Star Gazing at Wineries!

Star Gazing at Wineries!

CCAS is busy this month! We have two different star gazing events at local wineries: Venteux Winery in Templeton and also Riverstar Winery in San Miguel.  If you’d like to help out, just let *protected email*...
100th Anniversary of the Hooker Telescope

100th Anniversary of the Hooker Telescope

You are cordially invited to attend a gala event celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Hooker Telescope on May 4th from 1 PM – 11:30 PM at Mt. Wilson Observatory. The 100-Inch Hooker Telescope The 100-inch (2.5 m) Hooker telescope located at Mount Wilson...
Fly Me To The Moon: from JS Bach to Mr. Spock

Fly Me To The Moon: from JS Bach to Mr. Spock

Take flight throughout time and space with this musical delight of sight and sound. Don’t miss this multimedia, interactive family affair. Join Michael Nowak, Orchestra Novo, Inga Swearingen, Ken Hustad, and breathtaking images from our solar system and beyond. Travel...
Los Flores Ranch Star Party

Los Flores Ranch Star Party

We need local amateur astronomers to help inspire public support for dark skies in our local communities. Join Los Flores Ranch Park in Santa Maria for some, or all, of their stargazing parties for the many diverse and curious people who show up to be dazzled. The...
Solar Eclipse on Aug 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse on Aug 21, 2017

There is a major eclipse over much of North America this month. The sun will go dark during the day right in the middle of a cloudless day. An eclipse is when one object completely blocks another. If you’re big on vocabulary words, the word that describes this as a...
Field Trip to SLAC 2017

Field Trip to SLAC 2017

Our CCAS Members went on a road trip to SLAC on January 26, 2017! SLAC is the world’s longest particle accelerator and has done incredible science over the past 65 years of operation. Six scientist have won Nobel prizes for their work done at SLAC, and each year...
Mt Wilson Trip on Nov 5

Mt Wilson Trip on Nov 5

Mt. Wilson Observatory Trip November 5-6, 2016 Trip summary and observation by Glen Smeltzer             After meeting in the San Luis Obispo Home Depot parking lot, we boarded the bus and a car for the trip south.  We stopped in Santa Barbara for a quick lunch and a...
THIRD ANNUAL C.C.A.S. MENTORING PROGRAM

THIRD ANNUAL C.C.A.S. MENTORING PROGRAM

For C.C.A.S. members who own a telescope or plan to use or purchase one in the near future! WHAT:  Discussions and examples will include: Types of telescopes w/advantages and disadvantages of each. Telescope mountings and how they are used. Types of eyepieces and how...
2nd Annual “How to Use a Telescope” Workshop

2nd Annual “How to Use a Telescope” Workshop

WHO: For C.C.A.S. members who own a telescope or plan to use or purchase one in the near future. WHAT: Discussions and examples will include, Types of telescopes w/advantages and disadvantages of each. Telescope mountings and how they are used. Types of eyepieces and...
Solar Astronomy at Georgia Brown school

Solar Astronomy at Georgia Brown school

Georgia Brown school.  A little background: My daughter teaches first grade at the school, so last year she arranged for me to present to the third graders as part of their unit on the solar system.  That went so well that one of the teachers who was moved up to 5th...
Epsilon Aurigae

Epsilon Aurigae

Here are the links I promised you all about the Epsilon Aurigae debris cloud imaged by the CHARA Array. This is the star I was discussing with the Docent at Mt. Wilson when he was explaining the CHARA Array. This is the star in that triangle I pointed out to some of...
CCAS Members Trip to Mt Wilson Observatory!

CCAS Members Trip to Mt Wilson Observatory!

Here are several different member’s report on the Mt Wilson trip! Click here to download Dave Major’s account of the trip. The following is by Steve: Looking back, the trip was a great success. Even the mountain drive going up to the Observatory was very...
Report: Star Gazing on May 24th

Report: Star Gazing on May 24th

We had TWO locations for star gazing in May, and here’s the report for both of them: Talley Vineyards: “I arrived at Talley about 7PM to hazy skies with wind. I waited until 7:30 and then decided to set up. The winds died down and by 9:30 we had pretty...
May 9th Mentoring Program

May 9th Mentoring Program

Mentoring Program with Lee Coombs is coming up on May 9th! This group meets in the evening at Lee’s private observatory. This program is specifically for new members with little to no experience in astronomy. It’s designed to provide basic instruction about...

