Indian Hill Observatory
Calendar of Events
The Log Book
Monthly Web Newsletter
Monthly Sky Calendar
We Observe - by A. Mallama
Updated February 16, 2008
In 1987, we started a log book at the observatory
to record a history of building construction/updates, weather conditions,
club events/conventions and objects observed. It's fun to look back at
earlier years when many objects we looked at are relatively bright and
well-known. Today, member telescopes of 20 and 22 inches are used to observe
much fainter objects. Below is a synopsis of recent CVAS activities, including
new highlights of observing sessions. We'll keep this list updated as events occur.
- February 16. We've had about 4 sunny days in northeast Ohio this winter and this was 1 of those days. The sky also stayed clear tonight for 8 telescopes and 12 public showing up at The Rookery for a frosty night of observing. The 1st quarter moon, Mars and Saturn were the highlights for the evening.
- August 3. About 60 people show up for a night at Mentor Headlands along with 5 CVAS members. . A brilliant meteor is the highlight of the evening.
- August 8. Bob Modic held a daytime astronomy discussion for some school kids at Chapin Forest, a Lake County Metropark..
- August 10. A very humid and dewey night at Girdled Road Reservation for 5 CVAS members and about 30 people. Jupiter and a few Perseid meteors are highlights of the evening.
- August 11. 3 events this evening. A successful OTAA convention at the Mahoning club was attended by about 10 CVAS members. President Tom Quisenbery wins a 5 inch refractor in the raffle. 30 girl scouts attend a discussion and observing session at Indian Hill. About 20 people join 6 CVAS members at The Headwaters, a Geauga County Metropark, for a Moths and Meteors program. We observed 2 flyovers of the International Space Station. Jupiter, some deep sky objects and a few Perseid meteors.
- August 18. Super Star Party at Penitentiary Glen. Over 400 people attended this evening, unfortunately with cloudy skies. Nevertheless, about 20 CVAS members brought telescopes to the Park. Events for the evening include a slide show by CVA S members Ron Baker, Larry Boros, Vickie Ford and Dan Galdun at the picnic shelter, another talk by a NASA Glenn speaker at the same location and presentations with the Star Lab Planetarium inside the auditorium.
- June 16. A successful OTAA convention at Indian Hill. Partly cloudy skies cleared up by nightfall. Aoubt 40 people attended to observe The Moon, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and many deep sky objects. Danny put Denny's refurbished and realuminized 12 inch on the pedastal for its first light views at Indian Hill. Dan reported the scope gives very sharp and pinpoint star images.
- A double header. On June 8, we cancelled the Swine Creek star party because of afternoon thunderstorms and clouds. It cleared up at dark, so one CVAS member set up his scope at Swine Creek along with 6 visitors. The rescheduled event for June 9 was covered by 9 CVAS telescopes and 12 visitors. It was a very clear and cool night with no haze. We looked at Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and a bright Iridium flare at 10:39 PM. Various well known deep sky objects, galaxies, globular clusters and planetary nebula were observed. Russ Swaney treated the group to a view of La Superba, an unusual red carbon star in the constellation Canes Venatici and real time photography of some galaxies. Also, Dan Best, the park naturalist, set up a white sheet and light at the shelter to attract moths.
- April 21. Various CVAS members assist the Cleveland Museum of Natural History with Astronomy Day.
- February 16. Nine CVAS members along with 30 public observe at Geauga County's Rookery Park under clear and very cold skies.
- September 29. Marty, Steve Kainec, Steve Mordarski, Phil Sherman, Russ Swaney and electrician (Mark Pegritz), complete the electric installation, running the underground cable from the north shed to the observatory.
- September 16. The Autumn chill starts to fill the air as we held a star party at Geauga County's Big Creek Park. 7 club members showed partly to mostly cloudy skies to 10 visitors. By 10 PM, everyone packed up and went home. Not a good night for observing.
- August 12. A perfect Cleveland weather day, mid-70's with low humidity led to a great night at the Penitentary Glen Super Star Party. About 500 people enjoyed very clear skies and mildly cool temperatures along with about 20 telescopes brought by CVAS. Jupiter was spotted at 8:40, then an Iridium flare at 8:54 as the sky darkened for deep sky observing. The highlight of the evening was a very bright Perseid meteor at 10:06 that lasted several seconds. A train (cloudlike pattern) lasted for about 1 minute. Moonrise came early that evening which blocked out all but the brightest meteors.
- July 15. A very warm night at Geauga County Beartown Lakes Park. About 10 club members and 12 people show up to observe Jupiter and many deep sky objects.
- Morning of July 15. A contingent of CVAS members also with a professional electrician bury our electric line up to the shed in the parking lot. Pictures to follow in a few days.
