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.


Feb 6 - Book Night - by you, the members. Bring the latest book, or books, that you have read about astronomy or space flight, or science, or biography, or a new or favorite observing guide. Members give a brief review of 2 or 3 minutes or so of the books. You may bring more than one book to share with the group.

Feb 13 - Electronically Assisted Astronomy - by Steve Bellavia. EAA is a new branch of the hobby focused on real-time viewing of astronomical objects with the aid of electronic devices. EAA is a relatively new and often misunderstood pastime, one that lies somewhere between strictly visual observing and hard-core astrophotography.  EAA allows you to see what would otherwise not be possible to see using just an eyepiece.  It’s an ideal way to complement purely visual observing, and with the right filters you can even cut through the dismal grey background of light-polluted city skies and capture objects. A relatively inexpensive CCD camera collects the light and converts it to an electronic signal that’s displayed on a computer screen or video monitor. But it’s not as demanding as serious astrophotography with its long exposures, painstaking guiding, and time-consuming post-processing. EAA lets you see a lot more with a relatively small telescope. Weather permitting, I will setup my homemade 4.5 inch reflector, with a camera and computer, and demonstrate the process for all to see.

Feb 20 Oumauamua - by Dr. Phil Armitage.  The first body of interstellar origin was discovered as it passed through the inner Solar System on October of 2017.  It was given the name “Oumuamua,” after the Hawaiian term for “scout.”  Planetary systems are expected to eject many Earth masses of comet and asteroid-like bodies as they form, so in one sense the existence of interstellar interlopers was not unexpected.  Many of the observed properties off Oumuamua however were and remain mysterious.  In this talk I will discuss what we know about the object and what we hope to learn about the formation and early evolution of planetary systems as more such objects are identified.

Feb 27 Methods for Finding Your Targets - by Ed Anderson.  There are a variety of methods to help you find objects you want to see.  We will discuss star hopping, setting circles, angle gauges, Go-To and PushTo and the joy of just sweeping around the sky.  There will be time after the talk for questions to be asked, and the experience of others can be offered.




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.