Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Last Saturday Night
September 3, 2008

Well this past Saturday night, there was quite an outing. With AAA President Rich Rosenberg, and AAA local astronomers Bruce Kamiat and Joe Federick all helped out at our little location. The weather was horrible right up until 9:00 PM. But as Bruce said "The Sky Clock Never Lies!" And Lo, the skies parted, and the Observing Was Good.

We again saw Jupiter, but something REALLY cool happened at 11:13 PM. Io came out of the shadow of Jupiter. It was being eclipsed. For a few hours, all we could see were 3 of the Galilean Satellites, then at that time, Io appeared. It took a little while to pass out from the shadow, reddened like our Moon is during a lunar eclipse. Then, after a few minutes, there it was, shining just as bright as the others, revealed from behind its Big Daddy.

Bruce showed off star clusters with his binoculars. Rich and Joe helped keep the scope pointed at what we could see. Joe found the Ring Nebula with an OIII filter and kept it in there in that dark field.

We had a lot of nice people swing by. We even had a kid tell his father to stop the car and get out. He had been by before. He gladly took a peek and saw how the moons had changed location. I had some full-sized posters that night, and gave him one.

This project is looking better and better all the time.

About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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