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 particularly 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.
Our monthly formal club business meeting and observing will be held on July 13th at 8pm at the Sullivan observatory with observing afterwards. Contact the club Secretary, Gabe, for directions. Our June program will feature several presentations. A NASA podcast of the June skies, interesting aspects including the mythology of the six constellations below, and other timely topics will happen. Weather cooperating, following the formal meeting, members will adjourn for nocturnal viewing.Weather permitting, the July formal observing session will be held on the 14th at 9pm at the Sullivan Observatory.
As the year progresses, club members focus on different visible constellations. Prior to our June meeting, we encourage you to check out these constellations: Draco, Hercules,Serpens Caput, Serpens Cauda.
Finally, July presents some great observing opportunities: • July 1st - 11:30pm the moons of Saturn; Iapetus, Dione, Enceladus, Tethys, Rhea and Titan will be viewable in Sagitarius. • July 3rd & 4th - Mercury is in Cancer next to the Beehive cluster at magnitude 0.0 visible with the naked eye at 7 degrees for 45 min after sunset along with Venus in Leo at –4.3 mag. • July 27th & 28th - Uranus (at 5.8 mag) and Neptune (at 7.8mag) will be viewable with binoculars pre-dawn. • Jupiter will be viewable all month at –2.2 mag. in Libra. • Mars, in Capricornus, closest to earth since 2003 will be best viewed at the end of July when it rises at sunset at -2.8 mag
Be sure to check out what objects are visible this month before you venture out:
Summer began with the summer solstice which occurred on June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere and ends on September 22st at the fall equinox. The summer constellations are the 17 constellations that fall between 18 hours and 0 hours Right Ascension.
The American Association of Amateur Astronomers provides a list of the 17 summer constellations and a detailed map of the sky. They also provide similar information for the other seasons.
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.
The Constellation Hunter Program provides an orientation to the sky for beginning astronomers. No special equipment (other than a planisphere and a reference for the brighter star names) is required. 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. It is well balanced, providing opportunity to observe using naked eyes, binoculars, and telescopes.
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 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, 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 Phinie Faux and Carol Littleton for manning the telescope line and answering the many questions. Also, thanks to Carol for bringing those novel eclipse viewing devices that really intrigued many of the kids - and adults. Thanks to Jim Faux for taking many pictures of the crowd and eclipse as well as 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 - a really fun event.For the photos, click Solar Eclipse - Keene Library - August 2017.
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 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.
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.
Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.
Chart courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com
Click the image for a complete sky condition forecast.
Chart courtesy of Clear Outside