Stargazers announce study topics

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By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW

The regular meeting of the San Juan Stargazers, on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center conference room, we will be studying two topics: “Our Night Sky” and “Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe.”

The club purchased these two courses with the previously mentioned titles to use as programs for meetings when we don’t have live speakers.

In the course titled “Our Night Sky,” there are 12 lectures of about 30-40 minutes each. We will be able to pick out a subject, watch a video, study the course guidebook and even answer suggested thought provoking questions.

The lectures include: “Constellations and their Stars,” “Observing the Moon and Sun,” “Observing Planets, Meteor Showers,” “Comets” and “Eclipses.”

There also are classes on the seasonal changes in the sky, the southern sky and the Milky Way. This course is an absolute treasure for learning about the night sky.

The “Experiencing Hubble” course also has 12 lectures, with topics including: “Nebula,” “Supernova,” “Star Factories,” “Galaxies” and “Hubble’s Legacy and Beyond.”

It is very important to study what Hubble has given us as we prepare for the launch of the next super telescope called the James D. Webb.

As a club, we are preparing for the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

We also have the schedule for next summer’s Night Sky programs at Chimney Rock National Monument. We can always use more telescope operators and we will gladly train you for what will become a highlight of your life. You can either bring your own telescope or use one that is owned by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association. It is a wonderful experience to develop a skill, be learning about our universe and help others to learn.

The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs all over the U.S. We have a website, www.sanjuanstargazers.com, as well as an email address, sjstargazers@gmail.com, and a club phone number, 335-8286.

We encourage anyone interested in learning more about our amazing universe to come to our events. Hope to see you.