San Juan Stargazers to meet Thursday, July 28


By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers

Our regular club meeting for the San Juan Stargazers is on Thursday, July 28, in the Community United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 434 Lewis St. Please use the parking lot door as the front doors may remain locked. 

At 6 p.m., there is a social time with coffee, tea, etc. This month’s program on the Galilean moons of Jupiter will be interesting and very useful since they are sometimes visible to the naked eye and for sure with binoculars. Unfortunately, COVID is not over and we are encouraging our members to wear masks for our meeting. We all want to hang around to see all the Webb photos possible.

Stargazer Rewards

As of July 1, we are starting a Stargazer Rewards Program where members will receive coupons for attendance, speaking, special preparation, etc. at club meetings and activities. The more you participate, the more coupons you will receive. All members will receive a coupon for attending. And for example, Ann Marie Kemp will receive four coupons for preparing the lesson for the evening. People bringing a baked or purchased treat will get an additional coupon. 

At our Night Sky Programs at Chimney Rock, members helping will get a coupon, but those speaking will get additional coupons for the amount of preparation it took. Then, at our 10th anniversary party in October, coupons will be drawn for really cool prizes. You will hear more about their coolness later.

James Webb Space

 I hope that everyone has had the opportunity to see some of the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, which will revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos. The first picture of a deep field is the deepest and highest resolution of galaxies as they appeared billions of years ago and was released by President Joe Biden with additional, later releases of more photos by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. 

The San Juan Stargazers have been waiting for years for these photos. Bob Mitchel, who worked on the Webb and has a house in Pagosa, did his first presentation to us on the James Webb in 2013 and gave later updates. He will be speaking again this September and everyone will be invited.

Hubble and the Webb

The Stargazers are adding a new night of amazing educational opportunities for all of Pagosa. Starting in August, we will be meeting once a month for a new program titled Hubble and the Webb. We are hoping that many students and their parents will attend this free and very exciting program. We are asking for community involvement. Anyone can download the Webb pictures and present them at this gathering. Then other people can add information and comments. We will all learn a great deal. Webb photos will have priority, but if there is time left, we will study Hubble’s greatest hits. The date for the first session is Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. in the United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall (use the parking lot door). 

Join the Stargazers

If you would like to join the San Juan Stargazers, our new membership year begins July 1. 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/family. This year, there is a fabulous special gift for new and renewing members. It will help you become the astronomer you have always dreamed of being. You will love it. You can join the club at any of our events. 

 The San Juan Stargazers Club is part of the Astronomical League — celebrating its 75th year of service — which includes over 250 clubs from all over the U.S. Our local group also has a website, Check it out for more information and beautiful Hubble photos. We welcome everyone to learn more about our amazing universe. We hope to see you soon.