- May 5. A sunny day turns mostly cloudy by sunset. Yet, we still held a small star party at the Wickliffe Public Library. About 20 people showed up to view the Moon and Saturn.
- May 21. 10 members and 10 public show up for this Saturday session at Big Creek. A humid evening.
- April 28. Finally had a clear night for a star party after getting clouded out the last few months. About 30 people showed up at Painesville City Park to observe Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, some double stars and Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. We also saw an Iridium satellite and the International Space Station.
- September 23. About 30 people showed up this Friday night at Beartown Lakes, a Geauga County Metropark. A bright Iridium flare was spotted about a 1/2 hour after sunset, then we observed Venus, several deep sky objects and double stars. Mars made an appearance around 10:30, but was too low to see much detail on the planet. Partly cloudy skies started out the evening, but it cleared up by the time the event was over.
- August 6. Super Star party at Lake County's Penitentary Glen Park - Over 600 people showed up to enjoy skies that cleared up right after sunser. We observed double stars, star clusters galaxies and an occassional meteor from the Perseid meteor shower. Jay Reynolds from 2 Iridium satellites and various stars, clusters and galaxies were observed. Other events included a NASA speaker, viewing the skies using the Starlab Planetarium, night hikes and rides on model trains.
- August 26. About 40 people showed up this hazy/partial cloudy Friday night at Swine Creek, a Geauga County Metropark. Jupiter and Venus were hidden by clouds in the western horizon, but we did observe some double stars, clusters and galaxies.
- July 8. A star party at Mentor Headlands State Park. About 75 people show up to observe the Moon, Jupiter, Venus Mercury, double stars and some deep sky objects. Click here for pictures.
- July 29. Another star party at Mentor Headlands. About 50 people show up to observe Jupiter, Venus and some deep sky objects.
- June 4. A successful OTAA convention at Indian Hill tonight. It cleared up before sunset.
- June 5. The new shed is delivered to the site. Click here for pictures.
- May 21. Work session to prepare a site for the new shed. Click on the link to see the pictures and some movies.
- February 12. About 70 people showed up this clear Saturday night at The Rookery, a Geauga County Metropark, to view the Moon, Saturn and various deep-sky objects. Not a bad night, about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, no wind, but high humdity that made the evening a bit cold. We also saw Comet Machholz.
- August 22. About 80 people showed up this clear Sunday night at Case Western Reserve Univertiy's Nassau observatory for a public star party
- August 14. Star party at Lake County's Penitentary Glen Park - About 400 people showed up to enjoy skies that eventually cleared around 10:30. 2 Iridium satellites and various stars, clusters and galaxies were observed. Other events included a NASA speaker, viewing the skies using the Starlab Planetarium, night hikes and rides on model trains.
- July 9. Another star party at Mentor Headlands State Park. About 50 people show up this time to observe Jupiter, double stars and some deep sky objects.
- June 19. OTAA convention at Indian Hill. About 50 people show up. 4 CVAS members also help out at Nassau Observatory where the Geauga Park District is hosting a special open house for donors to the Park District.
- June 25 . Star party at Mentor Headlands State Park. About 20 people show up to observe Jupiter, the moon, a bright Iridium satellite and some deep sky objects.
- April 23. About 20 people show up at the Wickliffe Library
to observe the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.
- CVAS members Larry Boros, Steve Fishman and Dan Galdun mentor 3 Mayfield Middle School students for the February 29 Science Olympiad. Our students came in 2nd place.
- August 27 and 28. Over 350 people show up on both
nights to observe Mars. This is the largest turnout we've had at the
- August 9. Star party at Lake County's Penitentary
Glen park - totally clouded out this year. About 500-600 people showed
up to participate in other events, such as a NASA speaker, viewing
the skies using the Starlab Planetarium, night hikes and rides on model trains.
- July 9 to end of month. Larry and Steve make a
road trip Cumberland maryland to pick up our new Home Dome. Later this
month, various CVAS members, led by foreman Marty Neimi construct the building.
Story and photos are at http://www.chagrinvalleyastronomy.org/homedome.html.
June 28. OTAA convention at Indian Hill Observatory. The joy of
this 40th anniversary of CVAS's founding and 25th year at the observatory
were subdued by the passing of long-time member Denny Jefferson. 50
CVAS members friends and neighbors assembled at Indian Hill this evening
to pay tribute to his memory. Thank you Denny for being a mentor to
many amateur astronomers in the Chagrin Valley.
June 20. About 50 people attend a partial cloudy night at Nassau Observatory.
May 15. A long winter and cloudy wet cloudy spring
kept CVAS indoors and with no public programs. That bad luck also hit
this evening as we had planned a lunar eclipse observing session at The
Rookery, Geauga Park District location. Potentially partly to mostly
cloudy skies turned to heavy rain an hour before the eclipse started.