Earth Day Excellence

  Our happy club of friendly astronomers were busy at the Earth Day astounding folks with different views of the sun through a variety of different solar scopes, including optical and h-alpha filters, including a special guest appearance by David Gibb’s Lunt...
Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

The total lunar eclipse of April 15 lasted about 3.5 hours between late Monday and early Tuesday, with the Earth’s shadow slowing darkening the face of the so-called “Blood Moon” in a jaw-dropping sight for stargazers willing to stay up extra late or...
Successful Talk with Dr. Dave Mitchell

Successful Talk with Dr. Dave Mitchell

Very full meeting last night! Dr. Dave Mitchell spoke to about 85 people, including a bunch of youngsters who asked as many questions as the adults! It was so nice to see the interest from the community about astronomy. Dave had a hard time getting speaking about the...
Solar Presentation at Atascadero School

Solar Presentation at Atascadero School

Last week, Glen Smeltzer (that’s me) gave a Solar Presentation at Dennis Eaton’s 3rd grade class, San Gabriel Road Elementary School, Atascadero. Mr.Eaton’s had been studying the solar system, so I offered to let the students view the sun through my...
John Dobson

John Dobson

We lost one of the true giants of the amateur community on January 15, 2014. John Lowry Dobson was a popularizer of amateur astronomy. He is most notable for being the promoter of a design for a large, portable, low-cost Newtonian reflector telescope that bears his...
Solar X-Class Flare

Solar X-Class Flare

January 7, 2014: Major group of Sunspots yesterday that originated a huge x-class flare today! There wasn’t a flare yesterday through the H-Alpha. Photo by Dave Majors Read more about this...
Star Gazing at Georgia Brown Elementary School

Star Gazing at Georgia Brown Elementary School

On Friday 6 December, Joseph Carro conducted a star party for students of Georgia Brown Elementary School of Paso Robles. Three adults and eleven children enjoyed viewing the Moon, and the planet Venus. The night was clear, and several constellations were visible from...
What’s Up for the December Sky

What’s Up for the December Sky

Key Stars For observers at mid-northern latitudes, the Pleiades star cluster is due south around 10 P.M. local time. Above it is Perseus, flanked by Auriga and Cassiopeia. Orion can be found above the southeastern horizon, and between it and the celestial pole...
Star Party

Star Party

On November 1 Joseph Carro, Tom Frey, Dave Majors (aka Galileo), Gus Nelson, and one parent with an SCT were at Branch Elementary School outside Arroyo Grande.  The school had a very good turnout and we estimated at least 100 people. At one point all 5 telescopes...
Black Holes, Solar Flares and Jupiter’s Lasers

Black Holes, Solar Flares and Jupiter’s Lasers

On Saturday Oct 5th, 2013 at 10am Aurora Lipper gave an astronomical presentation at the SLO library to the general public entitled “Black Holes, Solar Flares, and Jupiter’s Lasers”. We had over 80 people join us on this bright sunny morning, Dave Majors, Joseph...
Constellation Photography by Lee Coombs

Constellation Photography by Lee Coombs

One of my earliest projects when I first started doing astrophotography was photographing all the Northern Hemisphere constellations. These early photos are still some of my most used photographs whenever I give talks yet were the easiest to take. With today’s...
Photographing the Sun by Lee Coombs

Photographing the Sun by Lee Coombs

With an abundance of light, photographing the sun may seem like an extremely easy thing to do. It is this abundance of light, which includes harmful infrared and ultraviolet radiation, that presents the problems associated with solar photography. As kids, many of us...
Reflections of an Obsession by Tom Frey

Reflections of an Obsession by Tom Frey

Some of you probably don’t know me but I’m called Obsession #860, a truss tube Dobonian telelscope. My credentials include an18 inch f/4.5 Galaxy objective mirror with an enhanced coating and a JMI NGC MAX set of digital setting circles. I’m constructed of maple...
My and My Scope by Ryan Koch

