Stargazers to hear from Bob Mitchell, who worked on Webb telescope

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By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers

The regular club meeting for the San Juan Stargazers will be held on Thursday, Sept. 29, in the Community United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 434 Lewis St. 

Please use the parking lot door so the front doors may remain locked. At 6 p.m. there will be a social time with coffee, tea, etc. 

This month’s program, beginning at 7 p.m., will be Bob Mitchell, who worked on the James Webb Space Telescope. 

He did his first presentation to our club on the James Webb in 2013. He will be speaking again just about the wonders of the actual telescope. It is perhaps the most perfect “machine” ever produced by humans. It is now 1 million miles from Earth and cannot be visited by astronauts as the Hubble was. It had to be “perfect” before it left Earth and its performance so far is flawless. (That may not be true after talking with Mitchell.) It had 344 single points of failure that would have scrapped the entire mission. 

It is an amazing story of how humans achieved “perfection.” Mitchell is an engineer and amateur astronomer, so his talk will be about the development and construction of the telescope and the problems that had to be over-come. All students are encouraged to attend. The presentation which will not be too detailed for people to understand.

Anniversary celebration and dinner set for Oct. 7

Club members, please note that our 10th anniversary dinner, celebration and star party is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. There is no charge for members, but a reservation is needed. 

Please be there for a great celebration of 10 years, our first election and the most comfortable star party possible. 

Please call (720) 626-9304 and leave a message with your name, number attending and request a call back if you need directions. Our celebration and star party will be at the regular location for winter star parties and we will have the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association telescopes to set up for viewing. 

Ten years with the activities and growth we have experienced is worth celebrating, but we will be focusing on changes and improvements for the future. With the Webb Space Telescope the future of astronomy is unbelievable, and our club needs to keep up.

New program will
be held Oct. 13

On Thursday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m., we will hold our new program that is open to the public to view the latest James Webb Space Telescope photos and discuss the significance of each one. Some of the photos are spectacular, but the important thing is how it contributes to astronomy and the scientific study of our universe. 

This program is geared toward students and the general public, so be encouraged to come and learn something, but not be overwhelmed. If you have been studying yourself, you will be able to contribute to the group.

October meeting date set

Our meeting in October will be on the regular day, Oct. 27, starting with a social time of coffee and tea at 6 p.m. and the program running from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 

Join the Stargazers

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. 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 300 clubs from all over the U.S. including over 20,000 members. 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.