By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Astronomers
The San Juan Stargazers are adding a new program for an incredible educational opportunity for all of Pagosa.
Beginning August 11 at 7 p.m. in the Community United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall (use the parking lot door), we will meet once a month (on the second Thursday) for the program called “Hubble and The Webb”.
We hope that many students and their parents will participate in this free and very exciting program.
We welcome the participation of participants. If you want, download the Webb images and/or you can find information to present. Please bring books to share or other references. Astronomy club members will be backing up to ensure accuracy.
The Webb photos will be the priority, but if there’s time we’ll be looking at “Hubble’s Greatest Hits”, a video program explaining some of the best discoveries made by Hubble. You will learn the very latest information in astronomy.
In September (date to be announced later, hopefully the second Thursday), Bob Mitchell, who worked on the James Webb Space Telescope, will be in Pagosa to share amazing stories about its development and assembly.
It seems to be the first perfect thing mankind produced. It is a million miles from Earth and cannot be visited by astronauts for fixes or repairs. It was expected to be perfect when it left Earth on December 25, 2021. There were several delays, but it launched successfully, and after reaching its special gravity location and unfolding, it performed perfectly. . It will hopefully send new information to earth for the next 30 years.
Observing the Perseid meteor shower
There will also be a special viewing night at Chimney Rock National Monument on Friday, August 12, of the Perseid meteor shower. The cost is a donation to the national monument.
We have an amazing special viewing area for adults with lawn chairs or take out. We have space for tarps and inflatable mattresses. There are plenty of parking spaces with space next to the car for chairs. When each group arrives, we will assess the needs together and find the best place for the group members.
The gate will open at 7:00 p.m. and in the upper parking lot on the “hurra-durra”, arts and crafts activities will be available for children and adults. This is a perfect opportunity for fun and creativity.
Astronomy club members are encouraged to set up their telescopes in the usual location on the upper level of the upper parking lot. Travel to various activities will be permitted until 9 p.m., at which time each person must be and remain in their assigned area for the meteor shower viewing. After 9 p.m., the only steps will be urgent to the toilets or to your car to leave. It can be a wonderful night, weather permitting.
As usual, we will edit and adjust as needed. The shop will be open from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The monument will close at midnight.
Join the astronomers
If you’re interested in joining the San Juan Stargazers, our new membership year started July 1st. 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 a great astronomy magazine, annual membership is just $25/family. This year there is a fabulous special gift for new members and new members. It will help you become the astronomer you’ve always dreamed of being. You will love it. You can join the club at one of our events or mail in information on our website.
The San Juan Stargazers Club is part of the Astronomical League — celebrating its 75th anniversary of service — which includes more than 250 clubs from across the United States. Our local group also has a website, www.sanjuanstargazers.org. Check it out for more information and great Hubble photos. We welcome everyone to learn more about our amazing universe. We hope to see you soon.