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VBAS Calendar

August 2019
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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Monte Sano State Park


VBAS Sponsors


Von Braun Astronomical Society

August 2019 Planetarium Shows

We Host a Public Planetarium Show Every Saturday in the Wernher von Braun Planetarium that Begins at 7:30 PM

Skylab/NASASkylab: America's First Space Station -  Saturdays, August 3, 10, 24, & 31  at 7:30 PM 

We’ve had an awesome summer celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo program! In August we will learn about Skylab, America's first space station, and the last mission of Huntsville's amazing Saturn V rockets. Presented by Beth Bero, VBAS President. Hope you can join us!

Lecture: ”Basic Celestial Navigation, or “Have Sextant, Will Lecture" -  Saturday, August 17  at 7:30 PM

Bill Hanson, former speleology instructor and senior research scientist for UAH. Learn about the science of knowing where you are before the Age of GPS. Along the way we will discover:

  • - How Vikings could navigate in heavy overcast,
  • - How dangerous dead reckoning at sea can be,
  • - Why Time = Longitude,
  • - What ancient instruments are still in use by NASA,
  • - And even why pirates wear eye patches.

Join Bill for a fun ride from the bounding main to the cosmos with the stars as our guides.

Admission for Saturday Planetarium Shows:

Admission is $5 for Adults, $3 for Students, and free for children under 6, as well as VBAS members. All seating is general admission payable at the door. We are unable to offer pre-sale admission. Weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to look at some of the wonders of the universe through our telescopes following the planetarium program with the help of our experienced and knowledgeable observing crew.


Night at the Observatory

New Program!

Night At The Observatory

VBAS is pleased to announce a new program that provides guests an opportunity to direct an observing session using the historic Swanson 21” telescope with a modern digital camera. Our Night At The Observatory is a personalized program that allows small groups to experience an evening of observing deep-sky objects of their choice. And the fun doesn’t end when the night is done because at the end of the evening you will take home the images acquired during your observing session. A VBAS certified operator will assist in target acquisition and imaging and can make suggestions for interesting deep-sky objects to discover.

Your Night At The Observatory requires no prior training or experience with telescopes. You will learn some of the fascinating history of the observatory and how to operate the large telescope. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Observatory Director, to book your own Night At The Observatory. Click the link below for details and prices.

VBAS Night At The Observatory


Monthly Society Meeting

The next VBAS Monthly Meeting is on Friday, August 16 at 7:30 PM.

Free pizza at 7:00 PM, meeting starts at 7:30 PM.

Les Johnson is a husband, father, physicist, manager, and author of science fiction/science fact. His latest non-fiction book about the new wonder material, Graphene, was reviewed in Nature, excerpted in American Scientist and Salon. Com. In his "day job" he works in the Science and Technology Office at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama where he serves as the Solar Sail Principal Investigator for NASA's first interplanetary solar sail mission, the Near Earth Asteroid Scout. Les is also the Formulation Manager for Nuclear Propulsion and other advanced in-space propulsion technologies. From his website:

Mitzi Adams

Vice President


Space Journal Archive

Space JournalDuring 1957-1959, Rocket City Astronomical Association (now Von Braun Astronomical Society), published an auspicious quarterly magazine, titled Space Journal.  Dr. Wernher von Braun, Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, and other leading aerospace scientists and engineers of the era, contributed articles and essays.  Con Pederson, Harry H.K. Lange, and Frederick Ordway III, who were later hired by Stanley Kubrick to help with set design on 2001: A Space Odyssey, contributed art and design work to the magazine.  All seven issues of Space Journal, have now been digitized, and are available for viewing and/or download  at the following links:

Space Journal - Issue #1

Space Journal - Issue #2

Space Journal - Issue #3

Space Journal - Issue #4

Space Journal - Issue #5

Space Journal - Issue #6

Space Journal - Issue #7

Thanks to Mr. PD Nicaise, Wade Sanders, Frank Schenck, and UAH Special Collections & Archives for contributing to this project.


New Books in the Library

Last Updated on Monday, 01 July 2019 19:52 Written by Administrator

Our Librarians, Jeff Bennett and Amanda Campbell have acquired some new books for the Library. Please click on the Library link in the menu above and check them out.

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