Welcome to Quad Cities Astronomical Society!

Stimulating an interest in the science of astronomy within the Quad Cities, nurturing an ongoing desire by our members to study the cosmos, and to providing members of our community opportunities to experience the
Joy and Beauty of Astronomy.


Upcoming Events



The Meridian News

  • Skyward for August 2020 by David H Levy
    Skyward for August 2020 by David H Levy
    August 1, 2020

    Skyward for August 2020. Of a comet, a cosmic beacon, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life David H. Levy A few months ago I wrote in this space about Comet Atlas (C/2019 Y4), a comet that at the time showed signs of becoming a bright comet visible without a telescope or binoculars with just one’s eyes.  I also repeated my maxim that “Comets are like cats; they both have tails, and they both do precisely what they want.”  This comet indeed did not live up to its billing, and neither did the next one,  comet Swan (C/2020 F8). The third Comet, however, did!  Comet Neowise (C/2020 F3) put on a beautiful performance in the morning sky at the start of the Summer of 2020.  (First picture.) It was a shining cosmic beacon amidst the terrible time we are all having this year.  Over the course of July, this comet faded slightly as it moved into the evening sky, but it moved so far north that for a time it was visible in the night sky all night long.  (Second picture.) When I look at a comet, my thoughts often dwell on the role that comets have played in the origins […]...

  • 2020 – 07 – 27 SURVEY REQUEST
    2020 – 07 – 27 SURVEY REQUEST
    July 23, 2020

    Hi all, I need your input ASAP. As you know, at our last QCAS club meeting we had a great demonstration of the astro imaging software package called Astro Pixel Processor. We now have the opportunity to set up either a 2 session or 4 session seminar, 2 hours long each, to learn the software and if you participate in the 4 two hour sessions, receive 25% off of the purchase price of the software.  Since there are already 8 of us interested, I need your help in seeing how many others want to attend and what logistics work best for the largest group of folks. We hope to have a pre-seminar meeting to go over any imaging basics to cover any types of questions or holes in knowledge you may need filled before taking the seminar… but… the software seems so simple that not previous knowledge will really be required. Here’s a link to the recording of the club meeting where the app was presented: Here is a link sent by Mabula Haverkamp reviewing the App: Click to access QCAS-talk-20200720.pdf The cost of the online seminar may be up to $15 per hour per session.The software, if you choose […]...

  • 2018- 09-18 thru 20 Eastern Iowa Star Party
    2018- 09-18 thru 20 Eastern Iowa Star Party
    July 21, 2020

    Hi All! I know its been a while since I’ve posted an update… but the pandemic is kinda making things uncertain. At this time, we are still a Go for this September event… but with some modifications. Due to the facility size, we will be cutting attendance from 50 down to 24. Also, since we will be restricting the number of folks inside the structure, it doesn’t make sense to have guest speakers or presentations… it would be too bright outside to do any type of screen projection… maybe we can do some round table talks outside? Next, because of the smaller size of the event and how difficult the economy has been on businesses, we haven’t asked for donations, so no door prizes. Again for safety reasons, we wont be doing the midnight chili and stew… I think we will still have single serving wrapped munchies, bottled water and pop though… I’m not sure if we will charge a registration fee or a fee for electricity or not, but we will probably just go by donation. We think that we will limit the number of folks inside the structures to 2 persons… maybe 3 or 4… but with masks… […]...

  • 2020-07-20 Meeting Review
    2020-07-20 Meeting Review
    July 21, 2020

    Hi all! A special thanks to Mabula for the great presentation last night, and rhanx to Paul for making the initial contact There! Many of the 24 in attendance joined before the 7 PM event, and we adjourned at shortly after 9 PM… There will be additional email and notices put on Facebook and our website giving the link to the recording of the meeting for those that could not attend and wanted to. For those that didn’t attend as they were uninterested in astro photography, you can view at your leisure for the opportunity to add another segment of knowledge to your knowledge base. As mentioned before, I will be sending out a note with some information. The information will basically be a survey to see your interests in attending an online seminar to learn the use of Astro Pixel Processor. There will be a fee for the seminar, but it is accompanied by a 25% discount on the software if you choose to purchase. I will have cost and additional information in the email. The email will be time sensitive, so make sure you reply back so that we can schedule this to accommodate the greater number of […]...

  • Meeting Link Update
    July 20, 2020

    ARG! UPDATED LINK FOR TONITE! QCAS Virtual Meeting When Changed: Mon Jul 20, 2020 18:30 – 21:00 Central Time – Chicago Joining info Join Webex meetingstambrose.webex.com/stambrose/j…. (ID: 1466763263, password: xukdMF4N)...

