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San Juan Stargazers to view ‘Cosmos’ series

By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW

The next regular meeting of the San Juan Stargazers will be on Thursday, May 22, at 7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce on Hot Springs Boulevard.

We will be honoring Carl Sagen by showing parts of his original “Cosmos” series. Then we will show parts of the new “Cosmos” series. Both series are awe-inspiring and leave viewers in wonder of the incredible universe, of which we are an important part.

We are hoping to get more high school students involved with astronomy. The Stargazers have a committee working on a scholarship fund available for students who are volunteering at Chimney Rock and participating in other club activities. In addition to telescope operators, we need students who are willing to speak to visitors about topics in astronomy. Each talk will be only for about 10 minutes and you will be thoroughly trained and supported. High school students should consider how great it could look on your resume to be an astronomer-volunteer at Chimney Rock National Monument and you also could qualify for a scholarship.

We are starting to gear up for this summer, when we will be hosting star parties every other Friday night, starting May 23, at Chimney Rock.

On May 23, there will be three special treats: one, the new Chimney Rock telescopes will operate for the first time; two, we will also have the 20-inch telescope out, weather permitting, with Saturn being its best in 10 years, plus other amazing deep-sky viewing;  three, there will be a new meteor shower called Camelopardalids with debris from a recent comet entering the atmosphere. It could be spectacular. Local people are always encouraged to come to Chimney Rock Star Parties. They are not just for tourists.

San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a great website, www.sanjuanstargazers.com, as well as an email address, sjstargazers@gmail.com, and a club phone number, 335-8286, to help communicate with the public.

Anyone interested in learning more about astronomy is invited to come. The public is always welcome at our events.

This story was posted on May 15, 2014.