VBAS Calendar

July 2018
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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

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Von Braun Astronomical Society

July 2018 Planetarium Shows

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

Mars Curiosity Rover Self Portrait/NASAHistory of Mars Exploration - Saturdays, July 7, 14, & 28 at 7:30 PM

Join us for an evening discussing the history of Martian exploration! From the first robotic craft to future missions to the red planet, you'll learn about technologies, Martian composition, and how we learn about Earth using Mars. Presented by Haley Rice.

 

Milky Way Galaxy/NASA Concept ArtThe Milky Way - Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 PM 

On a clear dark night the stars that we see appear to be uncountable. These thousands of stars are only a small part of a grouping known as the Milky Way galaxy. Stars, be they young or old, are not the only objects that can be found in our galaxy. Many stars are part of star clusters, they along with gas and dust can all be found within our galaxy. What were the early concepts about the Milky Way? How did we determine our place and the true nature of the galaxy? What’s at the center of the Milky Way, possibly a black hole? Join us at the Von Braun Planetarium at 7:30 on Saturday, July 21 as we investigate the Milky Way galaxy. Presented by VBAS Past-Planetarium Director, Roy Young.

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

The next VBAS Monthly Meeting is Friday, July 20 at 7:30 PM.

Join us for our next meeting on July 20 at 7:30 PM, pizza at 7:00 PM. This month, Casey Good will present a live webinar (technology permitting) about the Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Casey GoodCasey Good is the program coordinator for the Kitt Peak Visitor Center's astrophotography programs. Since joining Kitt Peak in 2015, he has been involved in all facets of astronomy outreach, establishing new program offerings and creating astrophotography workshops geared towards today's hobbyists. Casey's work has been awarded in several publications, including Amateur Astronomy Picture of the Day, Astrobin's Image of the Day, Astronomy Magazine's Picture of the Day, as well as being featured in Southwest Magazine and Universe Today.

Casey captures many images from Kitt Peak, but is also a member of Deep Sky West and has a backyard observatory in Marana, Arizona, where he and his wife Katlyn live with their two dogs. In "real life," Casey is a finance professional specializing in government and non-profit organizations.

Don Reed

President

 

New Books in the Library

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2018 21:58 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

   
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