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.



December 2017 Club Meeting & Observing


On Friday, December 8th, we will have our monthly formal club meeting at Bruce Norlund's home in Keene at 7pm. Contact the club Secretary,Gabe, for directions. Our December program will feature several presentations. A NASA podcast of the November skies, interesting aspects including the mythology of the eight 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, December 9th, 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 October meeting, we encourage you to check out these constellations: November: Andromeda, Cassiopeia, and Pisces. And for December: Aries, Perseus, and Triangulum.

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".


Join Us on International Observe the Moon Night


On Saturday, October 28th, between 6 and 7 pm, members of the Keene Amateur Astronomers Club will gather at Keene's Ashuelot River Park to observe our moon. It's the International Observe the Moon Night and, in conjunction with the Keene Library, there will be several telescopes and binoculars for you to use to view the moon and other celestial objects. Dress warmly and arrive about 6 p.m.

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 Autumn Constellations


Fall began with the autumn equinox which occurred on September 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere and ends in December at the winter solstice. The autumn constellations are the 13 constellations that fall between 18 hours and 0 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 13 autumn constellations and a detailed map of the sky. They also provide similar information for the other seasons.

Sea and Sky presents a nice summary of the constellations alphabetically and by month.

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.

Are you looking to download a star chart or constellation map app for your smartphone or tablet computer? Here is an excellent article on available resources to guide you in your summer nighttime viewing. Some of these programs even allow you to hold your phone or tablet up to the night sky and see the exact position of the constellations. And, of course, trip over to the Apple Store [iOS], greenbot [Android], or Amazing Telescopes [desktop/laptop] for a review of excellent astronomy software for your phone/tablet/desktop/laptop. Pretty nifty!



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