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Astronomy Flashmob at Brower Tonight!

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 8:00pm — Brower Observatory
341 Route 126 (Jefferson Road), Whitefield, ME 04353

Join us tonight for a flash mob at Brower Observatory. A “flash mob” is a star party arranged on short notice when conditions are expected to too excellent to miss. It’s only coincidence that tonight’s comes one night after cancelling a regularly-scheduled star party, but it’s also good luck, since we’ll have extreme clarity on a dark night near the new moon.

Cars will need to park at Colin’s house. We’ll need to walk in from there, because the road to the observatory is still too muddy to drive. Bring only optics lightweight enough to carry that distance, or bring nothing, relying on Brower’s plentiful stock. Colin anticipates planetary viewing at its best, so he’ll mount the vintage 8″ f/8 Treckerscope, for detailed views of Jupiter, and maybe a last goodbye to Mars.

Brower Star Party Cancelled; Work Day Soon.

The star party scheduled for Brower Observatory this Saturday, April 22, 2017, at 8:00pm is hereby cancelled, in deference to weather forecasts predicting clouds and rain.

The rain date for this star party, Saturday, April 29, coincides with Work Day at Brower, so we hope all able-bodied CMASians will join us at 10:00am at the observatory, for maintenance, repairs, and painting. No special skills are needed. Useful tasks will be found for all willing hands. Depending upon how energetic we feel after Work Day, there is a good chance that we will have a star party afterward. If bad weather forces us to postpone Work Day, we’ll most likely meet the next day, Sunday, April 30, instead.

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10:00am — Brower Work Day
341 Route 126 (Jefferson Road), Whitefield, ME 04353
Sunday, April 30, 2017 — Rain Date

The Northland

April is the coolest month, breeding
Parties out of dark skies, mixing
Galaxy and star fire, barring
Eve’nings from spring rain.
Winter kept some in, hiding
Warm inside their homes, feeling
A little strife with optic tubes.
Summer surprises us, coming now with stars for all to see.

April is Global Astronomy Month, sponsored by Astronomers Without Borders. CMAS celebrates with plenty of events!

Brower Star Party

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8:00pm — Brower Observatory
341 Route 126 (Jefferson Road), Whitefield, ME 04353
Saturday, April 29 — Rain Date

A night of great viewing, combined with an opportunity to see why Uncle CMAS Needs You at the following week’s Work Day. Sure, the skies are dark in this lair of the friendliest like-minded astro-fans in all of Central Maine, the club’s magnificent 16” reveals all sorts of marvels that most of us can’t see in our own telescopes, and the amassed knowledge of the club assembled helps us all to find objects we might otherwise not even think to find, but, oy; see below. This is also an opportunity to quietly scan the aging timbers and seeping roofs of Brower Observatory, to persuade yourself to join us for Work Day on the 29th.

Chop Point School Star Party

Friday, April 28, 2017, 7:30pm — Chop Point School Star Party
425 Chop Point Road, Woolwich, ME 04597
Ken Morse and Jon Silverman, Hosts

Chop Point, a small, private, day school in one of the most spectacular locations in all of Central Maine, includes astronomy among the sciences taught to even its youngest students. CMASian Ken Morse has grandchildren there, and so was tapped to arrange an opportunity to observe real skies through actual telescopes, for grades 2 through 6. We need to begin viewing before it is truly dark, and the lights of Bath Iron Works haunt the southern skies, so we’ll be focusing on two bright objects: The Moon, before it sets in the West, and Jupiter, as it rises in the East. Prior to observing, we’ll present an introduction to the telescopes indoors, and we may show them pictures of dimmer objects we won’t be viewing, on the big video screens in their classrooms.

When presenting at a school, there are issues of security, so this event is open only to members of CMAS; it is not open to the general public. CMASians interested in helping must inquire of the President in advance, as the school requires a list of those presenting at least one day before we arrive. There is no rain date. If it is expected to rain, the party will be cancelled a day in advance. If it is only cloudy (as can occur, even when clear skies are expected), the indoor part of the program will be extended to compensate for the lack of viewing. Because the children are young, this event ends early, by 10:30pm or 11:00pm. Still, it may best suited to members living nearby, as a long drive from the further reaches of the realm may be awkward prior to rising early, to return for the Work Day at Brower Observatory beginning at 10:00am the following morning.