Archive for May, 2012

The MOST And SAS Host A Transit Of Venus Observing Session (And More!) 5 June 2012, 6:00 p.m.

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Greetings fellow asrtrophiles,


I am pleased to announce that the SAS is collaborating with the MOST (Museum of Science and Technology, www.most.org) and is hosting the outside observing session for the Transit of Venus/SUN-EARTH DAY: SHADOWS OF THE SUN Session this June 5th!

The indoor MOST session is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and includes a live NASA Feed of the transit from Hawaii (which will be our fall-back location if the Syracuse skies do not permit observing). The SAS scopes will be set up until sunset (or until buildings obscure our view of the Sun. The location near Walt, “The Loch West Monster” along the Creekwalk provides an excellent low horizon near the MOST) on the corner of East Fayette St. and the Onondaga Creekwalk (map image and street view below. For directions, see google maps HERE).

For those attending and interested in bringing their own solar-safe scopes, the setup time will be 5:00 p.m., giving us ample opportunity to observe sunspots and coordinate our group observing endeavor.

SAS members at the 2004 Transit.

“Ingress Exterior” (the first “touch” between Venus and the Sun) begins at 6:09 p.m. and “Ingress Interior” (when Venus is fully “within” the Sun) occurs at 6:27 p.m. After that, we observe as long as we can.

More details will follow as plans are finalized. Until then, we hope you can join us for an event that wont happen again until December of 2117!


To make sure the point is addressed, unfiltered telescopes and binoculars are FAR, FAR more damaging to your eyes than staring at the Sun without any optics. DO NOT ATTEMPT OBSERVING THE TRANSIT WITHOUT PROTECTION! Scopes at our session contain either internal Sun-safe filters or filters made from Baader film (pronounced “B-ah-der”). If you want to use binoculars for observing and do not have filters, DO NOT ATTEMPT OBSERVING THE TRANSIT WITHOUT PROJECTION! Details on how this is done can be found at spaceweather.com/sunspots/doityourself.html.

The SAS Solar Observing brochure can be downloaded HERE.

Junior Café Scientifique – Going into Orbit: Famous Rocket Payloads and What We Learn from Them – Saturday, May 19

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

A TACNY-hosted (Technology Alliance of CNY, of which the SAS is a member organization) Junior Café Scientifique lecture at the MOST is happening on Saturday May 19 at 9:30 a.m. More so, the SAS is in charge of the lecturing duties for this event in time for the TACNY Rocketry Competition coming up. Information is below.

When: Saturday, May 19, 9:30-11:00am
Where: Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST), Syracuse NY

Damian G. Allis, PhD, research assistant professor of Chemistry at Syracuse University and president of the Syracuse Astronomical Society, will present Going into Orbit: Famous Rocket Payloads and What We Learn from Them, a talk about rocket payloads, as part of TACNY’s 2011-2012 Junior Cafe Scientifique lecture series.

People interested in learning more about rocket payloads are invited to attend the free Junior Cafe presentation on Saturday, May 19, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse’s Armory Square. Walk-ins are welcome, but we ask that people RSVP by emailing jrcafe@tacny.org by May 17, 2012.

Allis is a research professor at Syracuse University, focusing on spectroscopy and drug design; works in the area of molecular nanotechnology as part of the international Nanofactory Collaboration; and studies DNA and genomics with AptaMatrix Inc. in Syracuse. He currently is president and webmaster of the Syracuse Astronomical Society, an organization that promotes observation, education, and light pollution issues from its Darling Hill Observatory in Vesper. During cloudy nights, he also is a drummer/percussionist in several local bands, including the Civil War-Era Excelsior Cornet Band.

With 2,500 years of documented history as toys, military tools and delivery systems for scientists’ instruments, rocketry has changed the face of humankind. Rocketry not only opened the imaginations of authors in the 20th century to the universe, but profoundly changed telecommunications, surveillance, geopolitics, education, and observational astronomy. The early 21st century has found governments having to collaborate on development and delivery at the same time as industry is developing new, competitive, commercial alternatives to orbit for equipment and humans alike. This lecture will take a science-centric look at the use of rocketry in recent history and consider some of the radical change that has come from its science and application.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students, features discussions between scientists and students about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

Darling Hill Will OPEN Tonight For Public Viewing – Friday, May 11

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Greetings fellow astrophile!

It is looking like a near-perfect evening for nighttime observing, so we will be opening Darling Hill around 7:30 p.m. tonight. No ISS fly-bys are predicted for the next few days, but Venus, Mars, and Saturn are prominent in our sky – Saturn being particularly brilliant at its current orientation.

It is also looking to be a bit on the cool side tonight (40s?), so do consider bringing an additional layer if you’re going to be up late.

We hope you can join us!

SAS Astronomical Chronicle For May 2012, Public Viewing Session This Friday, May 11 (12 Alt.), And 40 Minute SuperMoon Notice

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Greetings fellow astrophile!

The May 2012 Astronomical Chronicle is up in plenty of time for our next Public Viewing Session this Friday, May 11 (as always, check the website by 5:00 p.m. on Friday to confirm we’ll be opening).

And, if you’re reading this in time, don’t forget to give the Moon your undivided attention at 11:35 p.m. tonight.