Stargazers to study Crab Nebula on Dec. 27


By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
The San Juan Stargazers will hold their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 27, in the Visitor Center conference room located at 105 Hot Springs Blvd. It is the beautifully, well-lit building on the San Juan River. The meeting will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Hot drinks will be served before the meeting begins.
Our program for the evening is the famous Hubble image of the Crab Nebula, which is the aftermath of a supernova witnessed around the world in 1054. It was recorded by Chinese, Japanese and Arabic astronomers and by monks in monasteries around Europe.
There is a rock art panel in Chaco Canyon that indicates it was seen by the ancient Puebloans, most likely including those living here at Chimney Rock.
We extend a special invitation to all Chimney Rock Interpretive Association members to join us. I want to share here the most important information we will discuss about supernova is that we are quite fortunate that there is no star anywhere near Earth that is likely to go supernova in at least the next 10,000 years. That is a comforting fact which adds to an amazing program.
Also we will need to consider on Thursday night that we are looking for a new location to hold our meetings. If you have an idea of a possible location, please check it out and share it with the group. This will be our last meeting at the Chamber, so we will need a new place by the fourth Thursday of January. A suggestion was made that we try for a location in the uptown area.
When you are packing up holiday decorations, notice the location of stored telescopes. It seems almost all families in Pagosa have at least one. As soon as we are settled in our new meeting location, we will begin having telescope clinics so that you can learn how to use it and perhaps share that enjoyment with others. It is something to prepare for and look forward to this spring.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a website,, as well as an email address,, and a club phone number, 335-8286, to help communicate with the public.
We welcome everyone who has an interest in learning more about our universe.