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VBAS Calendar

January 2020
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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

January 2020 Planetarium Shows

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

The Ice Giants -  Saturday, January 4th, 11th and 25th at 7:30 PM

Lurking in the largely unexplored region of the Solar System are two serene and intriguing planets, which are nicknamed "Ice Giants." The first and last time a spacecraft ever ventured close to them was in the late 1980s. Since then astronomers have been learning about these worlds through observations from the Earth. Join us as we explore these mysterious worlds.

Presented by Dr. Naveen Vetcha, VBAS Past President and Jourdain Johnson.

How to Use a Telescope -  Saturday, January 18th at 7:30 PM

A discussion of how telescopes work and the pros and cons of various types of telescopes and mounts. Discussion of eyepieces, what are the best low power eyepiece focal lengths for 1.25” or 2” focusers, how to determine the best focal length eyepiece for deep sky objects. Also, a discussion of accessories which will help with planetary and lunar observation.

Presented by Frank Schenck, VBAS director of facilities.

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

January Monthly Meeting

Friday January 17: Monthly Meeting
7:30: Sounding Rocket Program; Free Pizza at 7:00

Dr. David McKenzie (MSFC NASA solar scientist) will talk about the Sounding
Rocket Program.

CLASP-2, short for Chromospheric Layer Spectropolarimeter-
2, is a sounding rocket mission. Smaller, more affordable and
faster to design and build than large-scale satellite missions,
sounding rockets offer a way for the team to test their latest
ideas and instruments — and achieve rapid science results.

Join us Friday to learn more about this cutting-edge program!


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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