Nevertheless, a couple of hopeful CVAS members and a park ranger showed
up. The evening wasn't a total washout as the rain helped in efforts
to collect various species of frogs.
September 28. About 70 public and 10 CVAS members attended
the 4th and final Nassau Station astronomy program for 2002. Sky conditions
were mostly clear and the crowd was treated to an Iridium flare and a pass
of the International Space Station with a Progress supply ship trailing the
station by 10 degrees, as well as many fine views of various deep sky objects.
- September 7. After a quick business meeting and the induction of new members, an aurora kicked up for about 20 minutes starting around 9:15 PM local time. Check the September 7, 2002 Aurora link to the left for a few photos. Very nice night for observing, no bugs and t-shirt weather.
August 17. Thank you Hiram Scout Group
751 for a wonderful star party near Hiram, Ohio. About 40 scouts and
a few parents from the group joined CVAS to view the Moon, Venus, bright
clusters and the close flyby of an asteroid. Much thanks to Joe
Petrick for bringing his AstroVid camera and monitor for viewing these objects.
It looked like the evening was going to be clouded out. Clear skies
at 8 PM, quickly clouded over, then cleared out by 9:30. Here's
a few pictures from the event. Click
on this link for pictures of our star party.
August 10. A very successful night
at Lake County's Penitentary Glen Park. Over 800 people showed up
on a slighty hazy, but pretty clear night. Indoor activities
included Don Himes gaving a talk on "Astronomy 101" and the Cleveland NASA Glenn's Aerobus showed
various videos of past shuttle missions. Observing highlights
included the Moon, Venus, the usual double stars, bright clusters and various
satellite passes including the International Space Station and 2 bright
Iridium satellites. It was 2 days before maximum of the Perseid, and
we saw a few bright ones.
June 19. 4 CVAS members present a program
at Camp Cheerful in Strongsville.
June 8. The annual CVAS/OTAA convention was
held at IHO on Saturday, June 8, 2002. About 35 - 40 people from four
OTAA clubs attended. A pot-luck picnic was held during the afternoon,
followed by a demonstration of the newly rebuilt GOTO drive system on the
CVAS 16" scope. After dusk, observing began through light cirrus.
Venus & Jupiter, an Iridium flare, the ISS & Shuttle (docked together),
Comet Ikeya-Zhang and various deep sky objects were observed. Observing
continued until 3am, when thicker clouds rolled in.
May 28/30 An astronomy program for
some local students was held on May 28 & 30 at Holden Arboretum.
In addition to a Starlab planetarium and some astronomy related crafts,
CVAS members Gus Saikaly and Bob Modic demonstrated how telescopes work using
their 8" reflectors. A total of about 45 students and parents attended
May 10. Very nice night at Nassua Station,
home of Case Western Reserve University's observatory. The event
was hosted by the college and the Geauge Park District. Over
90 people showed for a very clear night. Venus and Mars were
at their closest approach this evening. Comet Ikeya-Zhang was
easily observed in binoculars and an Iridium satellite made an appearance
shining as bright as Jupiter.
April 20. Astronomy Day, hosted at
the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. CVAS and the Cuyahoga Astronomical
Association set up exhibits for the hundreds of people that visited the
April 19. A very nice April night at
Punderson State Park. About 20 people from the Newbury area showed up
to look at Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon.
February 15. 65 people showed up at
the Rookery, a Geauga County Metropark, for a slide show and brief glimpses
of Jupiter and Saturn through 2 telescopes.
December 1, 2001. Annual CVAS Christmas party
at Steve Kainec's house. Video of Lick Observatory and a slide show of the
Indian Hill construction.
November 23. Star party for a couple of kids
and their teacher from St. Mary's school in Painesville. Unusually warm weather
and clear skies provided a couple hours of good observing. Most notable part
of the evening is Marty's upgrade of the telescopes drive system. It is now
setup as a Goto telescope. While some kinks need to be worked out, this is
another significant upgrade for our observatory. Morning of November 18. About 20 members
and public show up in the early morning to observe the Leonid meteor shower.
An "awesome" event as described by all who attended. Even more awesome for
Northeast Ohio as November is one of our cloudier months. It was also clear
for the November 5 aurora, which was an unscheduled event, but was also
observed by many members.
November 3, 10 and 17. Work sessions to clear
out the woods and expand the parking lot.
September 22. 60 guests and 15 members show
up for a very clear night of observing at Nassau observatory.
September 1. I guess you can call it an informal
dedication of the expanded parking lot. 1 year after starting the project,
we were able to park a few vehicles in the new parking area for the September
business meeting. About 20 members showed up on every nice evening. Too bad
the full moon was out. An Astrovid and monitor were used to observe M13 and
a couple other objects. We also saw a couple of bright Iridium satellites
before calling it an early evening.
