Nov 16

November Meeting! New Board is coming!

Deep thoughts during our great November Membership Meeting tonight on Webex. Keep an eye out for big changes to come! Congrats to the new board! President : Dr. Robert Mitchell Vice President : Paul Saeger Secretary : Jason Howell Treasurer : Sam Santiago Director At-Large: Jeff Struve

Nov 15

2020-11-16 QCAS Meeting

Hi all! We have an important QCAS virtual meeting tomorrow night… please attend! The main event will be our elections, and a talk on QCAS 2021 and Beyond… Check your email for the invite! Clear Skies! Jeff

Oct 28

2020-10-27 APP Session 3

Another great APP meeting last night… learned how to deal with light pollution, color correction, and make a mosaic… all pretty cool and simple. Can’t wait for the next meeting… Monday before election! This has gone so well, and the 11 attendees have gotten so much out of it that we are putting together a 5th session with Mabula… great training, great examples, great documentation, great sample data to work with… plus a substantial discount if ya buy the software! Clear Skies! Jeff

Oct 26

Skyward for November 2020 By David H. Levy

Skyward for November 2020 By David H. Levy Hello, Bennu! Not long ago OSIRIS-REx, a spacecraft sponsored by the University of Arizona and flown by NASA gently touched the surface of asteroid No. 101955, an asteroid named Bennu, tried to grab some material, and then quickly took off again. It was the first try, but it was a huge success! The craft gathered more than twice what was expected—so much that some small pieces of material started to leak out. Of course, if all the sample leaked out, then there was no sample. But that won’t happen. NASA plans to transfer the material to a safe storage container earlier than expected, and then the sample will be safe. The mission, run jointly by NASA and the University of Arizona, cost the U.S. taxpayers about eight hundred million dollars, plus about 185 million for the launch aboard an Atlas V rocket. The Osiris-Rex is an acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer. Asteroid Bennu is an interesting choice. Bennu was the name for an Egyptian mythological bird associated with creation, the Sun, and rebirth. But much as the name might inspire us to look back at the early […]

Oct 17

2020-10-16 QCAS Menke Family Nite

Fun nite last nite… except for the weather, preventing the viewing/imaging part of things, everything went well! In attendance, Ken, Rusty, Rolando, Jason and family, Paul L, Robert, Jim, Sam, Alan, Cecil, Matt, and myself… Everyone arrived on time, I had the pizza there at 6:30… the Legion divided and packaged it up by person, so there was no need for rehandling… the pizza was really pretty good IMHO! After eating I took everyone on an expedition around the observation field and explained where each new building was hoped to be erected and what the building was for and what it would house. We also talked about the additional pads we want to add as well as power and internet access. As a bit of comrade continued, Robert installed a new red back-lit keyboard and USB hub on the Menke Dome Computer… and we assembled the new RACI Finder Scope on the 14″ SCT. Rusty brought a Crawford Focuser that we were hoping would fit the 14″ SCT but it wouldnt… so if you are in the market for one… contact him or me. Too bad it was so cloudy, but hey, such is an astronomers life! 2 other bits […]

Oct 7

Important Member Info!

Hi all! I have 3 bits of important info that you’ll want to act on… 1. MEMBERSHIP DUES Renewals can be sent to us any time between now and January 1st. Renewal is $20 and $10 per each additional family member 16 yrs or older that also wants to be a member. I attached a form in an email sent to you that you can print out, fill in, and return with payment. Send payment and the form, or hand written info to: Quad Cities Astronomical Society P.O. Box 3706  Davenport, Iowa  52808-3706 2.OFFICER NOMINATIONS Jim Rutenbeck will be emailing out information on how nominations and voting will happen this year. Its important that you provide your input! Please watch for his email and respond as quickly as possible! 3. OCTOBER SOCIETY MEETING In place of our November Dinner Meeting, we will be having a family outing on the evening of Friday, October 16th at Menke Observatory. We moved the normal meeting date in October from Monday to Friday for this meeting so that staying up a bit late won’t interfere with the next days work. Please bring your immediate family for a bit of astronomy and pizza! We will […]

Sep 28

Skyward for October 2020 David H. Levy

Skyward for October 2020 David H. Levy The long summer of 2020 When Earth crossed the summer solstice on June 21, 2020, we were all mired in the midst of the most serious pandemic in more than a century. Summer is the most important season for me for one reason: it was many years ago, during the Summer of 1960, that I fell in love with the night sky. This summer just concluded had a start filled with disappointment. On June 21, 1960, I was riding my bicycle to school when its front wheel struck a curb and broke my arm. My cousin, Roy Kaufman, gave me a book about the planets as a get-well present. I read and reread that book all summer, and by September I was enjoying my first look through a telescope, at the planet Jupiter. The view of the planet with its bands of color, combined with its four big moons, was one I have never forgotten. To this day Jupiter remains my favorite planet. As I never tire of looking at this world, I was able to view Jupiter this summer also. The summer of 2020 began with a huge handicap, but something appeared […]

Sep 22

2020-09-21 Club Meeting

Hi all! Great meeting last nite! I wasn’t really looking forward to it as we had just wrapped up EISP the preceeding 3 nights and I was TIRED!… but I’m glad we held it! So… we talked about EISP quite a bit, and touched on the upcoming APP seminar, Elections, the November Annual Dinner Meeting, and the Observatory Relocation Project…. For EISP, we talked about the weather and seeing conditions, how well the social distancing was handled and other related logistics. We then did a round tabke and each attendee gave their take on the event… what troubles they experienced, what they got accomplished and/or learned… I had taken pics of all the scopes set up so we did a round table on what the gear was, and how it worked… lots of great discussion as there was quite a variety of gear! We talked about the upcoming APP seminar a bit… If you’ve been wanting help with processing images… or just want to understand more about imaging, this seminar is for you. Waiting for someone to help you with processing, this is for you… Hate having to deal with light pollution? Learn how to use this app to zap […]

Aug 1

Skyward for August 2020 by David H Levy

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 […]

Jul 23

2020 – 07 – 27 SURVEY REQUEST

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 […]

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