Astronomical Society

of Long Island


NOTICE:  All content on this site is Copyright ©2016 by Ken Spencer, The Astronomical Society of Long Island, and the respective photographers.  All Rights Reserved.  Reproduction is forbidden without express written permission.


Sept 25 - Observing, dark sky.  We hope to have clear skies for a regular dark sky observing session.  Bring your own telescopes and binoculars, or look through all the telescopes we bring and set up on the observing field.


Oct 2 - 7 pm -  Newbie Night - ASLI members will be available in the lobby of the Vanderbilt Planetarium to provide one on one time to answer your questions and to discuss telescopes, observing and how to get started in astronomy.

Oct 2 - 8 pm - Dark Sky Observing Night - If the sky is clear we will be observing on the Vanderbilt lawn.  Bring your own telescope or binoculars, or look through all the telescopes we bring and set up on the observing field.  If the sky is cloudy, there will be a presentation in the Planetarium lobby on topics of interest to those new to astronomy.

Oct 9 – Welcome to Jurassic Montana – by John Kerekes. Join me on my trip back 150-Mya. to the Mesozoic Bighorn Basin when a day was 23 hours long, a seaway ran through the middle of North America from the Gulf Of Mexico to Alaska and Dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Oct 16 - “Learning Rocket Science and Orbital Mechanics” - by John Speroni . Getting real rockets into space requires complex calculations. The computer game Kerbal Space Program exposes players to concepts of rocket design and space fight without having to worry about the math. John will explain how rockets reach orbit, how they maneuver in space, and why strapping boosters onto an underperforming rocket isn’t really an answer.

Oct 23 - Formation of the Earth Moon System -  by Fred Cadieu  A critical event in the formation of the terrestrial planets was the collision of the pre-earth with an approximate mars sized object that resulted in the formation of the present Earth as a very special place. The application of just a bit of physics can illustrate how this event played such a pivotal role for the Earth. The same basic physics indicate that the development of Venus and Earth should be very different. Professor Fred Cadieu has taught physics and astronomy courses in the Physics Department at Queens College of CUNY. 

Oct 30 - The Transit of Mercury, November 11th. - by Frank Melillo.  Catch Mercury traversing the sun during the rare planetary transit! We witnessed the last Mercury transit on May 9, 2016 and now we will see the second one  just 3 1/2 years later. This coming November 11th, we will see Mercury’s small dark disk crossing the face of the sun during this truly remarkable event. Lets make sure we all see this one because you don’t want to wait 30 years for another transit. I will show the highlights of observing the transit and some of the fine images of Mercury I took recently. .


NGC 4216 in the Virgo Cluster by Dave Barnett

Our intrepid astrophotographer Dave Barnett apparently needs no sleep at all, judging by his latest handiwork.  In the center of the frame is the galaxy NGC 4216 in the Virgo Cluster.  It is 40 million light-years distant, and is an edge-on spiral galaxy.  It is nearly 100,000 light-years across, about the size of our own Milky Way galaxy.  It is flanked by fellow Virgo cluster member NGC 4222.  If you are thinking of trying astrophotography, you should know this is not a simple trick.  He used an 8” f/4 Newtonian, and this final image is a stack of 4 minute long sub exposures with a total time of 92 minutes.