August 24. 77 people attend a hazy night
at Nassau Observatory. The first quarter moon, mars and a few deep sky objects
are observed. August 14. Major work session at Indian Hill.
We hired an excavator to pull out the stumps, grade the land and lay new
culvert pipes in the new parking lot. 40 tons of gravel have also been spread
on the site. Our parking lot is now 50% larger. Thanks to the many members who contributed
their time over the last year and a half by surveying, chopping trees and
burning brush. August 11. Super Star Party at Penitentiary
Glen. Ah, Northeast Ohio. It was a very nice mostly clear day, which bode
well for a good turnout for the evening. At least 900 people turned up to
ride the model trains, do night hikes, listen to a NASA Glenn speaker talk
about the International Space Station and various other arts/crafts activities.
The Park District also presented a plaque to CVAS officers in thanks for
20 years of assisting the park in providing this public service. According
to Park personnel, astronomy nights at the park draw the largest crowds.
All went well, except that the clouds rolled in at sunset. The clouds could
not dampen the spirits of all who attended including many nonmembers who
brought their own scopes. The evening was a success. Many thanks to club member Joe Petrick who
brought his outstanding CCD photographs of planets and deep-sky objects.
They were placed right at the entrance to the park building where all 900
attendees could at least observe many favorite objects, if not through a
telescope that evening. Thanks also goes to club member Jim Szorady who raffled
off his Sky Window, a combination mirror, binocular and tripod that takes
the pain out of using binoculars for astronomical observing. And, congratulations
to club member Steve Kainec for winning it.
August 4. The monthly meeting was preceded
by the last burning of the brush. We are now ready for the bulldozer to
pull out the tree stumps, level the parking lot and gravel it over. After
the meeting, we observed Mars with the 16 inch and saw a pass of the International
Space Station and a couple of Iridium satellites. A full moon prevented any
deep sky observing, so we called it an early night.
July 21. The dedication of the Cuyahoga Astronomical
Association's observatory is attended by 70 people at their Letha House site
in Medina County. July 13. Jack Smith, Gus Saikaly and
Ian Cooper host a daytime solar observing session at Burton's Geauga County
Fairgrounds for some Boy Scouts. July 7. The monthly meeting was preceded
by another burning of the brush, a 15 minute downpour and a pretty nice
A major concern is the disappearance of the
toilet seat. A replacement will be acquired very soon.
June 23. 40 people from various northeast
Ohio clubs attend the OTAA convention at Indian Hill. It was a dewy night,
but observing was accomplished before the rain hit at 3 AM. John Gorka was
awarded the George Deidrich award for his light pollution efforts in northeast
Ohio. John was key in convincing Chester Township in enacting a lighting
ordinance. Since its passage, most street lighting in Chester has been converted
to full cut-off. John has also approached other northeast Ohio cities, townships
and villages with similar lighting proposals.
June 16. About 100 people attend a very good
night at Nassau Observatory.
May 19. About 100 people attend a very good
night at Nassau Observatory. A couple of Iridium flares were observed between
11:18 and 11:28.
May 12. Observing session at Indian Hill
with 15 students from an Ashtabula city school.
May 5. CVAS Meeting and observing with 10
children from the local community.
April 29. Work session at Indian Hill. The
September 2000 trees that we cut down were cut into firewood today. A debate
followed on how we'll prepare the land with parking, driveway and access
to the top of the hill. April 28. Private star party at Indian Hill
for 20 home schoolers in the Huntsburg area. Pretty clear night.
April 21. It was cloudy for most of the evening
at the Penitentiary Glen star party. But, it cleared up enough to view the
International Space Station flyby and do some deep-sky observing About 150
people showed up to observe with us, listen to a NASA speaker from the local
Glenn Research Center and get unobstructed views in the inflatable planetarium.
March 24. At our April 1 meeting, one member
reported that it was clear at Indian Hill for the Messier Marathon. But,
it was cloudy closer to Cleveland where most members lived, so no one went
out to observe at the Hill.
February 16-17. Curses, foiled again!!!!.
Clouded out for the Rookery star party. Almost had a shot at Saturday as
it was partly cloudy during the day.
December 9. The annual Christmas party was
held at Steve Kainec's house.
November 20. There was a light turnout at
the Chagrin Falls Library as a result of cold, light snow and clouds. President
Bob Modic gave a slide show of solar system and galactic objects.
November 5. A milestone in CVAS history.
We have received our tax-exempt status from the IRS.
