San Juan Stargazers to hear about formation of galaxies


By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers

Everyone is invited to hear Dr. Andy Green, the San Juan Stargazers’ professional astronomer, on Thursday, Nov. 2, talk about his specialty, the formation of galaxies. 

The Stargazers will hold their regular monthly educational meeting on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis Street. Use the parking lot and enter at the side door right off the parking area. We leave 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. You do not have to attend the social hour to be able to hear our educational program, just arrive sharply at 7 p.m. because the board has determined that our educational program must begin no later than 7:10 p.m., after a brief welcome.

Our speaker will be Green, who received his Ph.D. in astronomy in Australia, worked at the Australian National Observatory. He used to speak to the Stargazers when he came home to Colorado to visit his parents. His mom, Nancy Green, was greatly involved with the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA). He is now living in Pagosa Springs and is a member of our club. 

After we are dazzled learning how galaxies are formed, we will come back to earth for a brief presentation by Tom Hanchett. Hanchett loves making models and loves explaining how things work. He has been working on a model of the lunar standstill, which began in September and continues for three years and one month. He will present his model and, if things go as he plans, we will all walk away understanding the major lunar standstill and being able to explain how it happens. This will be an extraordinary night of learning.

Upcoming activities

On Nov. 10 from 5 to 9 p.m. will be our 11th anniversary dinner and celebration. It will be at our regular meeting location, the Community United Methodist Church. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. It is not a potluck. It is free for members, but an RSVP is necessary. Please leave a message or send a text to (303) 995-2888 with your name, number of people coming and your favorite kinds of pies. Dessert is being provided by CRIA in appreciation for the work we do on the night sky programs during the summer. This will mostly be a social gathering, but we will spend some time looking at and discussing some of the fabulous discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope.  

On Dec. 3, we will have a working monthly meeting for all members. In 2022, we gave out “Summer Tours of the Night Sky,” so we could all become the astronomer of our dreams. I’m sure you have always wanted to stand out on a dark night and point out the constellations, noting the special stars, planets and anything else of importance. At that time, new and renewing Stargazer members received a special blue plastic notebook with the needed information to easily impress or at least educate your relatives, friends, neighbors and yourself about the night sky. We will be adding missing tours and additional information for every month of the year. 

Judith Jubb has been working very hard on this, as she did for the presentations she gave during the summer months at Chimney Rock Night Sky Programs. You must find your notebook and bring it with you to work on. After completing the notebook, we will go over how to use this fabulous tool. You will go home one step closer to achieving being the astronomer of your dreams with the only step left — get out and do it. But, you may want to practice before you put on a show. Please look for your notebook because it is too expensive to give people a second one. This is a priceless tool to use for the rest of your life and pass down to your grandchildren. We need everyone working together to complete this great project.

How to join the Stargazers

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, 

If you join at our December meeting it will be the last chance to get a copy of this very special notebook.

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