Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Calling All Amateur Astronomers!

Jupiter, the Moon, and Venus, lining up in March 2012
Have you been following the dance of Jupiter and Venus across the night sky over the past few months?  If you have a wanderlust that extends beyond our globe, then you should pay a visit to the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.  Where can you find them, you ask?  On a clear night, try checking out their free observation sessions across the five boroughs.  The "AAA" boasts several hundred members that participate in and help host frequent observation sessions, as well as exciting astronomy lectures and classes.

At last week's observing session at the High Line in Manhattan (which occurs every Tuesday night from April to October, weather permitting), WGINY was able to glimpse the rings of Saturn, the crescent phase of Venus, and the binary properties of the star, Castor, among other celestial objects, through the surprisingly high-powered telescopes set up by the "amateur" astronomers. Although membership is encouraged to support the organization, any visitor or passerby is warmly invited by AAA members to partake in observing sessions.  If you thought you couldn't see stars in New York City due to ambient light, you'll be shocked by what the AAA can show you, and tell you.  I have attended observing sessions in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and have learned so much (including how to best position my own travel scope...) just from a few moments of discussion with the interesting, knowledgeable astronomy-buffs who host these events.

And, if you want even more ways to seek out stars:
Columbia University Astronomy Outreach: lecture and stargazing sessions every other Friday.
College of Staten Island Observatory: public schedule varies.


  1. Your light shines as brilliant as the stars in the sky. Love MOM

  2. Thanks Anonymous MOM :) And when the stars don't shine, you're always there to brighten my day!