Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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AAA New York September Events
September 5, 2008

Hello AAA Members,

Our annual Urban Starfest is taking place this Saturday evening, September 6th! (Rain date is Sunday the 7th) As usual, we'll be in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park from dusk until 10 PM. Bring your own scope or binoculars, if you have them, or just show up and look through the large number of scopes members have brought. The highlight will be Jupiter. Its four moons will be visible until Io goes behind Jupiter about 9:40. Uranus and Neptune will be visible, plus the Andromeda Galaxy, Ring Nebula, double star Albireo, globular clusters and so forth. Directions are on our website www.aaa.org. (click on the Starfest link on the home page).

We have many more observing events this month. This Thursday I'll be at Brooklyn Bridge Park at the free Movies with a View series (that night Cabaret will be shown). I'll be at the water's edge. Come by between dusk and 10 PM to take a look through 8" Dobsonians donated to the park by the Sci Fi Channel.

The next evening, Friday Sept 5 we'll have observing at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

On Wednesday Sept 10, it's Prospect Park's turn.

On Thursday Sept. 11 you have the choice of two events. Our seminar on recent events in astronomy meets from 6 to 8 PM at Room 801 of 239 Greene Street on the NYU campus in Greenwich Village. Also, on this day at dusk there will be a very close conjunction of Venus and Mars in the western sky. The two will appear in the same telescope field of view. AAA member and sidewalk astronomer Jason Kendall will meet people in Inwood Park (northern Manhattan) Info at http://www.moonbeam.net/InwoodAstronomy/events/20080911.shtml.

Staten Island observing at Great Kills will occur on Saturday Sept 20.

The following day is the autumnal equinox. There will be a celebration on Pier 84 (44th Street and the Hudson River). In the afternoon, we'll have our new Coronado hydrogen-alpha solar telescope. I'll give a talk about the seasons between 6 and 6:30 pm. As the sky darkens we'll look at the planets in the west (Venus, Mercury, Mars) and then Jupiter.

On Friday Sept 26, there are two events, observing at Carl Schurz Park, and in Battery Park City a sunset nature walk from 6 to 7:15 PM. At the latter we'll participate with our solar telescope, and after it gets dark we'll check out the planets and other celestial sights.

Saturday Sept 27 there's solar observing in the morning in Central Park, followed in the afternoon by the Observers Group at headquarters, 1010 Park Avenue.


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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