2 Weekends in October 2000. Various CVAS
members start clearing the land to prepare the new parking lot and observing
field. October 27. A pretty good night of aurora
observing. We expected to spend most of the time with deep-sky and planetary
observing. However, the northern lights started about 8:30 PM local time
and lasted past midnight. Nice pink/red color and many spikes and curtains
rising halfway up the northern horizon. October 20. Over 140 people attend a great
evening of observing at Ridgeview Farm in Middlefield. October 20. 20 home schoolers attend a great
evening of observing at our Indian Hill Observatory.
October 7. Our last Saturday night monthly
meeting at Indian Hill for this year and what a night; rain, sleet, snow,
thunder and lightening. But no stars. Regardless, 50 parents and children
from an Ashtabula school came out tonight to see the observatory.
September 29. A very pleasant and cool evening
at Nassau observatory. About 70 people showed up under very clear skies
to observe the late summer/early fall objects. This evening made up for the
prior rainy weekend.
August 19. Another good night of observing
at Nassau Observatory with 70 visitors. After a mostly cloudy day, the clouds
finally cleared out by dark. The International Space Station, various other
satellites and a few meteors were observed.
August 12. Over 600 people show up at Penitentiary
Glen for the Park's Summer Star Party. While a nearly full moon drowns out
the fainter deep sky objects, the public is treated to excellent views of
the moon (via Don Hime's video setup), double stars and bright clusters.
Several Perseid meteors and satellites are also observed. A few CVAS members
also report seeing the excellent
aurora display around 4 A.M. local time on the 12th.
August 11. Over 30 people show up for
a "moths and meteors" star party hosted by 4 CVAS members at the Geauga County
Swine Creek Park.
August 5. After the monthly business meeting,
CVAS opens the observatory to an invitation only event for our Huntsburg
neighbors. About 10 families showed up to view the moon and few stars through
mostly cloudy skies.
July 22. Bob Modic, Steve Fishman, John Soltis
and Florida visitor Paul Alexendar view Comet Linear at Indian Hill Observatory.
June 3, 2000. OTAA convention at CVAS's Indian
Hill Observatory. The day looked pretty bleak, but the mostly cloudy skies
cleared at dusk. John Gorka and Larry Boros are recognized with the CVAS
backbone award for their efforts in the light pollution battle. Several communities
in northeast Ohio have passed lighting ordinances as a result of their persistent
lobbying and public education.
About 50 CVAS and other OTAA club members
showed up for the convention with a myriad of scopes; refractors, Dobsonians
(up to 20 inches), various computerized Meade and Celestrons and a new generation
of binocular stand. Mercury put on an excellent display as it hung a few
degrees above a slim crescent moon in the colorful evening dusk sky. On
the other end of the solar system, using our 16 inch scope's computerized
drive, we easily found and observed Pluto. Using one CVAS member's I-3 image-intensifying
eyepiece, we were able to observe excellent detail in the Cat's-Eye Nebula,
NGC 6543, a highlight for the evening. Various satellites, including some
tumbling ones that varied in brightness were also observed. The evening
cooled considerably as a mild dew covered the telescopes in observing field.
May 5. 50 people join CVAS members,
the Geauga Park District and Case Western University for a star party at
the Nassau Observatory in Montville Township. Skies are mostly clear, but
hazy on this very warm evening. Highlight observations of the evening include
2 Iridium satellites, the MIR space station and various double stars and
deep-sky objects. This is also the day where 5 major planets are aligned in
the evening sky. The world survives this event.
The following evening, we hold the first
summer meeting at Indian Hill Observatory.
April 15. Another successful night
for observing at Lake County's Penitentiary Glen as partly cloudy skies
eventually cleared. 250 people showed up to observe through 15 scopes brought
by club members. The nearly full moon lit up the landscape, preventing views
of faint galaxies, clusters and nebula. But, we observed the many lunar craters
and seas, Mars, Saturn and double stars. The International Space Station
and and an Iridium satellite also made impressive passes. Indoors, a NASA
speaker, an inflatable planetarium worked by member Jack Smith and an astrophotography
exhibit by Don Himes rounded out the evening.
March 31. About 20 members and guests show
up on a mostly clear night for a Messier Marathon.
Weekends during March 2000. Led by Larry
Boros, the land surrounding Indian Hill is surveyed and staked out. After
22 years of leasing the property from the landowner, we are preparing to
purchase 2 acres to insure a permanent observatory and home for CVAS. Future
plans include moving the driveway to a new location, clearing land for additional
observing space and running a separate power line to the observatory.
October 30. 28 people from the Sam
Wharram Nature Club are treated to a slide show by President Bob Modic,
then 2 hours of observing at the Ashtabula campus of Kent State University.
