Von Braun Astronomical Society

Congrats to new Eagle Scout

Congratulations to VBAS member, Benton Alcorn for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout.  His Eagle Scout Project involved the addition to the floor in front of the C-16 telescope in the Angele Observatory.  This addition greatly enhances access to the C-16 by members and the public.  Benton's Eagle Scout Court of Honor will be October 1, 2010.

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President's Message
   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 that was ordered from a Berlin manufacturer.  The observatory was a "hut" with a removable roof.  It didn't survive WWII but the telescope tube and wooden tripod stand did and are in the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin today.  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.  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 members who fervently believed in space exploration.  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 members with opportunities for telescopic viewing of the night sky.  We have astronomy programs, star parties and astronomy related special events.  Last October we participated with NASA in the LCROSS program and at our observatory people watched as the Centaur impacted the Moon.  We filmed the impact and obtained our own images of the impact dust to analyze for water.  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.

Al Reisz,
President
Huntsville Sky Conditions

Click on above for details.
Weekly Planetarium Programs
 Join us for our next planetarium program about "Constellations: Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila" on Saturday, August 14th at 7:30 pm!   View Details

This month we are touring some constellations that can be seen in our current night sky when weather permits.  We'll talk about the mythology associated with the star patterns and locate the interesting deep sky objects while perhaps teaching you something about Astronomy that you didn't already know.  Bring the whole family because the kids will want to get involved in the action too!

Admission is $5 for Adults, $3 for Students, and free for children under 6, as well as Members.  Weather permitting, you'll enjoy viewing the night sky through our telescopes too!  Look for other upcoming program details by clicking on any Saturday date on our Public Events calendar on the left towards the top of this page.

Monthly Society Meetings
Our next meeting will be held on Friday, September 17th at 7 pm and we would like to invite any one with an interest in astronomy to join us for one of our society meetings that are held on the third Friday of each month, except for December.  Watch for additional details to be posted soon.

If the weather permits, we always use our telescopes after the programs to enjoy the night sky and we hope that you will join us!



    


   

 

 

 

 

If you're interested in becoming a member, click on "Join VBAS" on the blue bar above for additional information.


 

 

 

 

 

VBAS is a member society of the Astronomical League.