Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Night 26 of 100: The Hunt for Mercury!
April 26, 2009

Tonight, Sunday the 26th, we are going to go find Mercury. We will meet at Seaman and Isham Streets at exactly 6:45, then take the walk together up to the Overlook on the East side of the Park at the top of the hill. It is a long walk, so if you would like to go, you really need to be there with us. It is more fun to go as a group.

Bring some binoculars and a sky chart, and maybe a portable chair.

Here is a map of where we will end up by the Parks Trails Map:

Jason

We had some marginal success! We were able to see the sliver Moon among the clouds, but elusive Mercury dodged us for most of the time. It set rapidly, but everyone got a look that came up. The best part was that we determined that the Overlook is the BEST place to do observing. We are moving ALL of our Saturday night events to the Overlook.

Here is a great shot from APOD that someone got, that we could have gotten if there were no clouds....



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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