Welcome

What we do


The Keene Amateur Astronomers Club is a group of people whose goal is the enhancement of Amateur Astronomy by education, fellowship, sharing knowledge and enjoyment of the hobby. The KAA Club provides outreach programs paticularly with the Keene public library and holds monthly viewing sessions at our own observatory. Regular monthly club meetings are held at the Keene State college. Anyone interested is invited to attend. Our membership is open to students, parents, beginners, backyard amateurs and also experienced professionals. And we provide opportunities for our members to grow in one of the greatest hobbies in this world or any other! Founded in 1957, our club has a long and distinguished history and is a non-profit corporation registered with the State of New Hampshire. We are also members of the Astronomical League and participate in the annual Stellafane Convention which is consistently rated as one of America's top Star Parties.



January 2018 Club Meeting & Observing


Our monthly formal club business meeting will be held on the 19th at 7pm at the Fauxes in Keene. Contact the club Secretary, Gabe, for directions. Our January program will feature several presentations. A NASA podcast of the January skies, interesting aspects including the mythology of the six constellations below, and other timely topics will happen. Weather cooperating, following the meeting, members will adjourn to the club's Sullivan Observatory for nocturnal viewing.

On Saturday, Janaury 20th, we have our monthly formal observing at the Dublin School Observatory at 6:30pm. Contact the club Secretary for directions. Members should check their emailboxes for notices about "ad hoc" observing session.

NOTE: Also, check out the new free Sky & Telescope interactive sky chart . It's pretty cool. Login required.


Club Topics For you Between Our Monthly Meetings


As the year progresses, club members focus on different visible constellations. Prior to our January meeting, we encourage you to check out these constellations: December: Aries, Perseus, and Triangulum. And for January: Orion, Camelopardalis, and Taurus.

View This Month's Sky and Folklore

Be sure to check out what objects are visible this month before you venture out:
  • What's Up Doc? gives a nice printable listing of the celestial objects, meteors, and naked eye, binocular, and telescope objects.
  • What's Up - NASA is a sample of the objects to view with a video of the night sky.
  • SkyMaps gives you a printable 2-page monthly guide to the night sky suitable for all sky watchers, including newcomers to Astronomy.
  • Monthly Maps focuses on the monthly constellations and folklore
  • Jane Huston Jones from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California gives an overview of NASA projects and a downloadable video.
  • Hubble-Tonight's Sky gives backyard stargazers a monthly guide to the northern hemisphere's skywatching events with "Tonight's Sky."
  • Devine Sky illustrates the geography of the heavens and provides luscious printable constellation charts.
And for an overview of the celestial objects to focus on this week, check the the weekly: "The Sky This Week".


Need A Daily Space News Fix?

Interested in the latest discoveries and theories concerning the vast area above you? Well, look no further. Check out these websites to start your search:

When you read Astronomy or Sky & Telescope magazine, you will find short news articles clipped from journals. For in-depth information on articles, try Phys.org. And if your favorite space news website is not here, just let us know.


Astromony League Constellation Hunter & Lunar Observation Programs


The Astronomical League offers many different astronomical observing programs. These programs are designed to provide a direction for your observations and to provide a goal for you. The programs have awards, pins, and public notice to recognize the observers' accomplishments and for demonstrating their observing skills with a variety of instruments and objects. Our club is continuing its involvment with the Astronomical League's Constellation Hunter Program and Lunar Observation Program for 2016. We are providing the resources on this site for successful completion of both of excellent and rewarding activities.

The Constellation Hunter Program provides an orientation to the sky for astronomers. No special equipment (other than a planisphere and a reference for the brighter star names), and no prior knowledge. The objective is to provide a forum for the observer to become more familiar with the constellations and brighter stars and to begin to learn to navigate among the stars.

The Lunar Observation Program provides an opportunity to observe 100 special features of our moon and is well suited for the young, inexperienced observer as well as the older observer just getting into our hobby since no special observing skills are required. It is well balanced because it develops naked eye, binocular, and telescopic observing skills.


The Winter Constellations


Winter began with the winter solstice which occurs on December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere and ends on March 20th at the spring equinox. The winter constellations are the 12 constellations that fall between 6 hours and 12 hours Right Ascension. Here are several resources to help you in your viewing during the coming months.

The American Association of Amateur Astronomers provides a list of the 12 winter constellations and a detailed map of the sky. They also provide similar information for the other seasons.

StarrySkies.com also has a nice interactive map of the stars of autumn/winter.

For greater details on the sky's wonders, move your fingers over to the star website at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Or check out the details of the constellations and their stars at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

And, of course, surf around for the amazing software programs available for your computer, phone, or X device. Check out Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel - excellent free programs for your laptop or desktop. For your tablet or smart phone, give SkySafari a look.


Robert Taylor Receives National Astronomical League Award


The Keene Amateur Astronomers Club is proud to announce that Robert Taylor, Club President/Treasurer, has recently been awarded the Astronomical League's Constellation Hunter Club - Northern Skies Certificate. Click here to check it out!


The August 21st Solar Eclipse Party at the Keene Library


The solar eclipse party, sponsored by the Keene City Library and the Keene Astronomy Club, on August 21st from 1-4 pm at the Keene Public Library was a huge success with some two to three hundred people of all ages in attendance. Many thanks to Gail Zachariah and her Keene Library staff for organizing such a wonderful and successful event. Solar glasses were handed out and there were tables set up to make solar viewers, telescopes for viewing the eclipse and, inside the library, live streaming of the total eclipse from NASA.

The weather cooperated to give us clear skies so everyone could get to view and take pictures of the partial solar eclipse. The eclipse started at 1:28 pm and finished at 3:54pm.

The Astronomy club provided a 4.5" telescope with a solar filter and a dedicated solar telescope for public viewing along with 200 solar glasses.

We want to thank Gabe Kleuh for managing the 4.5" filtered telescope and to Phinie Faux and Carol Littleton for manning the telescope line and answering the many questions. Also thanks to Carol Littleton for bringing those novel eclipse viewing devices that really intrigued many of the kids - and adults. And to Jim Faux for taking many pictures of the crowd and eclipse and fielding many eclipse questions. We also want to thank Junie Esslinger for lending us his solar viewing telescope.

It was great to see so many people excited and interested in the eclipse and it was a really fun event. For the photos, click Solar Eclipse - Keene Library - August 2017.

Viewing the ISS and Iridium Flares


Visit Heavens Above and input your observing site coordinates. Check for sighting information on the International Space Station and on the Iridium satellites.


A Recent Club Star Party


The left photo below was taken at a recent star party at the Keene observatory with members from SoVerA, KAA, and the KSC CALL program. The photo on the right is is a shot of the inside the observatory with members Jim Faux, Phinie Faux, and Bob Taylor. Both photos were taken by Claudio Veliz, SoVerA/KAA.


Never Leave Your Camera Home...


The above image of the International Space Station was taken by Gabe Klueh on August 11th, 2016, at the KAA Perseid Meteor Star Party at the club's Observatory. Gabe used his Canon Rebel T3i [f/5, 8mm, 25sec., ISO 3200] and his tripod.


Sun and Moon - Keene, NH

Clear Sky Chart - Keene, NH

Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.

Chart courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com

Clear Outside - Keene, NH

Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.

Chart courtesy of Clear Outside

Tonight's Sky - Keene, NH

Time

Keene, NH

UTC