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Monday, September 26, 2022

San Juan Stargazers to hear about Saturn at Aug. 25 meeting

By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers

Our regular club meeting for the San Juan Stargazers is on Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Community United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 434 Lewis St. 

Please use the parking lot door so the front doors may remain locked. At 6 p.m., there is a social time with coffee, tea, etc. This month’s program beginning at 7 p.m. sharp is on Saturn and will be beyond fascinating. It will feel like an actual visit.

COVID is not over and we are encouraging our members to wear masks for our meeting. With the new strain of COVID being so super contagious, one person carrying the virus could infect the entire room. We all want to hang around to see as many of the Webb photos as possible. Let’s be safe, not sorry.

There are two Night Sky Programs at Chimney Rock left for this season. On Friday, Aug. 26, the program will be Stars and Galaxies. On Friday, Sept. 2, the subject is Our Solar System. The gate will open at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7:15 p.m. 

We also will present information on the ancient people of Chimney Rock and their interest in astronomy; updates from our two space workers, Eric Fisk and Tom Hanchett; and ending with our wonderful tours of the night sky. You don’t need reservations, but can pay in the gift shop after checking in at the gate. 

As of July 1, we started a Stargazer Rewards Program where members will receive coupons for attendance, speaking, special preparation etc. at club meetings and activities. The more you participate, the more coupons you will receive. All members will receive a coupon for attending the meeting. 

Ann Marie Kemp will receive four coupons for preparing the lesson for tonight. People bringing a baked or purchased treat will get an additional coupon. At our Night Sky Programs at Chimney Rock, members helping will get a coupon, but those speaking will get additional coupons for the amount of preparation it took. 

Then, at our 10th anniversary dinner and party on Oct. 7, coupons will be drawn for a fabulous 10th anniversary T-shirt with a photo from the James Webb Space Telescope. We will have T-shirts for club members and as well as having them available for anyone in the Pagosa community. Imagine how exciting it will be for your grandchildren to have such a T-shirt or sweatshirt with a choice of three or four Webb photos. (Specific info on price and ordering coming in September.) 

The San Juan Stargazers have been waiting for years for these photos. Bob Mitchell, who worked on the Webb, did his first presentation to us on the James Webb in 2013. He will be speaking again this September (date coming) and everyone is invited.

If you would like to join the San Juan Stargazers, our new membership year began July 1. 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. This year there is a fabulous special gift for new and renewing members. It will help you become the astronomer you have always dreamed of being. You will love it. You can join the club at any of our events or on our website. 

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 for more information and beautiful Hubble and Webb photos. We welcome everyone to learn more about our amazing universe. We hope to see you soon.

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