West Jersey Astronomical Society  www.wasociety.us

Welcome to the Official Home Page of the West Jersey Astronomical Society (additionally known as the Willingboro Astronomical Society). Our club is in its 55th year of serving both the public and the amateur astronomers of the Delaware Valley. We have a long history of public education, star parties, interesting meetings, in-depth training and experienced leadership. We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Click here for membership information. Use of the gated Barnegat Road Observing Site in the dark New Jersey Pines is available to members in good standing, and now, Atsion Field for those with valid membership cards.

 

President:

Vice President:

Secretary:

Treasurer:

Al Meloni

Wade Evans

Suzanne Leap

Jim Brennan

     

Announcements   Last Update: Sunday, January 16, 2022

Jan 21 Informal Meeting, at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ, 7:00 pm. We are now meeting in-person at Virtua! It will also be simulcast via Zoom (log-on information posted to the WAS e-group). Guests are welcome at Virtua.
Feb 1 New Moon at 12:46 am EST in Capricornus.
Feb 4 Formal Meeting, at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ, 7:00 pm.
Apr 9 NEAF, the Northeast Astronomy Forum returns in-person to Suffren, NY, April 9-10, 2022.
Note: The Public Star Watch season for 2021 at Batsto was lost to COVID-19 restrictions; however, plans for 2022 are already in progress. Member observing at the Barnegat Road Observing Site commenced in July 2021 (sessions organized through the WAS e-group), and WAS members are now permitted nighttime observing at Atsion Field in Wharton State Forest, as long as they are carrying their membership card and have astronomical equipment in use.

Photo Spotlight   Image posted 1.16.2022

Club member Joe Stieber captured this image of the planet Venus shortly before sunrise on the morning of January 15, 2022, from Wharton State Forest, NJ. Following inferior conjunction on January 8, 2022, when Venus vanished from it's usual brilliant appearance in a dark sky, it reappeared bright and easily visible with unaided eyes as the "morning star" in the constellation Sagittarius a week later. This single frame was captured at 6:41 am EST with a Canon RP DSLM camera and a Canon 400 mm f/5.6L lens (on a fixed tripod), uncropped for a field 5.1 wide x 3.4 high. It was exposed 1/60 second at f/8, ISO 3200.

The crescent shape of Venus (currently about 1/30 the apparent diameter of the moon) is barely visible in the view above (it was 2.0% illuminated at the time). Here's a another image captured half an hour later, at 7:11 am, and shortly before sunrise at 7:18 am. It was taken with the same camera setup, but exposed 1/1000 at f/11, ISO 1600 (now in much brighter twilight, so six stops less exposure) and cropped to about 10% of the original linear dimensions for a field 0.49 high x 0.33 wide. The 2% crescent still looks somewhat thicker than it appears visually in a telescopic view because of poor seeing at the low altitude. However, it was clearly a crescent with 8x42 binoculars.

 

Click here for the previous home page image.

 

Click to contact the . Members are encouraged to submit their astronomical images to the webmaster for inclusion on the WAS Home Page. Be sure to include a description, date and time, as well as equipment and photo data.

Astrospheric Forecast for the Barnegat Road Observing Site

Star & Constellation Pronunciation Guides

Lunar X Predictions (UT)

 

With great sadness, we mourn the passing of long-time member, Alan Daroff, on November 27, 2021.

              
                                    Alan, circa 2001

      
    Alan, the "Sol Man," with his backyard solar scope, circa 1970s?

Alan submitted this, his final challenge: He took a snapshot of his TV screen saver showing the Summer Milky Way as viewed from Thailand, so the orientation differs from what we would see at 40N. Three major planets are in the TV image, can you find and identify them, and based on their position, can you tell when the TV image was taken? Here's a smaller version (2400 x 1800, 369 KB) and here's the larger original version (4032 x 3024, 2.56 MB). Bonus question: Can you identify the bright celestial object near the right edge of the TV screen? Ignore the room reflections at the bottom and the right-hand side of the TV screen. Posted 03-Sept-2021.

During the meeting on Sept 17, we reviewed the picture. Here's a labeled version showing the solution.