Feb 16

SCT Collimation Party – Feb 16 2019

What a great time, and a great example of what we’d like our club to be… helping each other grow in our common interest… astronomy! On the way to the event, at St Ambrose University McCarthy Hall room 003, I picked up a couple dozen donuts to have for munchies at the event… donuts and astronomy seem to go hand in hand! Byron, Sam, Mike and I got there about 9:30 Am to make sure that the room was open, and that we had the area clean for the incoming scopes. We set up 2 EQ mounts for those that had their SCT’s set up in that manner, and we left a clearing by the door for folks that brought in their scopes on fork mounts. We had a couple boxes of tools to make any adjustments needed as well as 2 of the HoTech CT Collimators… we can do 2 scopes at a time! Around 10:00 AM, folks started coming in with their SCT’s… we had scheduled people in roughly 1 hour increments, but advised that we could remain very flexible… and all worked quite well! Basically speaking, while Byron was tweaking on collimating 1 scope, Sam and Mike […]

Feb 12

Collimation Party Reminder!

Hi again! We still have some open times for additional SCT collimation… it’s this Saturday! Here is the list of registered: Sam S Matt N Craig C Byron D Mike D Jeff S 10:00 AM – Rusty C 11:00 AM – John B 13:00 PM – PACMo 14:00 PM – Robert M Let me know ASAP… and if you an help Robert transport his SCT from his SAU office to McCarthy, let me know that too! Clear Skies! Jeff

Feb 9

Jens Wendt Observatory canceled for Feb 9

Due to weather, we will need to cancel tonight’s open house at our Quad Cities Astronomical Society Jens Wendt Observatory at Sherman Park near Dixon IA.   Being out at this dark site gets pretty uncomfortable when the temps are below 20°F and by sunset that is where the temps will be, and will continue to drop throughout the night.   We also will see increasing cloud cover beginning before sunset and gradually getting worse.   Hopefully our March 30th outing will provide much better!   Clear Skies! Jeff  

Jan 19

Lunar Eclipse – January 20-21 2019

Well… the Lunar Eclipse will need to happen without us… We won’t be meeting at the park in Riverdale on Sunday… but don’t forget to take a peek from the warmth of your home! The Lunar event time line is as follows for those of us in the QCA: 8:36 pm Sun, Jan 20 Penumbral Eclipse begins – The Earth’s penumbra starts touching the Moon’s face. 9:33 pm Sun, Jan 20 Partial Eclipse begins – The partial Lunar eclipse starts and the Moon is getting red. 10:41 pm Sun, Jan 20 Total Eclipse begins – The Moon is completely red. 11:12 pm Sun, Jan 20 Maximum Eclipse – The Moon is closest to the center of the Earth’s shadow. 11:43pm Sun, Jan 20 Total Eclipse ends 12:50 am Mon, Jan 21 Partial Eclipse ends 1:48 am Mon, Jan 21 Penumbral Eclipse ends. Thanx!

Jan 10

Blood Moon January 20th

In a few days we will have a nice treat to view from here in the Quad Cities. Beginning at 8:35pm the Full Moon will begin to move through the shadow cast by the Earth ultimately resulting in a Total Lunar Eclipse. A Total Lunar Eclipse are typically refered to as a Blood Moon due to the dark red or coppery appearance of the Moon whilst within the deepest part of the Earth’s shadow which is called the Umbra.   The above diagram from NASA gives you an idea of what’s actually happening. When the Moon enters the Penumbra, a dimming of the Moon’s surface can be observed as the edge of the shadow advances. This point is called Penumbra first contact and begins the Partial phase of the eclipse. If the Moon were to pass only through the Penumbra of the Earth this would be a partial eclipse and nothing more. But this month the Moon will make it into the deeper Umbra of the Earths shadow. Then the deeper portion of the shadow begins to cross the surface it is called (you guessed it) Umbral first contact and this begins the Total phase of the eclipse. When the […]

Sep 10

Eastern Iowa Star Party 2018

Thank you so very much to those attending the 2018 Quad Cities Astronomical Society’s Eastern Iowa Star Party! Friday seemed a bit sketchy until David Levy chatted with those attendees present and Grant Harkness and Alan Sheidler stepped up and gave talks on the Wilton School Observatory Project and the 2019 NCRAL respectively… we then topped the night off with watching a movie called Deep Impact…. one which David Levy was conferred on… and had the midnight chili at 8:00 pm.….. we had 24 in attendance that day/night. Saturday was an incredible day…. Drs. Sipiera, Anderson and Levy gave incredibly interesting, education al and entertaining presentations followed by great Q&A sessions. We gave away 16 door prizes between talks… and had raffle winners for the second place…Televue 1.25″ 2X Barlow, and the grand prize, the 102mm Explore Scientific Carbon Fiber Triplet. We moved midnight stew up to about 7:00 PM and while we ate watched the movie, Armageddon…. the evening cleared a bit and we spent the night doing imaging and viewing… hanging out with David Levy as he continued his search for comets… Jennifer and Dave Anderson hung out with us and checked out the various views thru the various […]

Aug 13

Perseid Meteor Shower at PVJHS 2018

Excellent event tonight! Thank you to all the Quad City Astronomical Society members that showed up to help! I haven’t counted the signatures in the book, but I’m estimating between 200 and 300 guests attended tonight’s event. I think that’s a record breaker! Folks started arriving around 7:30 PM and like last year, we started packing up shortly after midnight. Along with a few dozen meteors, guests saw the planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, and quite a few satellites. Some saw a presentation on spectroscopy, discussed the Perseid event and saw the constellations in Stellarium on a large screen along with a number of DSO pics, and watched the sky via a live AllSky Cam! Great job to all the members, and thank you to all our guests! We’ll do this again next August. Make sure you plan ahead! Clear skies! Jeff

Mar 14

Iowa Naturalists visit the QCAS Jens-Wendt Observatory.

On March 14th, 2018, the QCAS will host a tour of their Jens Wendt Observatory to the Iowa Association of Naturalists. This will be an open house style event for the Naturalists. If all goes according to plan, guests will be arriving at the observatory, located at Sherman Park about 6 PM on March 14th. They are planning a soup supper up at the house, all who are helping out with the observatory are welcome to join. There will be 2-3 varieties of soup including a vegetarian option and fresh baked bread. Reservations are appreciated. They are also planning an evening hike and a social campfire with music if the weather is nice. QCAS members are invited for it all. This will also allow people to filter over to the observatory so there is less need of a line at the scope. We hope that attendees can see some of the planets and maybe easier to see/find nebulae. Guests never forget their first view through a big telescope! If it is clouded over, we can tour the facility anyway. March 1st is the early registration deadline so we should have a pretty good idea of attendance for this trip by […]

Jan 31

Blood Moon 01/31/2018

Some images taken by members of the Blood Moon from 01/31/18. These are shoots that appeared in the QC Astromony Facebook Group

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