San Juan Stargazers are back on track for a very full summer

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    By Joan Mieritz
    San Juan Stargazers

    The San Juan Stargazers will hold their first meeting of 2021 on Thursday, April 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the conference room at the Visitor Center on Hot Springs Boulevard and the San Juan River. We will follow the Archuleta County and Colorado state regulations on that date for mask wearing, etc. and, of course, respect each individual’s decisions for their own safety. There is a parking lot adjoining the Visitor Center and another across the street to the east.

    Come early — 6:15 p.m. for coffee, tea and yummy celebration treats. We have lots of celebrating and reacquainting to do while we look over the San Juan Stargazers’ summer schedule at Chimney Rock National Monument, which includes several new activities. 

    We will probably start the summer not using telescopes for our public star parties since COVID can be passed on a telescope eye piece. We have excellent presentations followed by a talk with directions on naked-eye night-sky viewing. Each month we will also have club-member-only (and family)star parties with everyone using their own telescope for practice and training so that our public star parties will be better than ever when it is safe to use telescopes with the public. If you don’t have a telescope, we have several extra available. 

    On Thursday night, there will be a short but very important program explaining the foundations of our studies this summer. There will also be an opportunity to peruse and purchase observing manuals from the Astronomical League and Kalmbach Publishing. This summer, we will learn enough to make up for our COVID hiatus. Our emphasis will be on training for the best observing possible. These observing manuals are reasonable in price and are the best available. Please bring cash or checks since the club cannot do credit cards.

    If you would like to join the San Juan Stargazers, we can still add your name to the list of people receiving Reflector Magazine, which is the publication of the National Astronomical League of which you automatically become a member. To join both groups and get an excellent astronomy magazine, join at our April 22 meeting. Annual membership is only $25/family. 

    The San Juan Stargazers Club is part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the US. We have a website, www.sanjuanstargazers.org. 

    We welcome all members and visitors on April 22, when we will learn more about viewing our amazing universe.