Welcome to everyone interested in the skies above!!

The East Central Minnesota Astronomy Club is dedicated to outreach, education, and hands-on learning experiences for everyone. We are a collective group of astronomy enthusiasts with all levels of experience, from seasoned observers to absolute beginners. Our interests in the sky include solar, planetary, lunar, and deep space object observation. We invite you to come out and join us, and share in the wonders above.

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. Sarah Williams, poet (1837-1868)

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Beautiful Afternoon For Some Safe Solar Viewing

The downtown Safe Solar viewing event was a wonderful success.  Nearly 100 people came by on their way to the County Fair and took in a filtered,  telescopic view of the sun with its one sunspot and numerous individuals tried on the safe solar viewing glasses which allow direct visualization of the sun.   Many resources were given away and  the event was something that we will definitely plan on doing again.  Follow our events on the NASA Night Sky Network calendar on the bottom of this blog's homepage.

Get out and see the Perseid Meteor Shower

This year's annual Perseid meteor shower is supposed to peak on the 13/14 of August.  This year should be good for seeing more meteors due to the moon being only a waning crescent at that time.  The best time to view any meteor shower is in the pre-dawn hours because the side of the earth rotating towards the sun will scoop up more meteors.  The 2009 shower peaked with 170 meteors per hour, and most years the average is approximately 60 meteors per hour.  So get out your bug spray, grab a reclining lawn chair and get out there and start tallying!  Good luck.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Solar Observing in downtown Mora

Come out and enjoy views of the sun on Thursday, July 19 at James M. Williams DDS office, across the street from the fairgrounds beginning at 5:00PM.  Telescopic views of the sun will be provided pending reasonably clear skies.  Additional educational tools will be on-hand as well as hand-outs and giveaways.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November astronomy events are heating up!

Things will be picking up in tempo over the next week as three events for ECMAC will occur.  The first is a NASA Nightsky Network Telecon on Thursday the 17th at 8:00PM with a subject of "Exploring The Lunar Atmosphere."  Next, on Friday, is the "Frozen Turkey Star Party" (in honor of Thankgiving the following week) starting at 5:00 PM at the Evenson driveway.  One good thing about late Fall is that the mosquitoes will be non-existent!!!  Hooray!  Then, on Tuesday the 22nd, we will have our monthly club meeting at 7:00 PM at the dental office.  See you there!

Friday, October 7, 2011

International Observe the Moon Night This Saturday!

Well, I apologize for the lack of posts recently, but as they say, no time like the present to get back into the swing of things.  October 8 and 9 are this years dates for the International Observe the Moon Night.  I would encourage anyone interested to get out and take a few moments to train your eyes, binoculars, or telescope on our nearest celestial neighbor.  If interested look to the Nightsky Network calendar below for information on events in your area.

Enjoy the views of Luna,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March Club Meeting Highlights

Tonight we just finished our March Club Meeting and had great fun snacking and learning about the many resources available to the budding astronomer.  Books covered such topics as "40 Nights to Knowing the Sky", "Astronomy for Dummies", "Universe", "Mike Lynch's Minnesota Starwatch", "Night Sky Companion Volume 1 and 2", "Sky Atlas 2000" and several others.  Members were given the opportunity to peruse these volumes and ask questions and I think some may have been inspired to pick up one or two of the titles.  Also, our Youngest member of only 6 years of age, received her "First Observation Club" certificate, patch and sticker.  Congrats Jane!

While the adults had their meeting, the younger members enjoyed coloring pictures of constellations and finding them on the planetarium globe projector and learning about the location and size of several of them.  Good times were had by all.

Additionally we discussed the upcoming Messier marathon and planned a star party around that theme.  We are considering  hosting a table at the Mora home show and also possibly participating in an astronomy themed evening at the Paradise Theater.  We are also finalizing plans to help the local Boy scouts and Girl scouts earn their Astronomy patches.  With many things in the works, stay tuned for more astro-fun in the coming months!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

March star party yields several unexpected surprises!!

We just got back from a great couple hours in the snow and truly had a ball tonight.  To start things off, at about 6:35 the ISS flew overhead and it was so bright and slow moving that everyone got a view of it through the 10" dob!!  Very cool.  The next surprise was that while we were enjoying a dusky view of Jupiter, the thinnest waxing crescent moon any of us had ever seen appeared.  It was remarkable!

We had 9 club members in attendance and our youngest club member completed her "Young Observers Club" program this evening. She demonstrated her knowledge of constellations, planets, the moon, stars, nebula, and open clusters by showing an example of each to us using a dob equipped with a Tel-rad.  We were all proud of this six-year old's achievement!

The skies were remarkably clear despite the "mostly cloudy" forecast and the temps were in the mid-teens.  Conditions could not have been much better for early March, so we took the opportunity to participate in the Globe at Night Observation program determining the visual limiting brightness of the stars from our location.  This exercise was both fun and educational for everyone!

Come out and join us for our next club meeting Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:00 PM at Dr. Jim Williams' dental office.

Get Adobe Flash player
East Central Minnesota Astronomy Club Event Calendar from the Night Sky Network.