By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW
The San Juan Stargazers will hold their regular meeting on Thursday, June 28, at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center Conference Room, located at 105 Hot Springs Blvd.
The meeting is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Come before 7 p.m. to have time to socialize. We start the meeting with introductions and information about upcoming events.
For our program, we are using a new series of lessons called “Getting to Know Our Night Sky,” taught by Professor Murphy of the University of Virginia. This lesson is titled “Using Binoculars and Backyard Telescopes.” This should be another valuable lesson about basics of viewing.
For our April meeting, we were planning to have celestial planispheres and constellation flash cards. They are finally available and will be for the next few meetings. If you missed out on these valuable tools, just ask for them.
It has never happened before that Chimney Rock National Monument as well as the entire San Juan National Forest is closed due to fire danger. Usually there are nine Night Sky Programs scheduled each summer, two of which have already happened. There are seven more that may happen as normal or not happen. I still would like to invite anyone who is interested in helping with these programs to come to our meeting to get specific information. We need people to set up the area, greeters, speakers, telescope operators, crowd control and helping with parking. You will work with a wonderful team of people who welcome and treasure new people wanting to learn more about astronomy and bask in the glorious night sky at Chimney Rock.
At 6 p.m. on June 28, we will again have a Telescope Clinic. These are so valuable considering all the unused telescopes with owners needing help. We are asking that you call 335-8286 to reserve a “telescope expert” no later than June 27 (the day before the meeting). Your expert will then be waiting for you at 6 p.m. It is amazing how our telescope experts can quickly analyze problems and help you get your scope working.
The San Juan Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S. We have a website, www.SanJuanStargazers.com, as well as an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org and a club phone number, 335-8286, to help communicate with the public.
Out-of-town amateur astronomers are always welcome as well as anyone interested in learning more about astronomy. I hope to see you.