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and various clusters are observed on a warm and clear
evening. October 7 Don and Marty experiment
again with a borrowed Astrovid camera. Don's note that evening are; "As
plugged into a 9 inch TV/VCR combo, the Adirondak Video product displayed
remarkable images of Jupiter, Saturn and faint stars through the 16 inch
plus 2 inch Barlow. Through bouncy seeing and sometimes brisk wind, Jupiter
was fascinating! The black and white camera's forte' is CONTRAST as set by
juggling the gain and shutter speed. The great red spot was magnificent,
and plenty of structure in the belts revealed. Cassini's division in Saturn's
rings was obvious at the extensions. The shadow of the planet on the rings
was seen, as were the dark southern polar region. Marty and I watched as
the generally good seeing waved in and out. Efforts to grab frames were not
successful at this moment."
October 2 Don, Steve, Bob and Dan display
astrophotos and telescopes at the Huntsburg Pumpkin Festival (a daytime event),
which is a couple of miles from Indian Hill Observatory. The Sun, Venus and
the moon are observed with an 8 inch Celestron. Venus is also sighted with
the naked eye in fairly clear skies.
Later that evening, the October meeting is held at Indian Hill.
Don and Marty experiment with another member's Astrovid camera attached
to the 16 and 8 inch scopes. Unfortunately, cloudy skies prevent any deep
sky observing. Stay tuned for more on this front as real-time video and frame
grabs are in our future.
September 17. Another clear night for
our final program at Nassau Observatory. Over 100 guests attend to observe
the moon, Mars and a few of the brighter deep-sky objects. Another spectacular
view of an Iridium satellite is observed at 8:51.
100+ screaming kids and their parents from Gilmour Academy are
shown similar objects at Lake Metroparks Farm Park. The same Iridium satellite
is also seen at this site, but being 20 miles to the west of Nassau Observatory,
the satellite is not as brilliant.
September 4. The roof is finally completed.
Many thanks to members who contributed to the effort, suffering through
90+ degree weekends. Dan, Ian and Marty finished the job this day to prepared
for the evening meeting. Partly clear skies eventually clouded over by 10:30.
An Iridium satellite was spotted.
August 14. About 75 people show up
at Penitentiary Glen. A full day of rain and clouds leads to partially clear
skies by 10 P.M. Once again, the SL-16 rocket booster is observed. August 7. Another work session at Indian
Hill Observatory to do more work on the roof. The roll roofing was finished
and the flashing was partially done.
August 6. Another good night of observing
at Nassau Observatory. Over 90 people showed up shortly after the clouds
cleared. As with the July 10 event, 2 more Iridium satellites are spotted,
with the first obtaining at least a -8 magnitude. This is over 20 time brighter
than Venus. We also spotted a tumbling rocket booster, named SL-16, that
ranged from just above naked eye visibility to about 3rd magnitude.
July 24-25. Work session to replace
the roof on the observatory's' warm-up room The old roof was torn off, plywood
was installed and felt was laid on the plywood. Roll roofing and flashing
to be purchased and installed in a later work session.
July 10. Excellent night of observing
at Nassau Observatory. Over 110 people showed up, many with personal telescopes
to receive instructions on how to set up and find objects. The evening was
highlighted to 2 sightings of Iridium communication satellites. Sponsored
by the Geauga Park District and Case Western University. More information
about Case's Robotic Observatory can be found at The Robotic Telescope Site
June 19. 10 people show up for a public
night at the observatory. Held in conjunction with Lake Metroparks.
June 12. OTAA convention at Indian
Hill Observatory. Marti Niemi is presented with the CVAS backbone award
for his outstanding contributions of upgrading the 16 inch telescope with
computer controlled software
May 1 First 1999 summer meeting at
the observatory topped off by another clear low humidity evening, the 6th
in a row. While a full moon blots out most deep sky objects, we observe
the moon, Venus, Mars and a few artificial satellites. Several visitors
also attend the meeting.
May 21 50 people join CVAS members,
the Geauga Park District and Case Western University for a star party at
the Nassau Observatory in Montville Township. Skies are partly cloudy. Don
Himes makes a valiant attempt to photograph the lunar occultation of Regulus
but is foiled by clouds 2 minutes before the event.
April 24 A successful night for observing
at Lake County's Penitentiary Glen. 245 people showed up to observe through
14 scopes brought by club members. Aside from the obvious objects; Mars,
Venus and the moon, someone showed up with artificial satellite predictions.
The space station and several others were pointed out to the crowd. A NASA
speaker and an inflatable planetarium rounded out the evening.
April 18 It's spring clean up time.
Several members showed up to sweep out the observatory, continue demolition
of an obsolete concrete pier, tune up the telescope electronics and clean
up the grounds.
