Stargazers to work on improving telescope skills

Photo courtesy Joan Mieritz
This summer, the San Juan Stargazers will work toward the goal of improving their skills using telescopes. The next meeting will be on April 25.

By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
The San Juan Stargazers will hold their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 25, in the Visitor Center conference room located at 105 Hot Springs Blvd. The meeting is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (sharp). Hot drinks, and hopefully a treat, will be served at 6:30 p.m. with time to socialize.
Our program theme is switching this month from the winter study of amazing Hubble pictures to our summer goal of improving our skills using a telescope. We will specifically discuss skills for meteor showers, comets, eclipses and more.
We are working on improving because of our nine star parties this summer at Chimney Rock National Monument. Our first Star Party will be a Stars and Galaxies dark sky event on May 31, with the gate opening as 7:30 p.m. and the program beginning at 8:15 p.m., followed by telescope viewing.
If you are interested in taking part in our Star Parties, but you do not have a telescope, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association owns four telescopes: two are computerized “go-to” telescopes and two are manual 10-inch Dobsonians. We can help you learn to use either type of scope. We have operation manuals which you can study and we will have practice sessions on May 17 and May 24.
On Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m., we will have a telescope clinic. Many people in Pagosa have a telescope which they were given or picked up somewhere, but have no idea how to use it or if it is even usable. At our telescope clinics, you can learn how to use it or fix it. We have limited space in our clinics, so call early to reserve a telescope expert. Please call 335-8286 with a little information about what you have and what you may be needing in the form of help, so we can match you with the right club member. 2019 is the year to add this amazing dimension to your life.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a new website, www.sanjuanstargazers.org, as well as an email address, sjstargazers@gmail.com, and a club phone number, 335-8286.
We welcome everyone who has an interest in learning more about our amazing universe.

This story was posted on April 22, 2019.