My and My Scope by Ryan Koch

Greetings, after having attended a few of the wonderful star parties put on by CCAS I’ve just recently decided to become a member and was given this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Ryan, or perhaps more commonly known as “that guy over there with the...
Me and My Telescopes by Jim Carlisle

Me and My Telescopes by Jim Carlisle

I started out in amateur astronomer as a kid interested in building my own telescope. At that time, that was the way most amateurs got their scopes, especially if you were too poor to buy one. My first telescope came from the advertisement pages of Popular Mechanics...
Me and My Telescope by Dr. Russ Genet

Me and My Telescope by Dr. Russ Genet

Since I couldn’t make up my mind which of the many telescopes I’ve been involved with over the last half-century was my favorite, Aurora agreed that I could write two articles: one on my past telescopes, and the other on my current telescope. Here is number one. I...
Me and My Telescope by Lee Coombs

Me and My Telescope by Lee Coombs

I have always had an interest in astronomy and, while in junior high school, fabricated a variety of telescopes from old eyeglass lenses or any other optics I could get my hands on. My first real astronomical telescope was one I built using a 6-inch f/8 mirror that...
Me and My Telescope by Aurora Lipper

Me and My Telescope by Aurora Lipper

My telescope was given to me as a Christmas present by my husband. The telescope was the “treasure” of a Treasure Hunt I was sent on, picking up parts and pieces of the telescope along the way (the motor drive was found in the clothes dryer). I had never owned a...
Curiosity Lands on Mars August 5th

Curiosity Lands on Mars August 5th

Curiosity has successfully landed on the surface of Mars! Here are some of the first images: More images are being posted by NASA here:  Mars Science Laboratory Image Gallery Live coverage starts at 8:00pm on NASA TV and 2:00pm at The Planetary Society’s...

Woo-hoo! Awesome job!

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Radio Astronomy by Tom Smith

Radio Astronomy by Tom Smith

It all started back in late 2001 when I became interested in obtaining an Amateur Radio License so that if I moved to some remote place without phones I would still be able to get hold of help. Well, I have always had a fascination with electronics and theory so once...

Downloads

Exploring Black Holes Chandra Favorites Celetial Fireworks: Supernova Remnants “Downtown” in the Milky Way The Solar System Through Chandra’s Eyes Collimation And The Newtonian...
My Brief Astronomy Adventure by Robin White

My Brief Astronomy Adventure by Robin White

In 1980 I decided to do something that was very unusual for me at the time….read a book! The book I chose to read was “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan. I know most of you reading this now have read Cosmos at some point in your life and therefor understand the impact it...
Me and My Scope by Dave Majors

Me and My Scope by Dave Majors

Although I am still fairly new to the club I have been interested in astronomy for many years. Born in 1958 I grew up alongside the space program. In the early 1960’s I lived in El Paso,Tx where my mom worked at White Sands Missile Range-apparently on classified...
Transit of Venus: June 5

Transit of Venus: June 5

    This event is over… thank you to everyone who participated. Together, CCAS reached over 1,000 people!       Here are some if the pictures from the transit: Credit: Dave Majors Credit: Dave Majors Credit: Dave Majors Credit: Joe Richards Credit: Glenn Bolivar...
Solar Eclipse on May 20

Solar Eclipse on May 20

On May 20, 2012, an annular eclipse of the Sun will be visible within a narrow corridor that will traverse the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the...
Fun with the Sun by Michael Spingler

Fun with the Sun by Michael Spingler

When I was 12 years old I had my first view of the sun with my homebuilt 8” Newtonian. Ever since that day I have been hooked on solar astronomy. My first solar filter incorporated a Hershel wedge design. This system used a non-aluminized diagonal which was inserted...
Great Moments in Astronomy by Walt Reil

Great Moments in Astronomy by Walt Reil

As many astronomers can tell you, holding star parties and heading into unknown territory to perform your stargazing can sometimes throw you a curve ball and present rather interesting and challenging situations. Aurora asked that I relate any events that might make...
Next Meeting: Sept 26

Next Meeting: Sept 26

An illustrated talk by Lee Coombs titled “Animals of the Deep Sky” will be presented at the September meeting. Lee will discuss the use of common names associated with deep sky objects with special emphasis on those names associated with the animal kingdom. Common...
Missed Tartar’s Talk?