October 10. Fall Star Party at Penitentiary
Glen. 150 people showed up to mostly clear skies for views of Jupiter,
Saturn double stars and other bright objects. Guest speakers included
a representative from NASA Lewis Research Center and Sky Publishing cartoonist
September 26. CVAS hosts an observing
session at Nassau observatory in conjunction with the Geauga Park District
and Case Western Reserve University. Warm and slightly hazy evening is enjoyed
by 80 visitors. A favorable MIR pass, Jupiter, Saturn and various deep
sky objects are observed. September 19. CVAS acquires an 8 inch
Schmidt Newtonian telescope at the Hidden Hollow convention. Well mount
the scope to our 16 inch for observing and photography.
September 12. Dan and Steve paint the
observatory. Much more work needs to be done to fix the roof and gutters.
August 22. Summer star party at Penitentiary
Glen is mostly clouded out.
July 17. Public observing session at
Nassau Observatory in Montville Township
June 20. OTAA Convention at Indian
Hill Observatory. Mostly clear night is topped off by an Iridium satellite
sighting. This is the 35th anniversary of CVAS and the 20th year that we've
used the Indian Hill site.
May 2. CVAS breaks with a 35 year tradition
and holds its first Saturday night meeting at the observatory. Saturday
meetings to continue through October. Mostly cloudy night, but the moon was
observed for a half hour.
March 27. A dozen boy scouts camp out at
the observatory site and are given a tour of the building. Very warm night
(60+ degrees Fahrenheit) for March. We observed double stars with the 16
No activity. What can I say, it's Northeast
Ohio and perpetual cloudiness.
December 16. I normally don't document general
observing, but when we have a clear December night in Northeast Ohio, it's
to be celebrated. Andy, Lester and Steve spend a couple of hours at Russell
Park. Saturn looked pretty good with 4 moons visible. There is some excellent
Saturn moon software from Dan Bruton of
Texas A&M University that shows moon locations for Saturn. There is
also Jupiter moon location software and links to other astronomy software.
December 13. Annual CVAS Christmas Party
at Outback Steakhouse. Clouded out.
October 25. Fall Lunacy at Penitentiary Glen.
Typical northeast Ohio weather. I left my house, located in southeast Cuyahoga
county, under totally overcast skies. It's partly to mostly cloudy at the
park, which is located about 5 miles south of Lake Erie. Looks like the lake
helped clear us out for awhile. Only 30 people showed up, because of the
Cleveland Indians being in the World Series. Nevertheless, another successful
event thanks to a NASA Lewis Research speaker and clear skies.
Beautiful September 18 night at the Middlefield
library. Bob and Dan entertain about 40 people.
September 25. Another successful night at
Nassau Observatory. 80 people show up to view through Case's 36 inch reflector
and several club telescopes.
It's been a slow month for CVAS. Don and
Kim Himes traveled to the Stellafane Telescope making convention in Springfield
Vermont with both daughters in tow. The Stellafane group offers a prize
for the family who brings the youngest attendee. Five years ago, Don and
Kim brought their 4 month old Diana Mariah, who lost by 2 months. This year,
their 5 month old daughter Rayna Ann is also bested by a younger attendee.
The following week, Don reports tremendous observations of Jupiter back home
in Chagrin Falls.
The Perseid meteor shower is clouded out
(typical northeast Ohio weather).
July 18. In conjunction with Lake County
Metroparks, 20 guests visit Indian Hill Observatory. Mercury and Venus are
spotted before clouds slowly take cover the sky. An immature bald eagle
was spotted before sunset.
June 28. Convention at Indian Hill. Don Himes
presents excellent pictures of Hale-Bopp in his "How Not to Photograph a
Comet" talk. Keynote speaker Bob Modic is rescued from the Chardon McDonalds
after his brakes lock. He arrives just in time to deliver his presentation
about building his 20 inch Dobsonian telescope. One of the highlights of
the evening is observing the sky with an image intensifier. This device,
brought by a CVAS member, brightens objects by 20,000 times. Unfortunately,
it also highlights the partly cloudy conditions that affected our observing
for most of the night.
June 6. Public observing session at Indian
Hill Observatory. In conjunction with Lake County Metropark. Andy, Earl,
Mark Pete and Steve show the observatory to 20 visitors. Mostly cloudy skies
limit viewing to Mars and a few bright stars.
May 30. Open house at Nassau Observatory
in conjunction with Geauga Park District and Case Western Reserve University
washed out. (Sigh).
