By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
The next regular meeting of the San Juan Stargazers will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.
The topic of study will be Comet Ison, which will be visible to amateur astronomers in November and December.
If there is time, attendees will also begin a study of Messier Objects, which include 110 of the most beautiful and interesting astronomical objects in the night sky. This is a great opportunity for people who want to learn some basics of astronomy.
The stargazers will not hold regular meetings in November and December, but will try to have several opportunities for the people of Pagosa to view Comet Ison.
In November, the Stargazers will hold a members-only star party and dinner to celebrate the club’s first year. After one year, there are 10 members and nine associates and there have been a total 60 visitors at monthly club meetings. The club held a National Star Party in August, which was mostly rained out, but there was one night of fantastic viewing. Plus, the Stargazers provided telescope viewing for hundreds of people at the Chimney Rock Night Sky and moon viewing programs. It was a wonderful and successful first year.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. There is a club website, www.SanJuanStargazers.com, as well as an e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and a club phone number, (970) 335-8286 to help communicate with the public. Anyone interested in learning more about astronomy is invited to join.