Missed Tartar’s Talk?

Jill Tarter is Director, Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. On October 8th, she gave an amazing presentation to over 300 people at Cal Poly State University. Tarter’s work has brought her wide recognition in the scientific...
Me and “My” Scopes by Dr. Ray Weymann

Me and “My” Scopes by Dr. Ray Weymann

Please notice the quotation marks around the title, because none of the telescopes that have been a part of my life have been “mine”–I have never owned one! Lets begin in 1946, when I was a 6th grader in Miss Weber’s class. She was an...
Los Osos Library Success!

Los Osos Library Success!

At the invitation of Joe Laurenzi of the Los Osos Public Library, CCAS astronomers held a very successful star party featuring the first quarter Moon and Jupiter. Attending for CCAS were myself with  my 12 “ Orion Intelliscope, Joe Carro with his 11” Celestron,...
Trinity School Star Party

Trinity School Star Party

On Jan 7 Joe Carro and I attended a star party at Trinity Lutheran Church School in Paso Robles at the invitation of Jackie Loper- one of the teachers at this school. This event was a wild success with 50 or so students and parents in attendance. To start with- this...
Star Party at the Nipomo Native Gardens

Star Party at the Nipomo Native Gardens

December 1, 2010 Visitors: Administrators, Adults and students from the Guadalupe-Nipomo, Dunes Center Chris Estrada, Dave Majors, and I (Tom Frey) held a star party on 12/1/10 at the Nipomo Native Gardens (NNG) in Nipomo, CA. This was at the request made to Cindy...
Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

There’s a full lunar eclipse on Dec 21st at 3:17am Eastern Time (12:17am Pacific) which is visible from all of North America! If you have no idea what a lunar (as opposed to solar) eclipse is, check out this new JPL information video:...
West Templeton Star Gazing

West Templeton Star Gazing

On the night of 28 November 2010, a star party was held at a residence in West Templeton. Astronomer Joseph Carro met with Mary Gardner and members of her family. There were five adults and six children at the house on Claassen Road. Upon his arrival, the skies were...
Shooting Holes at the Boy Scout Convention

Shooting Holes at the Boy Scout Convention

From Dave Majors: I was at the Boy Scout event on 10/29-30 with over 500 scouts and possibly rainy weather, and it turned out better than I thought it would (given the weather forecast). It clouded over as the sun was going down but I did get the chance to shoot holes...
New Planet around Gliese 581

New Planet around Gliese 581

I figure we will be asked about the planet discovery that was in the paper so here are the stats: Star Name: Gliese 581 – also listed as variable star HO Lib Spect: M3V Mass: .031 Suns Luminosity: .013 Suns Apparent Mag: 10.55 Surface Temp: 3500 K Distance: 20...
1 Meter Telescope: Assembled

1 Meter Telescope: Assembled

After being worked on at Reed and Chris Estrada’s place in Lancaster, California, the 1 meter photometric telescope has been moved back to the Orion Observatory (near Santa Margarita Lake not far from San Luis Obispo, California). Below are some photographs (taken...
Star Party on Sept 4th Success!

Star Party on Sept 4th Success!

Wow… what a beautiful night! We had such a great time with the clear night as tons of folks trekked up the hill. Many thanks extend out to Kent Wallace, Pete Roebber, Chris and Reed Estrada for their time, telescopes, and talent! We had mostly ‘big...
Stary Party at the KOA

Stary Party at the KOA

The August 7, 2010 KOA star party was a success even though there were only 4 telescopes. Dave was there with his 12” Intelliscope, Kent with his 20” Starsplitter and Reed with his and Chris’s homebuilt 22”. A 6” Newt on a German equatorial arrived after...
Thunder at a Star Party!

Thunder at a Star Party!