April 2. Bob Modic helps out at the Cleveland
Museum of Natural History. Over 700 people observe Hale-Bopp in mostly clear
skies. April 5. CVAS hosts a Hale-Bopp observing
night at the Lake Farmpark. It's mostly cloudy, but we did glimpse the comet
and Mars. Even with the poor weather prospects, about 500 people showed
up. Don Himes gave a Hale-Bopp slide presentation, Farmpark naturalists used
the inflatable Starlab planetarium for 15 minute presentations while several
member scopes were set up to observe through broken clouds. April 6. Another public presentation at Geauga
County's Swine Creek Park for 50 people. Heavy winds bring in brief rain
but the comet is successfully observed for several minutes. April 19. CVAS members Andy, Bob and Steve
assist the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in showing Hale-Bopp to 400
people. While the Museum, located about 4 miles east of downtown Cleveland,
is moderately affected by the glow from street lights, the comet looks pretty
good with binoculars.
April 25. A refreshing and comfortable night
at Indian Hill Observatory. The object of the evening in Andy's 22 inch
scope are the 16th magnitude twin Quasars Q0957+561 in Ursa Major. A large
foreground galaxy is bending the light from this far distant object into
2 separate images. Not much detail was seen, but the challenge of finding
it was worth the effort. Additional information about this object and the
"lensing effect" can be found on Page 433 of the October 1991 issue of Sky
March 1997 - Mostly Hale Bopp Activity
March 9. In response to threatening skies,
Andy and Mark repeat their February 9 performance to observe Hale-Bopp.
This time, it's a 120 mile run south to Salt Fork State Park. Fortunately
for the rest of us, skies cleared about 2 A.M. and several CVAS members scattered
to various dark-sky sites in the countryside east of Cleveland. March 26. Program for 150 students and parents
at the Orange and Pepper Pike schools. Hale-Bopp and Mars are observed.
The portable/inflatable Starlab is used to show constellations to the kids.
The Museum of Natural History, with a 9 inch Refractor, was also open to
the public. Earl shows up to help with the over 400 public that attended. Late March. OUT DARN CLOUDS, OUT. Foiled
by persistent cloud cover, several members decide on desperate action to
observe and photograph the comet. We've had a couple of clear mornings and
evenings, however, several evening attempts were clouded out early. In response,
hard core members run away from home: Dan and Steve take the cheap route by driving
480 miles from Cleveland to Big South Fork National River and Recreation
Area in north central Tennessee. Hale-Bopp is observed the first evening
through thick haze, which turns into strong rains after 1 hour. The second
and third days bring them excellent weather and observing conditions. See
our Hale-Bopp page for examples of photos taken
during the trip. We leave just as hunters storm in for turkey hunting season.
Mark, Andy and Denny take the more expensive
alternative by flying to New Mexico. They spent their days traveling to
famous natural and astronomical sites and observed the comet at night. Three
of Mark's pictures are now on-line at our Hale-Bopp
page. All travelers observed the zodiacal light.
February 9. Desperate for clear skies, CVAS
members Andrew Winzer and Mark Pogany drove 120 miles west from Cleveland
to escape persistent clouds enshrouding Northeastern Ohio. Comet Hale Bopp
was observed from the Kane Observatory, a private site run by the Northwestern
Ohio Visual Astronomers near Grand Rapids, Ohio. The comet was seen at 9:15
UT sporting a naked eye tail two degrees long and a brilliant coma. Views
through Andy's 22" f/4.5 showed intense activity near an egg shaped nuclear
region. Four jets spouted off the nucleus and streamed backwards toward
the tail. An obvious shadow was seen behind the brightest central portion
of the comet's center. Mark took several photos with his home grown barn
door drive before rapidly advancing clouds overtook the sky. Many thanks to
N.W. Ohio Visual Astronomers members Will and Frank for hosting us.
February 20. Congratulations to Don and Kim
Himes for the newest addition to their family and our membership. Rayna Ann
joins the family along with her older sister Diana Mariah. Don and Kim observe
comet Hale-Bopp during their drive to the hospital that morning. Another
star baby is born.
Week of January 13. Northeast Ohio weather
is notoriously cloudy from November through February. Early in the week,
clear evening weather raised our hopes for viewing Comet Hale-Bopp. Lake
effect clouds ended up rolling in and spoiled most viewing. Bob and Steve
glimpse the comet on a couple of mornings under marginal conditions.
Sunday, January 19. Six members (Andy, Bob,
Dan, Lester, Mark and Steve) make a run out to LaDue Reservoir as the temperature
drops to -12 degrees Fahrenheit. Best view of the comet from Cleveland since
it's reappeared in the morning sky. The comet was oblong is shape, had
a bright central nucleus and at least a 1 degree fan shaped tail running
to the northwest.
Don observed the comet from his Chagrin Falls house reporting that
the comet was distinctly visible with direct vision to the naked eye for
the first time.
Thursday January 30, 1997 Harmon Middle School
in Aurora, Ohio. Science Fair for the Elementary and Middle school students.
Kim, Don and Steve kept the kids entertained inside while Lester showed off
his 18 inch Dobsonian to passersby under cloudy skies.