San Juan Stargazers astronomy club monthly meeting set for June 1


By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers 

You are invited to join the San Juan Stargazers for an amazing summer of learning.

The Stargazers will hold their regular monthly educational meeting on Thursday, June 1, at the Community United Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St. Use the parking lot and enter at the door right off the parking area. We 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. 

From 7 to 8:30 p.m., we will be studying the new category of planets, dwarf planets, rocky and icy — Pluto and Charon. Pluto did not get “demoted.” It is no longer a “terrestrial planet,” but started its own very large group of dwarf planets.

The Stargazers will have many activities in June:

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association is putting on Life at Chimney Rock on Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

It is a free event, but the Forest Service has an “amenities charge” of $10 per vehicle, which is half of the regular vehicle fee. There will be areas set up for all the activities of the ancient people at Chimney Rock such as yucca pounding, bean cooking, maize grinding, weaving, rock art, pottery making, atlatl throwing, astronomy, the major lunar standstill and more. 

The activities are mostly for children and adults who would like to “be a kid,” if the line is not too long. The activities are hard for adults to resist, so don’t. Just have fun. It probably wasn’t much fun for the ancient people because they had to work very hard to survive. 

Food and drinks will be available for purchase. The Stargazers will have a table and will focus on explaining the lunar standstill, which is just beginning. Members are asked to be at our table for a two-hour shift to talk with visitors about the club and answer any questions about astronomy. There is always a lot of interest at our table and an enjoyable time is had by all.

After the full moon has dimmed at the beginning of the month, we will have a night of telescope training on June 9. On June 16, we present a program for the public, titled Stars and Galaxies, where we look for deep sky objects. On June 23, we present to the public Our Solar System with a focus on the moon and visible planets. The larger the telescope, the more amazing the surface of the moon looks.

The June 9 telescope training is for club members only.

Stars and Galaxies and Our Solar System are open to the public. You can come and pay for your ticket at the gift shop. We usually don’t fill the programs in May or June. The gate opens at 7:30 p.m. 

On June 21, the San Juan Ranger District will be hosting the head rangers of all the national forests in Colorado for a meeting. 

That evening the San Juan Stargazers will be putting on a private Night Sky Program for the group. There will be an hour of educational presentations and 1.5 hours of telescope viewing. All members should try to be there.

In July, we will not have a regular meeting, but on July 3 we will be preparing our float for the Fourth of July Parade. It is our first time. All members are invited to walk with or ride on our float, which is designed by our club members in the elementary and middle schools.

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 that you automatically become a member of. 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, learn about and appreciate our unbelievable universe.