Mar 9

2019 Eastern Iowa Star Party Update

Hi all! I am working on the 3 guest speakers for our Sept 27-29 Eastern Iowa Star Party…. One works with the data collected on stars that Kepler, K2, and TESS observe(d) – using stellar oscillations (and in some case, rotation) to characterize the stars and tell us more about the history of their planetary systems. A second studies the formation, interior structure, and evolution of exoplanets. The main goals of her research group are to deepen the current understanding of the rich physics governing sub-Neptune-size planet interiors, to discover bulk composition trends in the growing census of known exoplanets, and to connect these composition trends back to distinct planet formation pathways. The third is an amateur astronomer who will show us how to use modest gear to collect data and input that data into software that will show Exoplanet transits. We are limited to about 50 participants and take reservations on a first pay first stay basis. This years star party fee is $20 per attendee plus $10 if you need electricity run to your reserved spot. We will have a charging station or two for use during the day if you want to run on batteries at night. […]

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

Jan 1

Dr. Jennifer L Anderson, Dr. Paul P Sipiera, and Comet Hunter David Levy to Speak at the 2018 Eastern Iowa Star Party

The 2018 Eastern Iowa Star Party will be held at the St. Ambrose University Menke Observatory in Dixon, Iowa from Sept 7th through 9th. The observatory, along with its piered scopes has a climate controlled classroom as well as women’s and men’s restrooms. Star Party reservations are limited to not more than 50 attendees. The observatory is located at the Wapsi River Educational and Environmental Center, so nature hikes and bird seeing abound… there is also an antique car museum near by! The Dixon Legion serves great burgers and meals and is only 5 minutes or so from the site. Other restaurant options are near by. Ask about lodging, but generally a small tent on field works fine. An email was sent to the 101 QCAS, PAC, and select members of CAA and TCAA for their distribution to their club membership. It was also posted on those clubs Facebook pages as well as the Facebook pages of 14 other astronomy clubs. The registration options are as follows:      1) $25.00 for the 3 night Star Party Only      2)$35.00 for the Saturday afternoon Lecture Series Only      3) $50.00 for the Party, Lectures, and Door Prizes.      4) I don’t […]

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 […]

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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