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, including a PayPal link to pay dues (click here to make a separate donation). Members in good standing have access to the gated Barnegat Road Observing Site in the dark New Jersey Pines, while Atsion Field in the Pines is available to those with valid membership cards.



Vice President:



Al Meloni

Wade Evans

Suzanne Leap

Jim Brennan


Announcements   Last Update: Friday, April 29, 2022

Apr 29 Mercury will be close to the Pleiades star cluster during evening twilight (see chart below). The crescent moon will join them on May 2.
Apr 30 New Moon at 4:28 pm EDT in northern Aries. The bright planets Venus and Jupiter will be just half-a-degree apart in morning twilight, similarly so on May 1 too (see second chart below).
May 5 Public Star Watch at Historic Smithville Park in Easthampton, NJ (near Mt Holly), 7:30 to 10:30 pm. Participation is limited and guests must register (no fee) at the Burlington County Parks site (at the top, select Nature Programs, scroll down to the Outdoors section and click Star Watches). Check back here on the day of the event for the go/no-go weather call.
May 6 Formal Meeting, at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ, 7:30 pm. We are now meeting in-person at Virtua, but it will also be simulcast via Zoom (log-on information posted to the WAS e-group). Guests are welcome at Virtua.
May 16 Full Moon at 12:14 am EDT in Libra. There will be a total lunar eclipse with maximum eclipse at 12:12 am, but first umbral contact (partial eclipse begins) is at 10:28 pm EDT on May 15. Totality begins at 11:29 pm.
May 20 Informal Meeting, at the Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Moorestown, NJ, 7:30 pm.
May 21 Public Star Watch at Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest, NJ. Starting time is 8:00 pm.

Photo Spotlight   Image posted 4.25.2022

Observing Opportunities: The often overlooked and sometimes difficult-to-see planet Mercury is currently offering a favorable eastern elongation after sunset. As shown here on April 29, 2022, Mercury will be relatively bright at magnitude +0.4 and accessible at 10 altitude (and setting) about 50 minutes after sunset. In particular, Mercury will be close to the Pleiades star cluster (and almost as close April 28 & 30). Note: Some planetarium programs, depending on the settings, may be showing hope-to-be-bright comet C/2021 O3 (PANSTARRS) about about 4 below Mercury at the time of the chart above. However, post-perihelion reports at COBS (Comet Observation Database) have been negative, so it may have disintegrated as it rounded the sun.

Check out Sky & Telescope's This Week's Sky at a Glance, April 29 - May 6 for additional upcoming celestial events. In particular, as shown below, Jupiter and Venus will be just half a degree apart in morning twilight on April 30 (not April 29 as indicated by the S&T article) as well as May 1. They will be about 6.5 to 7 altitude (and rising) at 5 am on those two dates.

Charts prepared with SkySafari 7.


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)

United States Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications