discuss what folks think is the best schedule for club meetings. [ 149 more words. ]
The Moon approaches Venus in the sky at sunrise on December 7, 2015. This picture was taken just a few hours before the Moon passed in front of Venus and temporarily hid it from our sight. ... See MoreSee Less
What's an "occultation"? It's when one body passes in front of another (usually smaller) body in space, from our perspective here on Earth. Tomorrow morning (Monday, December 7th) at about 9:20 this interesting phenomenon will take place in our sky as the Moon passes between Earth and the planet Venus. Venus is easily bright enough to see in the daytime sky so we'll be able to see it disappear behind the Moon. [ 99 more words. ]
What's an "occultation"? It's when one body passes in front of another (usually smaller) body in space, from our perspective here on Earth. Tomorrow morning at about 9:20 this interesting phenomenon will take place in our sky as the Moon passes in front of the planet Venus. Venus is easily bright enough to see in the daytime sky. So tomorrow morning (weather permitting) I'll bring a telescope down to Fountain Park near the playground parking lot and try to display this event on a TV screen for all to see. [ 70 more words. ]
Calling all stargazers, experienced and wannabe! Please mark your calendars for Monday, December 14th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in the Navajo Room of the Fountain Hills Community Center for our first monthly meeting in quite a while. (Originally we were going to meet in the Library Conference Room but there was a scheduling glitch.) This is also the day before our next Library Skywatch held in the circle between the Library and Community Center, so please mark your calendars for that as well. [ 200 more words. ]
Mark your calendars for Monday, December 14th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the Fountain Hills Library for our first monthly meeting in quite a while. We'll meet in the conference room just inside the Library. (This is the day before our next Library Skywatch, so please mark your calendars for that as well). At this meeting we'll meet and greet each other and I'll give a couple of short presentations. [ 118 more words. ]
This Tuesday, November 17th, is our monthly free Public Star Party at the Fountain Hills Branch Library in the plaza between the Library and the Community Center. An informal come-as-you-are event, stay as little or as long as you wish. We will start at 6:00 pm, but if you can come early to help set up, cover lights etc. it would be greatly appreciated. [ 238 more words. ]
This Tuesday, November 17th, is our monthly free Public Star Party! An informal come-as-you-are event, stay as little or as long as you wish. We will start at 6:00 pm, but if you can come early to hel...
Come down to Fountain Park this evening around 9pm and we'll set up a telescope and try to find Asteroid 2015 TB145 moving through the sky. Dubbed the "Halloween Asteroid" because it will make its closest approach to us sometime on Saturday, at its closest it will be more than 30% farther away from us than the Moon, but it's fairly large and bright so we should be able to watch it moving against the background stars in a telescope. (Sorry, no chance to see it with binoculars or naked eye). Look for the telescope on the grass in front of the restrooms.
I'll be there with a telescope or two in case folks want to come by and chat. Hopefully we'll catch a glimpse of the Moon through holes in the clouds, but right now things look pretty socked in. If we get skunked tonight, we'll try again in November. Clear(er) skies, Ted
Hello all FHAC members and friends! Can you help out? No experience necessary! The next three Fountain Hills Library Public Star Parties have been scheduled for Tuesday evenings on October 20, November 17 and December 15. These are nights when the first quarter Moon will be up, giving visitors an opportunity to see those beautiful lunar craters nicely illuminated by the "rising" sun (rising on the Moon, that is!) [ 188 more words. ]