Longmont Astronomical Society

More images can be found on our Astrophotos page and in our newsletter archives.

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For Teachers

Visit our Educational and Community Outreach page for Science Project ideas, websites specifically for students, and more.

Tonight's Sky

The Space Telescope Science Institute gives a quick look at the constellations you can see each month.

What's Up

This video from NASA shows you skywatching highlights for each month.

Astro Calendar 

A day-by-day schedule of what will be visible in the night sky, along with links to detailed explanations.

Observing the Night Sky

This section of our Astronomy Resources page offers information to help you plan for a night of stargazing.

NASA is looking for volunteers to live in a 3D-printed Mars Habitat (on Earth)

To prepare for living on Mars, the plan is to ship components that can be assembled into a 3D printer on Mars. The printer will convert local materials into a concrete-like substace which will be use to build the habitat. First, they want some people (four, aged 30 to 55, Masters in a STEM field, and 2 years of work experience) to try living in it here on the home planet for a year. You don't even have to be an astronaut. Read the article at Core77.

Citizen Science opportunity for Amateur Astronomers and Astronomy Students

NASA is looking for people to participate in Exoplanet Watch, a new exoplanet citizen science project funded by NASA’s Universe of Learning and led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Exoplanet Watch relies on amateur astronomers and university astronomy students using ground-based telescopes to make observations of transiting exoplanets. This will help keep mid-transit times fresh. With more accurate timing, large observatories and space-based telescopes can make efficient use of valuable telescope time.

More information can be found on the Exoplanet Watch website. 

If you are interested in participating in Exoplanet Watch, please email 


Curecanti: Colorado's Latest Dark Sky Site

With help from the Park Service and several local partners, the Curecanti National Recreation Area has become the first national recreation area to earn Dark Sky Park designation from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Curecanti is officially a Dark-Sky Park; IDA also designates Communities, Reserves, Sanctuaries and Places.  

You can see the IDA's official announcement here. Our Light Pollution and Dark Skies page contains information on the IDA, Dark-Sky news for Colorado and related websites.

Monthly Meeting

Star-Struck:  Space Weather for Humans and Technology

Professor Delores J. Knipp

Thursday, November 18    7:00    via Zoom only

The visual manifestations of extreme space weather are terrifying and awe-inspiring: Blood-red aurora filling the skies, and in the days of the telegraph, sparks flying from terminals. The non-visual impacts of space weather in today’s technology-driven world can be pervasive, especially for spacecraft and any system relying on precise position, navigation, and timing. This presentation will touch on the “best of the worst” space weather storms, including an event in 1967 that nearly triggered World War III and the little-discussed storm of December 2006 that shut down the GPS system on the Sun-facing side of Earth.

Delores KnippProfessor Delores Knipp is a Research Professor at the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder).  She earned a Ph D in Atmospheric and Space Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1989. Her career spans more than 30 years as an active-duty Air Force Officer and civilian professor at the US Air Force Academy where she taught physics, meteorology and astronomy, followed by more than a decade at CU Boulder. During that time, she wrote the first space weather textbook for upper division undergraduates entitled ‘Understanding Space Weather and the Physics Behind It.’  From 2014-2019 Professor Knipp was the Editor in Chief for the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Space Weather Journal.

Prof. Knipp’s research focuses on the space environment and the atmospheric and solar events that disturb it. She works with students to investigate methods for: 1) specifying satellite drag; 2) describing how structures on the Sun produce disturbances in near-Earth space; 3) improving scientific use of space environment measurements from DoD, NASA and international space missions; 4) inter-comparing measurements from research and commercial satellites with an eye toward making broader use of commercial satellite 'housekeeping' data to monitor environmental conditions in near-Earth space; 5) describing the effects of extreme space weather at Earth: and 6) developing educational material related to space weather.  She also studies historical space weather events to understand the impacts these events have had on society and the US military.

In 2019 she joined the ranks of Fellows at the American Meteorological Society.  Later that year she was awarded the 2019 International Marcel Nicolet Medal for Space Weather and Space Climate.

Animations by a former NASA planetary scientist offer brief, interesting videos on how our solar system works

James O’Donoghue, an astronomer with Japan’s space agency, makes video animations of the physics of the solar system. According to an article in Business Insider, he has won the Europlanet Society’s Prize for Public Engagement. Some of his most popular works illustrate how the planets spin, the true center of the solar system, and how long it takes light to reach the Earth from the Sun. The BI article features several of his videos; the entire collection can be seen on his YouTube channel.

Rabbit Mountain Star Party Report

LAS member Sarah Getty put together a collage of images from the night - Jupiter and its 4 Galilean moons, Saturn, and Venus from afar.

Last Friday’s Star Party at Rabbit Mountain was a success! The evening began as usual, with a presentation by Boulder County Open Space. This time the presenters divulged an array of interesting facts about the two biggest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn.

5 or 6 LAS members brought their telescopes to show the night sky to around 40 guests, all of whom were very excited and appreciative. After views of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn were seen,  guests were treated to more deep sky objects. LAS member Bill Tschumy, for example, sighted in on M11 (Wild Duck Cluster), M13 (Great Hercules Cluster), M57 (Ring Nebula), Albireo (Double Star), and M31 (Andromeda Galaxy).  He used SkySafari and the Our Galaxy app to supplement what they were seeing in the scopes.

Donations Page Now Available

In keeping with our mission to support amateur astronomy in our community, the LAS's website now features a Donations page, under the Outreach menu item. People who have astronomy equipment to donate can use this page to announce it. 

Colorado.com is recommending 15 places in Colorado for stargazing

The online newsletter promoting our state describes destinations with relatively dark skies. They are as close as Fort Collins and Fort Morgan, and as far as Dinosaur Monument and Silverton. Road trip anyone?

Fiske Planetarium at CU is now open with new shows

Offerings include 'Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity', 'Habitat Earth', 'Capcom GO! The Apollo Story', and more. There are also shows for younger audiences, such as 'Secrets of Gravity' and 'Kaluokahina The Enchanted Reef'.

Peppa Pig

Peppa finds herself getting into all kinds of learning adventures. Join her on this one where she learns about stars.

Become a Member!

Membership in the LAS is open to all people of any age. We offer Student and Individual Memberships.

Donate to the LAS

You can donate to the general fund or our telescope fund. Thank you!

Copyright (c) Longmont Astronomical Society 2020. All rights reserved.
The Longmont Astronomical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O.Box 806, Longmont, CO 80502-0806, USA

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