Social Media Links

Find us on Facebook

We’re On Tonight… Seriously!

Seeing today’s thick clouds spanning the vast distances separating CMAS’s astronomers as they prepare for tonight’s Workday and star party, we hear ya thinkin’… “What hath those fools running our club wrought, proposing we meet tonight?! Can’t they see the clouds everywhere, and feel the light rain on their shoulders?”

Yup! We can. But, all the forecasts are converging toward banishing most of the clouds in the mid- to late-afternoon. Astronomical seeing and transparency are expected to become good enough as darkness falls. There may be periods of lousy transparency and even a few clouds to dodge; but, Ye of Little Faith, take heart! CMAS anticipates, overall, a good evening for Workday, followed by a good enough night for astronomy. Conditions may not be perfect, but should be well worth the trip, a classic example of clear skies emerging after a storm.

It’s rare for the forecasts to change between early afternoon, when this was written, and nighttime. If they do, well; we were wrong. Those of you driving from several hours away may want to exercise extra caution. But, all looks well for Workday to begin at 5:30pm, with observing to begin afterward, at nightfall.

Workday and Star Party Confirmed

It’s decided! We’re on for tomorrow, Saturday, June 24, 2017, at Brower Observatory, but with one tweak: Workday will start half an hour later than originally planned, at 5:30pm, instead of 5:00pm. Updated forecasts suggest that the clouds will leave early, so Workday can proceed. Observing afterward depends upon whether the clouds sneak back, which remains a controversy among forecasts. Those able to attend the star party, but not Workday, could either watch the skies to decide whether to join us, or call the Presidential Hotline to inquire about conditions as the evening approaches.

Prior Workdays saw the completion of heavier construction. Remaining tasks include capping the roof shingles, painting the exterior, and organizing the many telescopes, books, and supplies stored inside. Most of this requires no special construction skills, so all willing hands are welcome. Wear clothing that would be enhanced by paint stains, bring safety goggles and work gloves if you have them, or just show as you are to help.

True confessions: A flying circus of Brower’s famed two-engined mosquitos may be prowling at dusk, so wear long sleeves and otherwise be prepared. Historically, they are tamer than the four-engined variety found elsewhere, but that does not mean they may not make their presence temporarily known.

 

BROWER OBSERVATORY WORKDAY AND STAR PARTY

Saturday, June 24, 2017
5:30pm — Workday; 9:00pm — Star Party
Brower Observatory
341 Route 126, Whitefield, ME 04353

Workday would be cancelled only for rain; it will occur as scheduled, even if it is likely to be too cloudy for observing afterward. We understand that not everyone will be able to climb ladders, pound nails, or lift and move telescopes, so even those who can not so assist are welcome to join us for observing, if the clouds so allow.

Star Party Postponed; Workday Added

What a superb weekend for cloud watching! In response, the star party scheduled for tomorrow—Saturday, June 17, 2017, at 9:00pm—has necessarily been postponed, but the rain date has been enhanced with an additional activity.

BROWER OBSERVATORY WORKDAY AND STAR PARTY

Saturday, June 24, 2017
5:00pm — Workday; 9:00pm — Star Party
Brower Observatory
341 Route 126, Whitefield, ME 04353

Join us at Brower Observatory on Saturday, June 24. Workday begins at 5:00pm. Wield a paint brush or a hammer, or aid in reorganizing the stored equipment. Workday would be cancelled only for rain; it will occur as scheduled, even if it is likely to be too cloudy for observing afterward.

If the weather allows, observing will begin at 9:00pm, or perhaps earlier, since we will be there anyway, and bright Jupiter and Saturn will be visible. Although participation in workday is encouraged, we understand that not everyone will be able to climb ladders, pound nails, or lift and move telescopes, so even those who can not so assist are welcome to join us for observing.

Saturn is a real treat now, with its rings about as wide open as we shall ever see them, and with all the special effects that are visible only at opposition. Even by Workday, the views should be more than satisfactory; but, if you have a telescope at home, be sure to observe Saturn at the first break in the clouds.

Determination and patience are the necessary hallmarks of anyone sailing Maine’s skies through the eyepieces of telescopes. Until we meet again, happy cloud watching to all the honored, honorary inductees of the Central Maine Cloud Watching Society. Altostratus, Stratocumulus; Cumulonimbus, Nimbostratus!