  • 2020-07-20 Tonite’s Meeting!
    July 20, 2020

    Hi all! Here is the link for tonites 7:00 PM club meeting… log in a bit early, and please make sure that you keep your microphone muted when you are not speaking!!! https://stambrose.webex.com/webappng/sites/stambrose/meeting/download/71cab9a60ea349d4818c48758b003da3?siteurl=stambrose&MTID=mc2c9d51a80786b790f197e8ad96cced3 Tonites presentation will be given by software designer Mabula Haverkamp on his image processing software, Astro Pixel Processor  A short bio can be found here: About Mabula A bit more information on Mabula’s background: He studied astrophysics at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands and graduated (drs. M.Sc.) in 2004 in the field of Solar Physics. His graduation project led to this article: DOT tomography of the solar atmosphere. IV. Magnetic patches in internetwork areas https://arxiv.org/abs/0706.2008 After his studies he worked for several years in the finance industry before changing his career path to become an IT consultant in network/internet technology specialized in security, working for large companies with networks around the globe. In 2011, his social and professional life stopped quite abruptly due to a chronic disease of unknown origin (Sarcoidosis). The disease made him fully disabled for work and he was severely ill until 2017 after which the disease, luckily, slowly stopped and he regained his health. While being ill, he started work on Astro […]...

  • 2017-07-18 Menke Virtual Meeting in Review
    2017-07-18 Menke Virtual Meeting in Review
    July 19, 2020

    The virtual public open at Menke last night seemed a great success! Special thanks to Rusty and Sam who came on site for moral support… and Rusty did do a bit of AP work and we look forward to seeing his results. I belive we had around 16 in virtual attendance. The event started at 7 PM, well before sunset, and began with Dr. Mitchel making introductions, how to navigate WebEx, a virtual tour and a history of the observatory. He then gave 2 presentations, one on comets, and one on meteor showers. He frequently stopped for Q&A. While this was going on, we waited out Jupiter rising… sounds like a great name for a movie! Anyway, we brought Jupiter and the 4 Galilean moons into view. Low in the sky, there was quite a bit of atmospheric disturbance, but that gave rise to another bit of discussion. While we waited for Saturn, and it to get a bit darker for C/2020 F3 Neowise, some of the tools we were using were discussed and demoed… a key tool was Stellarium. We started thinking about other objects to check out while waiting for Saturn, and Alberio was suggested… the double star did […]...

  • 2018-07-18 Menke Virtual Open House
    2018-07-18 Menke Virtual Open House
    July 18, 2020

    Dont forget tonites virtual event at 7PM tonite… QCAS, PAC, and CAA membwrs are welcome to use the facility following social distancing! https://stambrose.webex.com/webappng/sites/stambrose/meeting/download/8d43d52e45474a7da90e3d21b1772c85?siteurl=stambrose&MTID=m3927636fc19a36cb78ce134a4a4457be...

  • 2020-07-20 QCAS MEETING
    2020-07-20 QCAS MEETING
    July 15, 2020

    Hi all! The QCAS holds their monthly meetings on the 3rd Monday each month, formerly on 1st floor of the St Ambrose University  McCarthy Hall, and post COVID, virtually via WebEx… This coming Monday is our next regularly scheduled meeting, and I am excited to announce our guest speaker, Mabula Haverkamp, the master mind behind the highly acclaimed Astro Pixel Processor! Mabula will demo this excellent easy to use processing software… you may have seen some great pics recently done by Paul usinv APP…. and we will pole for interest on setting up a series of 4 short workshops to hone the skills who are interested in the product. I will be sending out bio info shortly, but here is a link to the site: Astro Pixel Processor by Aries Productions As QCAS members always get reminders for club meetings, I also invite PAC and CAA to participate at all times, and especially to those interested in an excellent, economical, easy to use processing application… Please RSVP! Clear Skies! Jeff Struve​​...

  • Comets and Meteors and Meteorites, Oh My!
    Comets and Meteors and Meteorites, Oh My!
    July 5, 2020

    It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… • Comet – A mass of ice, rock and dust which often has a tail. The tail is made up of water vapor, dust and various gases which vaporize and grows as it gets closer to the sun. • Asteroid – A body made up of metallic and non-metallic rock orbiting the Sun and usually in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. • Meteoroid – Often an asteroid fragment that although orbiting the sun, will make its way to entering Earth’s atmosphere. • Meteor – When a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it becomes a meteor. As it travels through the atmosphere, it burns up, producing a streak of light. We commonly call these, Shooting Stars. • Fireball – A rare event where a meteor explodes as it travels through Earth’s atmosphere, leaving behind a very bright streak of light. • Meteorite – When a meteor traveling through Earth’s atmosphere does not completely burn up and strikes the ground, we call the fragment a meteorite. Yikes! Will the Earth get struck? Not to worry! Meteors are generally quite small, ranging from dust particles and rarely to boulder size. They are almost […]...

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