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)

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.

The "Cabin Fever" Star Party is on!

It has been a long winter, so get out of the house and be sure to join us tonight at 6 PM to enjoy the evening skies!   We'll stay out as long as we can withstand the cold at the Jaycee's ball field on North Grove street in Mora!  The Orion nebula will be sure to delight as well as many galaxies in Leo and Virgo.

See you there!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vasaloppet Here We Come!

Each year in Mora there is a cross country ski race called the Vasaloppet and it is occasionally used as an olympic qualifier, so for our small community, it is a very big deal.  This year is the 39th anniversary and ECMAC has offered to provide some celestial ambiance for the "friendship tour", a short 2K welcome event at 7:00PM on Friday the 11th of February.  We will set up at the downtown library park and hope to show people great views of the first quarter moon and anything else we can pull in with the street lights around us.

Here's hoping we have decent temperatures and clear skies!

January 25th Meeting on Celestial Targets is a Bullseye!

With another fun-filled educational eperience under our belts, the ECMAC bi-monthly meeting covered a very interesting topic: Objects for Observation, presented by club president Jim Williams.  Eleven different categories of celestial phenomena suitable for different levels of observation were presented.  These covered everything from naked-eye astronomy incorporating meteor Showers, auroral displays, the Moon, planets, and stars, to telescopic and binocular observation of double stars, open clusters, globular clusters, planetary nebulae, diffuse nebulae, supernova remnants, and galaxies.  Each subject was briefly discussed and some great questions were asked!  We look forward to getting more "in-depth" with each of these individual topics later on. 

Also discussed, was the amazing photo shown below of the partial solar eclipse with a transiting International Space Station present as well.  This was truly a remarkable accomplishment by French astrophotographer Thierry Legault.

Come join us at our next bi-monthly meeting onTuesday, March 22nd at 7:00PM.
Get Adobe Flash player
East Central Minnesota Astronomy Club Event Calendar from the Night Sky Network.