Sep 22

Eastern Iowa Star Party 2017

Eastern Iowa Star Party 2017!   Hi all! At the time of this writing, we have seen another Eastern Iowa Star Party come and go… but hat a spectacular way to go! Although the star party was an official 2 nights and an unofficial 3rd… some attendees spent a 4th nigh… Thursday through Sunday nights… and each night proved to be a wonderful night to celebrate our hobby. We had at least 2 amateur astronomers out on Thursday, 17 on Friday and Saturday, and about 6 on Sunday nights… lots of astrophotography, visual, electronically assisted work went on as well as a lot of learning, experimentation, and comradery. We had 3 excellent, formal presentations. Dr. Robert Mitchell gave a great talk on the Cassini mission… from start to finish; Zachary Luppen, an Astro-Physics major from Iowa City, gave a presentation on all of the work that institution has contributed to the space program. Zach was instrumental in putting together the displays for the Hawkeyes in Space Exhibit at the Old Capital Museum; lastly, Lisa and John Allseits provided updates as to their progress building the Mt. Jennings Observatory near Pearl City in Illinois. All of the presentations involved discussion and […]

Aug 21

The Great American Eclipse!

Members of QCAS spread across the country to view the Great American Eclipse!   TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE NEWS BITS “Something wondrous to behold” A first-hand account of the Great American Eclipse of 2017 By Paul Levesque, ASC Public Affairs  I can’t remember when I first became aware of the Great American Eclipse of 2017, but as soon as I did, I knew that I had to see it. First, a little background: I am a public affairs specialist, currently employed as an Army civilian employee for the U.S. Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island, Illinois, where I’ve worked since 1986. I’m a native of Rhode Island, which is where I was on March 7, 1970, when the path of a total eclipse just missed my hometown of Tiverton. (This is the “total eclipse of the sun” referenced in the Carly Simon hit, You’re So Vain.) On May 10, 1994, a crystal-clear day, the path of an annular eclipse – an eclipse in which the moon’s shadow does not completely cover the sun – passed over the Quad Cities, where I live and where the Arsenal is located. The eerie effects I saw that day whetted my appetite for future eclipses, […]

Sep 19

Eastern Iowa Star Party 2016

This past Labor Day Weekend was celebrated by over 30 amateur astronomers attending the 2016 Eastern Iowa Star Party. Along with great music, lots of munchies, and a lot of comingling between the members of four astronomy clubs, The Cedar Amateur Astronomers, The Naperville Astronomical Association, The Popular Astronomy Club, and The Quad Cities Astronomical Society, we had lots of door prizes and 3 great presentations and overall, very nice weather for the viewing, imaging, video and spectral astronomy being done those nights. With the exception of a bit of humidity, Friday night was a great night to be out doing astronomy… Saturday was a bit cloudy, but still did afford lots of opportunity. For those that hung in through Sunday night, we again had a fairly nice night. Friday night also was quite special in that we had a spectacular guest appearance by the Aurora Borealis… everyone stopped to watch the display… you’ll need to check out Matt’s Video on line! As alluded to in the first paragraph, we had a lot of support by other clubs… attendees included the President of CAA and his family and the CAA Facilities Director, the Media Coordinator from NAA, the President of […]

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