From VP Chris Estrada: The last Star Party on July 10, 2010 at the Santa Margarita KOA had mixed results… Only 4 scopes turned up… Reed Estrada and I, Tom Frey, Pete Roebbers and David Majors… There was a modest public turn out… The afternoon...
Large Alt-Az Telescope at Big Bear

Large Alt-Az Telescope at Big Bear

One Meter Photometric Telescope at RTMC (Riverside Telescope Maker’s Conference) on May 15, Big Bear Lake, California Report from: Russ Genet, Reed Estrada, and VP Chris Estrada The one meter wooden prototype photometric telescope made it to RTMC this year.  First...

Talk at Cambria Rotary Club

The CCAS was invited to be the guest speaker for the Cambria Rotary Club on Friday, June 18th, 2010, who meets weekly at the Cambria Pines Lodge.  Member Joseph Carro was the presenter: “The meeting of the Cambria Rotary went very well.  I had a presentation...

Star Gazing and Wine!

The CCAS was invited to co-host a wine-tasting event under the stars on June 19, 2010 at sunset.  This is the fifth year in a row that we’ve had this wonderful opportunity to share with the public, and we hope to continue this event in the future. “Cass...
Star Party Success!

Star Party Success!

The June 12th, 2010 public star party at the KOA campground was a HUGE success. It was well attended by both astronomers and the general public. The Night started off a little breezy but it rapidly calmed at dusk. The conditions where clear and cool, which made for a...
Star Party for the American Cancer Society

Star Party for the American Cancer Society

The CCAS was invited to host a star-gazing event on Saturday, June 5, 2010 with the American Cancer Society. The event was called Camp Reach for the Stars “Creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays…” According to one of the organizers...
Omega Centauri Visible at Dancing Deer!

Omega Centauri Visible at Dancing Deer!

We were at the new star site, Dancing Deer Ranch in Templeton on Saturday, June 5th, 2010. Although we weren’t sure what to expect to see with the scopes (it was really our first time out there), we were quite impressed! Here’s the scoop on the scopes:...

Report from June 5th Star Gazing…

On June 5,  CCAS members were finally able to give the Dancing Deer Ranch site a good workout. Attending with their scopes were the dobs: Aurora’s 8 year old son Benji with his 3” scope. Kent with his 20” Tom with his 17” Dave and Andy with their 12”...
New Star Site for CCAS Members

New Star Site for CCAS Members

Saturday, June 5, 2010 at Sunset CCAS Members are invited to a private star party just for CCAS members at an 80-acre ranch in Templeton, owned by retired professor Peter Huber (who is also an amateur astronomer). The ranch is an eco-friendly retreat center available...

Boy Scout Star Party

The CCAS provided a star gazing event on May 15th, 2010 to Boy Scout Pack 91 at Lopez Lake – here are the highlights! From Member Joseph Carro: We met at Camp Mabel French at 8pm to find about 20 Boy and Girl Scouts and about 15 adults who accompanied them....
Sidewalk Astronomy Day Success!

Sidewalk Astronomy Day Success!

We had lots of sun at the Earth Day event in Mission Plaza, SLO on Sat. April 24th, 2010. Representing CCAS were members Dave and President Aurora, who found they were the only booth that didn’t bring a tent for shade, as their exhibit included five...

1-Meter Telescope – BIG Hit!

Report from VP Chris Estrada on the monthly CCAS meeting for April 2010: The meeting went great – we had lots of people both young and “seasoned” alike. The power point, though a little mistimed was full of interesting information ( I should know I...

Star Party Report from Dave M.

Dancing Deer Ranch 17 Apr 2010: We had a small group of 7 people  and 2 telescopes. Just a nice small informal group. We had a retired physicist who is a new member to the club along with one of Peter’s staff who live on the grounds. Along with Aurora we had a...

Space and Astronomy News

YouTube:  KSBY TV News Report of Delta IV Heavy launch from Vandenberg in December 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upq6bsvjLS0&feature=youtube_gdata Santa Maria Times Article: VAFB Gets Ready for Heavy Duty  (Delta IV Heavy)...

Hubble Space Telescope

This is Part 1 in a series of ten videos produced by the ESA for public distribution about the Hubble Space Telescope and much more. If you want to watch all ten videos, click on the player below and you’ll be taken to You Tube, where you can access all...