Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Transit of Venus Preview and Sun Funnel Building Class

A presentation hosted of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 6:00 PM
Cicatelli Training Center, 505 8th Ave, New York, NY

$6 - $15 to cover the cost of the room, depending on attendance.
Non-members of the AAA will need to become members to take the class. ($35 for a year.)
$25 to purchase a Sun Funnel (optional)

"Transit of Venus: Building a Sun Funnel and Learning about the Transit"

On May 31, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Jason Kendall will lead a class about the upcoming Transit of Venus. First, there will be a lecture on the history and importance of Transits in general, and of the Venus Transit in particular. We'll then have resources to build "Sun Funnels" which are small projection screens built with hardware-store parts that will safely show off the Sun in all its glory with Venus transiting, using a small telescope.

Class price is $6 - $15 for members to cover the cost of the room, depending on attendance. Non-members may also attend by becoming members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York for $35 for the year.

Location: Cicatelli Training Center, 505 8th Ave, New York, NY, Manhattan.

If you'd like your own Sun Funnel, the parts cost $25, which includes a 12mm eyepiece. All funds will be collected on the night of the class. The 12mm eyepiece is designed to show a full disk of the Sun with a 500 mm telescope on the projection screen. The perfect telescope is the Galileoscope, which is not included in the class. We'll have parts for 14 Sun Funnels which may be purchased by class attendees, and we'll build them all right there!

Class size and Sun Funnel supplies are limited, so please RSVP by emailing me. We'll also have a lively discussion about what to expect on the day of the Transit, and how to view the Sun safely.

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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