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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Stargazers meeting to offer opportunity to learn basic astronomy using space mysteries calendars

By Joan Mieritz

San Juan Stargazers

The San Juan Stargazer Astronomy Club meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 26, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. sharp at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. If you would like coffee/tea and cookies and some stimulating conversation, you can arrive shortly after 6 p.m. for our social time. 

Our program, at 7 p.m., is titled “Learning Astronomy Using the Space Mysteries Calendars,” which we sell each year. We will review basic astronomy including the life cycle of a star, the significance of nebulae at both the beginning and end of a star’s life cycle, distinguishing star clusters and major categories of galaxies. Joan Mieritz will be teaching, but members can contribute. It will also be an opportunity to discuss anything related to astronomy that has left you with questions. You will be able to make an early reservation for a 2022 calendar. 

Then, on Friday, Aug. 27, will be a members-only telescope viewing and training at Chimney Rock. The gate will open at 6 p.m. If you don’t have a telescope, we have several extra available. Steve McAllister from the Westcliff Observatory will be our guest astronomer and he will help all interested members learn to use our two 10-inch Dobsonians, answer your telescope questions, and then, after dark, we will go star-hopping with a real expert.

At all of our events we will follow the COVID regulations for Archuleta County and Colorado. Because of the recent deaths in Durango with the Delta variant and our members’ desire to live to see discoveries of the soon-to-be-launched James Webb space telescope, we are asking everyone to bring and wear a mask to increase safety at our indoor meeting.

If you would like to join the San Juan Stargazers, you will also receive 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, annual membership is only $25/family. You can join the club at any of our events. A note to members: Please bring your 2021-2022 dues.

The San Juan Stargazers Club is part of the Astronomical League —celebrating its 75th year of service — which includes over 250 clubs from all over the U.S. Our local group also has a website, www.sanjuanstargazers.org. Check it out.

We welcome everyone to learn more about our amazing universe. Hope to see you.

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