San Juan Stargazers to hear from former communication officer at Johnson Space Center Mission Control


By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers

Everyone is invited to hear Tom Hanchett, former communication officer at Johnson Space Center Mission Control, on Thursday, Aug. 3. 

The Stargazers will hold their regular monthly educational meeting on Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Community United Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St. Use the parking lot and enter through the door right off the parking area. We usually keep the front doors locked.

There will be a social hour starting at 6 p.m. with coffee/tea and treats. You can bring something to share if you would like. You do not have to attend the social hour to be able to hear Hanchett’s talk. Just arrive right at 7 p.m.

From 7 to 8:30 p.m. we will be having a most interesting speaker and club member who was a communication officer at the Johnson Space Center Mission Control in Houston, Texas. He worked on Apollo Missions 1-17, and he has some very interesting stories to share with us. 

We want to extend a special invitation to all students in Archuleta County. We normally encourage parents to accompany their children, but under these special circumstances we are saying that all students are invited. (We don’t want to exclude any future astronaut from attending.)

More planned activities

The Stargazers have other activities planned in August.

This year our viewing of the Perseid meteor shower will not take place due to the closing of Chimney Rock by the U.S. Forest Service. 

On the third Friday, Aug., 18, we will present a program for the public, titled Stars and Galaxies where we look for deep-sky objects with our telescopes. The fourth Friday, Aug. 25, we present to the public Our Solar System with a focus on the moon and visible planets. Reservations are expected, but you can come and if cancellations happen, which they often do, you can attend and pay for your ticket at the gift- shop. The gate opens at 7:30 p.m. 

Joining the Stargazers 

If you would like to join the San Juan Stargazers you will also receive Reflector Magazine — 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 per family. You can join the club at any of our events or now you can join using PayPal on our website, Check out our recently improved website with much more information and fabulous pictures. 

We invite you to learn about and appreciate our unbelievable universe.