Nov. 19, 2011: 5th Annual Night Under the Stars
Star Gazing • Solar Telescope • Evening Slide Presentation • Night Sky Network Info Tent!
Our 5th annual star night party was another success!
The Night Sky Network tent and solar viewing were well attended throughout the day. Sunspots and several geysers could easily be seen around the edges of the sun. We also looked at Venus throughout the day and many people were quite surprised they could see a planet in the daytime! The Astronomers of Verde Valley (AstroVerde.org) also provided a fun solar system puzzle, meteorite activity, and visor decorating craft activity with stars and planets.
By 4 pm most of the scopes had been set up (10 total) and people started arriving curious about what they were going to see. It had been partly cloudly throughout the day but it cleared up and the wind died down at sunset. Over 80 people listened to JD Maddy's evening presentation in the ramada.
When evening viewing started Jupiter was a big hit. The
Galilean Moons could be seen doing their dance around the huge planet. At
about 8:30 pm, Io (one of Jupiter's moons) had a shadow transit that many of the scopes focused upon.
Many celestial objects were seen including: M13, M92, M27, M57, Albireo,
Comet Garradd, M33, ET Cluster, M103, M29 and NGC253. Due to Alamo Lake's dark skies the spiral structure in galaxy M33 was easily seen. Due to cloudy skies the Astro workshop was shorter than previous years, but some great images were taken. Over 220 people came through to view the evening telescopes. Next year's date will be Nov. 10th, 2012, so mark your calendars now and enjoy the event photos below.
Afternoon Program, Noon - 3 pm
Solar Viewing, Mercury & Venus Viewing, Night Sky Network Information Tent
Evening Program, 5:15 pm
Observational Astronomy Slide Presentation with JD Maddy, President, Astronomers of Verde Valley
Star Viewing, 6 - 10 pm
View the skies through telescopes! See Jupiter, Comet Garradd 2009/P1, Andromeda Galaxy, Open Clusters, Globular Clusters, Planetary Nebula. Plus more!
Astro Photography Intro Workshop, 10 pm
Intro to Astro Photography using a Hyperstar & a digital SLR camera.
Everyone's telescopes showed different celestial objects throughout the night, we don't allow flash photography during the night to protect everyone's night vision, but we did get a couple of infra-red night vision pictures and afternoon activities and park!
We'd like to thank the following people and groups who helped organize this event: Astronomers of the Verde Valley including: JD Maddy (President), Karen Maddy, and Richard Bohner. In addition we'd like to thank Jan & Craig Weaver, and the other astronomers who brought out their equipment for this event, including the Astronomy Club from U of A. Alamo Lake SP is a proud member of the Global Star Park Network.
2011 Astro Photography Workshop
JD Maddy, President of the Astronomers of Verde Valley lead a late night astro photography workshop at the 2011 event called "Using a Hyperstar and a DSLR for Astro Photography." Using a telescope, a computer, and a digital SLR camera, users can take fantastic photos of nebulas and celestial objects. JD showed how to use an attachment with a digital Canon XSI camera to take the long exposure photos. See photo gallery from 2010 event.
Cygnus is nearly over head in November after dark. Many red nebulas can be seen in this wide field photo taken from Alamo Lake State Park.
Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd is easily seen with small telescopes as it moves through the constellation Hercules.
NGC 55 is a large, but faint galaxy, about 7 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor. It is usually difficult to see as it sets low on the southern horizon. The dark, light pollution-free skies of Alamo Lake State Park allow it to be easily seen with a modest telescope.
Messier catalog number 27, also known as M27, is located in the constellation Vulpecula. Sometimes called the Dumb Bell Nebula, it nearly filled up the eyepiece when viewed.
The Orion Constellation rises in the East as seen from Alamo Lake State Park. The Orion Nebula can be seen in the "Swords Sheath" below the 3 bright belt stars.
Download Event Flier ( 891 KB PDF)
- Alamo Lake
- Buckskin Mountain
- Cattail Cove
- Lake Havasu
- River Island
- Yuma Quartermaster Depot
- Yuma Territorial Prison
- Dead Horse Ranch
- Fort Verde
- Red Rock
- Riordan Mansion
- Slide Rock
- Verde River Greenway
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum
- Fool Hollow Lake
- Lost Dutchman
- Lyman Lake
- Tonto Natural Bridge