Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Night 15 of 100: Friday the 20th
March 21, 2009

100 Nights in New York City Watching the Stars

Come Look Through a Telescope Every Wednesday and Saturday Night in 2009! (weather permitting.)

Going out tonight to Inwood Hill Park at 9:30 PM.

Come join us!

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Well, it ended up being just me and the stars. Not such a bad thing. Donna and I went out for a dinner at the Piper's Kilt, and I went outside. Donna got a chance to do some work on her music. And I got a chance to see some good images. Our apartment is a good 80 degrees, and it takes nearly an hour for the telescope to cool off. But, the sky was clear and Columbia Fields were dark, so it was good from the beginning. Saturn's rings again jumped out.

stellarium-000.gif

Well, these were the positions, since I don't have a camera, unlike my colleague Howard Fink, who sent this image to me that he took atop his apartment building.

Well, the night had some great features. After I was there a while, I decided it was time to hit some deep sky. M81 and M82 were easily seen. And now I really have to get a camera. This will be a big help to me, and I will actually be able to get a picture of these amazing objects. I packed it in by midnight, because Donna needed sleep for her upcoming show Cymbeline.



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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