San Juan Stargazers to watch video on the James Webb infrared space telescope Dec. 22

By Joan Mieritz

Special to The PREVIEW

The San Juan Stargazers will hold their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center conference room, located on Hot Springs Blvd.

Refreshments will be in the form of a “birthday celebration” for one of our members, with coffee, tea and chocolate-cherry birthday cake.

Then we will watch a video about the James Webb infrared space telescope, which will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble space telescope since it is considered its “scientific successor.” Orbiting through space nearly a million miles from Earth, the Webb will open up new expanses of the near and distant universe to our view. It is scheduled to be launched October 2018.

This video will “blow your mind” when you learn the capabilities and possibilities of this telescope. I invite you to join our wonderfully curious group as we consider the future of astronomy.

We will be distributing the beautiful 2017 astronomy calendars. There may be one or two more available for $10. (They normally sell for much more.) Profits will go to our Scholarship Fund.

In January 2017, we will have a guest speaker who also is a Pagosa resident and solar astronomer, Stephen Keil. He has worked on the fabulous solar telescope at our National Observatory at Kitt Peak, Ariz., and he was in charge and still is a consultant on the newest solar telescope in Hawaii. We will learn much about solar astronomy.

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

Anyone interested in learning more about astronomy is invited to come to all our events.