Learn about observing planets at next San Juan Stargazers meeting


By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
The San Juan Stargazers will hold their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center conference room, located at 105 Hot Springs Blvd.
The meeting is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Come at 6:30 p.m. for more time to socialize. We start the meeting with information about upcoming events and introductions.
For our program, we are using the series of lessons called “Getting To Know Our Night Sky,” taught by Professor Edward Murphy of the University of Virginia. The lesson is titled “Observing the Planets with a Telescope.”
This is a valuable lesson about the basics of viewing which we will have to wait until next year to apply at Chimney Rock since our Night Sky Programs are finished for this season.
For a few weeks, you can, without a telescope, look up at the moon and notice a very long row of bright objects arching off from the moon. These are the planets, unusually lined up. If you look early, there are five bright objects and then over time they all pass, one at a time, under the horizon. I think that it perfectly shows how planets look different from the stars.
The date has been set for our end-of-the-season celebration and our seventh anniversary dinner. The gathering will be for members and invited guests only, held at a private home on Nov. 9 beginning with appetizers at 6 p.m. and drinks will be provided.
All the helpful Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) members who helped make our Night Sky Programs run smoothly are invited. Everyone should get a personal invitation, but mistakes can happen. If you have not received your invitation, please call Joan. This is not a potluck; a delicious dinner including grass-fed beef will be provided, as well as a wonderful dessert provided by CRIA in appreciation of the stargazers. It’s our treat for a successful summer of stargazing.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from 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, to help communicate with the public.
Out-of-town-amateur astronomers are always welcome as well as anyone interested in learning more about our universe. I hope to see you soon at one of our “out-of- this-world” events.