VBAS Calendar

December 2017
S M T W T F S
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

APOD
Astronomy Picture of the Day
APOD
  • A Wintry Shower

    Four Geminids flash through northern skies in this wintry night skyscape. Four Geminids flash through northern skies in this wintry night skyscape.


Monte Sano State Park

Banner

Von Braun Astronomical Society

December 2017 Planetarium Shows

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

Star of WonderStar of Wonder - Saturdays, December 2, 9, 16, & 23 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 various VBAS presenters.

Tentative presenters:

Dec. 2 & 16 Special guests, Magi from the East: Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar with gifts for the young ones and treats for all others.

Dec. 9 Tom Burleson, VBAS President

Dec. 23 Beth Bero, Veteran VBAS presenter

The Skies You Don't See in Huntsville - Saturday, December 30 at 7:30 PM Spitz A3P Projector

What does the night sky look like at the North Pole? The Equator? Is it any different than what we see in Alabama? On Saturday, Dec. 30 we are going to use the planetarium star projector to take a virtual tour around the globe. We'll experience the longest day and the longest night at the poles. And we'll discover why the people who live on the Earth's Equator are luckier than us at higher latitudes. If you have ever wanted to see all the things that the star projector can do then this is the planetarium show for you! Presented by Gena Crook, VBAS Director of Education and Programs.

Remember that if weather permits, there will be telescopes open for viewing.

If you have your own telescope, feel free to set it up after the show. If you need some assistance with setting up or operation your telescope, our ever helpful observing crew will try to help you  so that you can better enjoy the night sky.

Admission for Saturday Planetarium Shows:

Admission is $5 for Adults, $3 for Students, and free for children under 6, as well as VBAS members. 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.

For information about our Planetarium shows, as well as special group scheduling, and pricing, please contact our Planetarium Director,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or our Director of Education and Programs,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Monthly Society Meeting

No VBAS Monthly Meeting in December.

Next VBAS Monthly Meeting is Friday, January 19 at 7:30 PM. Pizza at 7:00 PM.

In keeping with our long standing tradition of allowing members to take time to celebrate Christmas with friends and family we will not be having our monthly meeting in December. We are planning a line up of new speakers, activities and astronomy related demonstrations for our monthly meetings starting in January. We are also considering having a "Swap Meet" for one of our meetings where members can bring astronomy equipment for sale, trade or shop for those post Christmas bargains! Please feel free to email me with any topics or speakers you know that would be willing to speak to our members.

Finally, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Don Reed

Vice-President

 

New Books in the Library

Written by Administrator Sunday, 26 November 2017 20:49

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.

   

A Brief VBAS History

Written by Al Reisz Sunday, 07 November 2010 20:45

 

In 1954 Huntsville High School student Sam Pruitt wrote a letter asking Dr. von Braun, then at Redstone Arsenal, to build an observatory for school children interested in astronomy. Von Braun didn’t hesitate in organizing his colleagues, students and others in the community to build our observatory on Monte Sano. Von Braun was our society’s first president [then known as the Rocket City Astronomical Association (RCAA)]. After his death we re-named our society in his honor. VBAS is an astronomical society for amateur and professional astronomers. VBAS is a special astronomical society in that our origins began with the citizens who fervently believed in space exploration before it began. In the early 1960s NASA scientists used the telescopes at VBAS to help select lunar landing sites for the Apollo program. VBAS history is storied with space exploration pioneers such as Oberth, von Braun, Stuhlinger, Swanson and Angele. Many of our members were involved in developing the Saturn V, the rocket that sent the Apollo astronauts to walk on and explore the Moon. Our planetarium has a shield of the Saturn V third stage fuel tank top half serving as our projection dome. VBAS is a society that provides the public with opportunities for telescopic viewing of the night sky. We have astronomy programs, star parties and astronomy related special events. Still true to our beginnings we continue to give presentations in astronomy and star tours to student and other groups. We welcome those of you with interests in exploring the stars to join us.

26 June 57 The Rocket City Astronomical Association (now the Von Braun Astronomical Society) put out the first edition of the locally edited Space Journal, a new magazine dealing with space travel and the astrosciences. The first issue was dedicated to Dr. Hermann Oberth, who is known as the

26 June 57 The Rocket City Astronomical Association (now the Von Braun Astronomical Society) put out the first edition of the locally edited Space Journal, a new magazine dealing with space travel and the astrosciences. The first issue was dedicated to Dr. Hermann Oberth, who is known as the "father of astronautics." Left to right: Dr. Hermann Oberth, Dr. Wernher von Braun, RCAA (VBAS) President, and Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger.

VBAS is the second observatory that Wernher von Braun was instrumental in building. As a student at the Lietz boys high school that he attended in Berlin, at the school’s North Sea campus on the island Spiekeroog, he influenced the school to buy a telescope and build a small observatory in 1927. He selected a reflector with a 95-mm objective lens.

Al Reisz,

Past-President

   
joomla template
Banner