VBAS Calendar

July 2017
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Von Braun Astronomical Society

July 2017 Planetarium Shows

Written by Administrator

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

M31 The Andromeda Galaxy/VBASGalaxies - Saturdays, July 1, 15, & 22 at 7:30 PM

You are invited to a family friendly show called "Way Out There," a show about Galaxies. This presenter, Mrs. Brenda Rogers, always seems to need the help of the children in the audience! So bring the children for sure! While we have fun, learn what makes up a galaxy and what we can find within its boundaries. Learn about the types of galaxies and see some cool pictures. Please join us for this show and take a souvenir home which you will make!

Are You Ready for the Great 2017 Eclipse? - Saturday, July 8 at 7:30 PM

Total Solar Eclipse/NASA

On August 21, 2017, there will be a solar eclipse visible across most of the continental United States. Schools in the past have kept students indoors to avoid the possibility of the them looking at the sun. VBAS wants to encourage the schools and the public to get out and experience this wonder.

The purpose of this presentation is to prepare everyone. Presented by Tanner Harper, and will answer the following questions:

How to safely view the eclipse? Why eclipses occur? Where will the shadow fall? What could the weather be like? What will the eclipse be like in Huntsville?

This presentation will not be a dry lecture format but will include audience participation in explaining many parts of the eclipse. Plus the presenter will share some fun ways to view the eclipse.

During this year, VBAS will be offering this presentation to local schools as a teacher workshop.

The Milky Way - Saturday, July 29 at 7:30 PM The Milky Way/NASA Concept

Have you ever been to a dark place on a clear night, looked up and wondered what is that cloudy patch stretching across the Sky? That cloudy patch is the Milky Way, our home Galaxy. The Sun is one of more than 100 billion stars that reside in Milky Way. It took humans centuries to understand the structure of the Milky Way and we are still learning new things about it. This show will cover some interesting observations about the Milky Way. We will also create mental models of the Milky Way galaxy and our place in it. Presented by Dr. Naveen Vetcha, VBAS Outreach Coordinator


Remember that if weather permits, there will be telescopes open for viewing.

If you have your own telescope, feel free to set it up after the show. If you need some assistance with setting up or operation your telescope, our ever helpful observing crew will try to help you  so that you can better enjoy the night sky.

 

Admission for Saturday Planetarium Shows:

Admission is $5 for Adults, $3 for Students, and free for children under 6, as well as VBAS members. 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.

For information about our Planetarium shows, as well as special group scheduling, and pricing, please contact our Planetarium Director,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or our Director of Education and Programs,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


 

Monthly Society Meeting

The next VBAS Monthly Meeting is Friday, July 21 at 7:30 PM. Join us for pizza at 7:00 PM.

The July program is about Solar Eclipse Photography and will be presented by Dr. Gordon Telepun. Solar Eclipse/Dr. Gordon Telepun

Dr. Gordon Telepun is a private practice plastic surgeon from Decatur, Alabama. He has traveled overseas to witness and photograph 3 total solar eclipses; in 2001, 2002 and 2006. His lecture on eclipse photography discusses long focal length eclipse photography and precise timing, wide angle eclipse photography for the horizon and planets, partial phase sequence planning and tips for taking an eclipse video.

He is the developer of the most useful eclipse timing mobile app available for the 2017 eclipse, Solar Eclipse Timer - www.solareclipsetimer.com

An overview of his photography concepts can be reviewed at http://www.solareclipsetimer.com/photo.html

An introduction to Gordon in an entertaining way is possible by watching the Smarter Every Day YouTube video concerning his experiences - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc7MfcKF1-s

Gordon's YouTube channel regarding eclipse related material is called Foxwood Astronomy

You are invited to bring camera equipment to the presentation for a hands on workshop.

After the lecture and time for questions, for the attendees that bring camera equipment, Gordon will lead a simulation of how to photograph totality in a realistic manner. The group will go through the actual steps of the timing to remove the solar filter and step through all of the shutter speeds needed. This will be done to a synchronized eclipse movie from the Solar Eclipse Timer app. Recommended practice gear; tripod, camera, zoom lens, appropriate sized solar filter for the zoom lens, remote shutter release, pair of solar eclipse glasses.

 

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Vice-President

 

A Brief VBAS History

Written by Al Reisz Sunday, 07 November 2010 20:45

 

In 1954 Huntsville High School student Sam Pruitt wrote a letter asking Dr. von Braun, then at Redstone Arsenal, to build an observatory for school children interested in astronomy. Von Braun didn’t hesitate in organizing his colleagues, students and others in the community to build our observatory on Monte Sano. Von Braun was our society’s first president [then known as the Rocket City Astronomical Association (RCAA)]. After his death we re-named our society in his honor. VBAS is an astronomical society for amateur and professional astronomers. VBAS is a special astronomical society in that our origins began with the citizens who fervently believed in space exploration before it began. In the early 1960s NASA scientists used the telescopes at VBAS to help select lunar landing sites for the Apollo program. VBAS history is storied with space exploration pioneers such as Oberth, von Braun, Stuhlinger, Swanson and Angele. Many of our members were involved in developing the Saturn V, the rocket that sent the Apollo astronauts to walk on and explore the Moon. Our planetarium has a shield of the Saturn V third stage fuel tank top half serving as our projection dome. VBAS is a society that provides the public with opportunities for telescopic viewing of the night sky. We have astronomy programs, star parties and astronomy related special events. Still true to our beginnings we continue to give presentations in astronomy and star tours to student and other groups. We welcome those of you with interests in exploring the stars to join us.

26 June 57 The Rocket City Astronomical Association (now the Von Braun Astronomical Society) put out the first edition of the locally edited Space Journal, a new magazine dealing with space travel and the astrosciences. The first issue was dedicated to Dr. Hermann Oberth, who is known as the

26 June 57 The Rocket City Astronomical Association (now the Von Braun Astronomical Society) put out the first edition of the locally edited Space Journal, a new magazine dealing with space travel and the astrosciences. The first issue was dedicated to Dr. Hermann Oberth, who is known as the "father of astronautics." Left to right: Dr. Hermann Oberth, Dr. Wernher von Braun, RCAA (VBAS) President, and Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger.

VBAS is the second observatory that Wernher von Braun was instrumental in building. As a student at the Lietz boys high school that he attended in Berlin, at the school’s North Sea campus on the island Spiekeroog, he influenced the school to buy a telescope and build a small observatory in 1927. He selected a reflector with a 95-mm objective lens.

Al Reisz,

Past-President

   
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