Welcome to the Official Home Page of the West Jersey Astronomical Society (formerly known as the Willingboro Astronomical Society). Our club is in its 50th 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 (dues can now be paid through PayPal).
Announcements Last Update: Friday, September 01, 2017
|Aug 21||New Moon at 2:30 pm EDT in Leo. There will be a total solar eclipse on a narrow path crossing the continental USA, but in the Philadelphia area, it will just be a partial eclipse with a maximum obscuration of 75% at 2:44 pm. Click here to see general time and position information for the sun, as well as graphical representations of the lunar silhouette on the sun at several points during the eclipse in the Philadelphia area.|
|Sept 1||Formal Meeting, 7:30 pm at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ. As always, guests are welcome and no astronomical experience is necessary. Use the Main Entrance and check with the security guard who will direct you to the conference room.|
|Sept 6||Full Moon at 3:03 am EDT in Aquarius. The moon will be 1.4° from Neptune (center to center).|
|Sept 15||Informal Meeting, 7:30 pm at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ.|
|Sept 23||Public Star Watch at Batsto. Check back here on the day of the event for the go/no-go weather call.|
Photo Spotlight Image posted 8.21.2017
Finally, the Big Day has arrived, August 21, 2017, when the path of the Total Solar Eclipse will cross the continental USA. Alas, for those of us remaining in the Philadelphia area, we'll see just a partial eclipse, although it will reach 75% obscuration (the percentage of the sun's apparent surface covered by the moon). Equipped with proper solar filtration, we'll see a nice "crescent sun" at maximum eclipse (about 2:45 pm EDT). Note: Never look at the sun without a proper solar filter. Even with only 25% of the Sun remaining visible, it can easily and quickly cause severe damage to the unprotected eye!
The cause of the eclipse, by its passage in front of the sun, is the Earth's Moon, which is shown in the picture above. It was captured at 5:23 am EDT (52 minutes before sunrise) on Sunday morning, August 20, 2017, when the moon was at 5° altitude. It was little more than 33 hours from New Moon, roughly equivalent to the time of maximum eclipse, and was essentially the last view of the moon (without using extraordinary techniques) before its silhouette appears in front of the sun on Monday afternoon.
Taken from Carranza Field in Wharton State Forest, NJ, by WAS member Joe Stieber with a Canon 6D digital SLR camera and a Tamron SP 150-600 mm f/5-6.3 zoom lens (on a fixed tripod) set to 300 mm focal length. Exposed 1 second at f/8, ISO 4000.
Club member Arnie Rosemoff sent the following picture of the crescent Moon (between the two prominent trees) from Prineville, Oregon, which is on the path of totality.
It was taken at 5:37 am PDT with an Apple iPhone 6s. Exposed 1/15 second at f/2.2, ISO 250. At the time, the Moon was 30 hr before new. The bright object in the upper-right corner is the planet Venus.
Click here for the previous home page image.
Note: Club President, Roger Cowley, has published a new book, Gauging the Solar System: Measuring Astronomical Values for Yourself. Have fun and do more than just snap pictures of the sky! Available at Amazon too.
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.
USNO Solar System Object Apparent Disc