San Juan Stargazers and Chimney Rock Interpretive Association to have joint social and lecture Aug. 8


By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
On Thursday, Aug. 8, we will have a special joint meeting of the Stargazers and the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA).
We will meet at The Springs Resort at 6 p.m. for delicious hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Then, at 7 p.m., a very special guest, Dr. Erica Ellingson, professor of astrophysical and planetary science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will speak.
Her research interests include galaxies, dark matter and observational cosmology, and she is fascinated with all aspects of how humans connect with the sky and understand the cosmos. Her recent projects include developing public programs on the astronomy of the Ancestral Puebloans in collaboration with Chaco Cultural National Park and Chimney Rock National Monument. She has been at Chimney Rock numerous times doing research and will share some of her findings.
Her talk should interest the Pagosa Springs community, CRIA volunteers and astronomy people. I want to encourage everyone to attend. CRIA members usually make hors d’oeuvres to share at the potluck, but the San Juan Stargazers club will purchase and prepare special food, so our members do not need to prepare something individually. Hope to see you.
The San Juan Stargazers will hold their regular monthly meeting on Aug. 22 at the Chamber Visitor Center conference room located at 105 Hot Springs Blvd. The meeting is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. sharp.
Before the meeting, at 6 p.m., we will have a telescope clinic. Many people in Pagosa have a telescope which they were given or picked up somewhere, but have no idea how to use it or if it is even usable. The San Juan Stargazers want to help you learn how to use it or fix it. You may call 335-8286 with a little information about what you have and what you may be needing in the form of help. We will match you with a club member who will help you. Then you can have an amazing summer practicing with your telescope at both our star parties and practice sessions. 2019 is the year to add this amazing dimension to your life.
We work hard during the summer doing our nine star parties at Chimney Rock, so we will take special time at this meeting to appreciate each other for all we do while we enjoy a very delicious treat. There will be time for an evaluation of our club and the summer star parties. Please be thinking about ways that we could improve how we do things.
Our program for the night will be a review and question-and-answer session on Ellingson’s lecture. We will have copies of notes from the lecture. I think the lecture will provide valuable information for all our volunteers to know and share at our star parties. It should be a good night of enjoyment and learning.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a new website,, as well as an email address,, and a club phone number, 335-8286.