San Juan Stargazers Astronomy Club monthly meeting Sept. 7


By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers

The San Juan Stargazers welcome members, new members and guests at all our meetings.

 The Stargazers will hold their regular monthly educational meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Use the parking lot and enter at the door right off the parking area. (We leave the front doors locked.)

There is a social hour starting at 6 p.m. with coffee, tea and treats. You can bring something to share if you would like. This evening we will have a special cake to honor Veronica Johnson, who will be leaving Pagosa. She has been a Stargazer and worked at many Night Sky Programs. If you know her, you are welcome to join us in recognizing her at our meeting. She will be greatly missed by so many and we want to thank her for her dedication and responsibility, which is how she lives her life. 

 At 6:15 p.m., there will be a brief officers’ meeting. Then, at 6:30 p.m., we will divide into committees such as: telescope, hospitality, new members, education, technology and club perks. Our purpose is to make sure people know what team they are on and what part they can play to be an active member of our club. If you did not select a committee or team on your membership form, you can pick one at the meeting. You can be on more than one.

At 7 p.m., Dena Laterza, our communication secretary, will present the results of the survey that members took in the early summer. With the technology work that she is doing, we are becoming better organized and better at communicating. We want the San Juan Stargazers to be the best club possible. We appreciate all the work, creative ideas and patience Laterza has shown in bringing us technologically up to date. 

At 7:45 p.m., we will have the educational part of our program prepared by Ann Marie Kemp. For the past year, we have been studying our solar system which we will complete in September or possibly the next month. The theme of this lesson is comets, the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud. We will be looking at what lies at the edge of our solar system. What you will learn is so amazing. This is one of the lessons that leaves us with a sense of wonder.

There are some recent changes that need to be mentioned. Some of you heard that Steve McAlister was to be our guest speaker at the meeting and later do a telescope workshop, but aging parents had to take precedence. We hope he will offer his telescope expertise next summer. We will not be doing the September Night Sky Programs at Chimney Rock. 

Upcoming meeting,
solar eclipse

In October we will have our regular monthly meeting on Oct. 5, but also mark your calendar for Oct. 14, when there will be an annular solar eclipse called “Ring of Fire,” which will be wonderfully visible here, but you must use eclipse glasses, which will be available for purchase on Sept. 7. If you are not a member and want to purchase eclipse glasses, step in briefly at the September or October meetings using the parking lot door between 6 and 7 p.m. and look for someone near the door who will be selling them. It is an active part of the meeting, so you may not even be noticed. The morning of the eclipse, there will be a program at Chimney Rock National Monument. The price of the program includes a pair of solar glasses.

More about the

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 per family. You can join the club at any of our events or now you can join using PayPal at our website: Check out our recently improved website with much more information and fabulous pictures. 

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