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VBAS Calendar

December 2019
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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Monte Sano State Park


VBAS Sponsors


Von Braun Astronomical Society

Winter Solstice Star Party

VBAS’ Special Interest Group (The SIG)

will be hosting our first

Winter Solstice Star-Party Party!

December 6, 2019

Beginning at 7:00 PM

We’ll have wine, craft beer, cheese…

Please bring your own holiday treats to share with others

Weather permitting we’ll be observing on the field

We will also be helping out with the usual SIG stuff:

Scope buyers’ advice; Telescope workshop; How-to TBD

Perhaps a star show; Observing tips

About the VBAS Special Interest Group:

The VBAS SIG is an informal gathering for Members and Non-members alike, and meets on the first Friday of the month.
Beginner’s are especially encouraged to attend.

If you have questions about your equipment – like your new telescope - bring it along. If you have something to present or share, Bring it along!

December 2019 Planetarium Shows

We Host a Public Planetarium Show Every Saturday in the Wernher von Braun Planetarium that Begins at 7:30 PM

Star of Wonder -  Saturday, November 30, December 7, 14, and 21  at 7:30 PM

What exactly was the star that the Wisemen saw? Was it a star that stood in the sky two-thousand years ago and marked a single location in Bethlehem? Each year at this special time, VBAS turns back the hands of time to look into the sky of long ago and search for this mysterious object. As we ponder the skies of Bethlehem, we’ll explore several possibilities including comets, meteors, novae and other phenomena as well as examine the origins of some of the Christmas traditions we celebrate today.

Presented by Beth Bero and Don Reed

Admission for Saturday Planetarium Shows:

Admission is $5 for Adults, $3 for Students, and free for children under 6, as well as VBAS members. All seating is general admission payable at the door. We are unable to offer pre-sale admission. Weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to look at some of the wonders of the universe through our telescopes following the planetarium program with the help of our experienced and knowledgeable observing crew.


Monthly Society Meeting

December Monthly Meeting

We recently received an offer from a former member to present, and we want to welcome John
Thomas on Friday, December 20! We will have pizza at 7:00pm and the presentation at 7:30. Bring
a friend and please join us that night.

Mr. Thomas’ talk covers a historical survey of Mars, including current Mars missions, and a
brief discussion of future Mars missions. Finally, he will present a simulation of satellites in orbit
around Mars, and Martian geography and places, using the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter
(MOLA) elevation data gathered by the Mars Global Surveyor.

Mr. Thomas is a native of Alabama. He was born in Gadsden and graduated from Jacksonville
State. A past member of VBAS, he currently resides in Dayton, Ohio, where he is a Technology
Analyst with the City of Dayton. An active Amateur Astronomer, Currently he is the 1st Vice
President and ALCOR for the Cincinnati Astronomical Society. He is a member-at-large of the
Astronomical League, and Secretary of the Astronomical League Great Lakes Region.


Night at the Observatory

New Program!

Night At The Observatory

VBAS is pleased to announce a new program that provides guests an opportunity to direct an observing session using the historic Swanson 21” telescope with a modern digital camera. Our Night At The Observatory is a personalized program that allows small groups to experience an evening of observing deep-sky objects of their choice. And the fun doesn’t end when the night is done because at the end of the evening you will take home the images acquired during your observing session. A VBAS certified operator will assist in target acquisition and imaging and can make suggestions for interesting deep-sky objects to discover.

Your Night At The Observatory requires no prior training or experience with telescopes. You will learn some of the fascinating history of the observatory and how to operate the large telescope. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Observatory Director, to book your own Night At The Observatory. Click the link below for details and prices.

VBAS Night At The Observatory


Space Journal Archive

Space JournalDuring 1957-1959, Rocket City Astronomical Association (now Von Braun Astronomical Society), published an auspicious quarterly magazine, titled Space Journal.  Dr. Wernher von Braun, Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, and other leading aerospace scientists and engineers of the era, contributed articles and essays.  Con Pederson, Harry H.K. Lange, and Frederick Ordway III, who were later hired by Stanley Kubrick to help with set design on 2001: A Space Odyssey, contributed art and design work to the magazine.  All seven issues of Space Journal, have now been digitized, and are available for viewing and/or download  at the following links:

Space Journal - Issue #1

Space Journal - Issue #2

Space Journal - Issue #3

Space Journal - Issue #4

Space Journal - Issue #5

Space Journal - Issue #6

Space Journal - Issue #7

Thanks to Mr. PD Nicaise, Wade Sanders, Frank Schenck, and UAH Special Collections & Archives for contributing to this project.


New Books in the Library

Last Updated on Monday, 01 July 2019 19:52

Our Librarians, Jeff Bennett and Amanda Campbell have acquired some new books for the Library. Please click on the Library link in the menu above and check them out.

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