Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Cool September Nights
September 1, 2009

Finally, we are getting back to good observing nights. Those Summer nights, while pleasant are always bad for stargazing, with hazy clouds, short night-time skies and swarms of bugs.

With the cooler Fall comes the best observing. The atmosphere becomes stable, allowing gorgeous visions of the night sky.
Forecast looks GREAT for tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday). We will certainly be outside on Wednesday night, possibly late at our normal location at the baseball diamonds in Inwood Hill Park. Featured will be a nearly full Moon and Jupiter high in the East. To the north, we'll be able to see the Perseus double-cluster, and numerous double stars. The Moon's brightness will wash out much of the fainter objects, but it is a great time to start learning about the upcoming LCROSS impact on October 9. Let's try to find the impact locations, prior to our big event on the morning of October 9, when we meet out in the park for a pre-breakfast get-together. (more info here: http://www.moonbeam.net/InwoodAstronomy/2009/1009.shtml )

Tonight, (Tuesday the 1st) I will be "flying the Dome"; with Brian Abbot at the Hayden Planetarium. It is a 6:30 PM show featuring the full-dome 3-dimensional map of all stars and galaxies known to man. Brian will take a tour of the local neighborhood and show how people know what they know about the sky. I will be flying for Brian's show, interjecting color commentary along the way. The Hayden is part of the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center.

This is a GREAT week for Astronomy and stargazing, take advantage of it!

As always, keep looking Up Up Up in the Sky!

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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