From the Director





by Rex Parker, Director

A Perfect StarQuest Weekend in Hope NJ. The 23 AAAP members who convened at the Hope Conference and Renewal Center in northern NJ Sept 22-23 had a truly stellar weekend with warm weather and the clearest skies we’ve had in a long while. The Milky Way was readily visible high overhead and many of the Messier and NGC objects we sometimes struggle to see were being picked up by nearly everyone on the observatory field. Several moderately sized portable refractors (3-5 diameter lenses) set up on equatorial and alt-az mounts turned heads all night long with remarkable displays of real-time CCD imaging. This technique, referred to as electronic-assisted astronomy (EAA) continues to develop as an area of high interest in our club. A variety of portable Schmidt-Cassegrains and Newtonian telescopes were also on display, including the novel binocular telescopes with original triangulation-finding method designed and made by member Peter Wraight.

At the October meeting we’ll ask the question – shall we continue the StarQuest tradition and request a reservation at Hope Center again for fall 2018? The low moon weekends to consider are Sept 7-8, Oct 5-6, and Nov 2-3 in 2018 – please give it some thought.

Telescopes are readied as darkness descends on the observing field at Jersey StarQuest Sept 23 in Hope NJ.

Goodbye Cassini – Now Part of Saturn. Always remember the amazing and beautiful images and the science discoveries made by Cassini and it’s project team in the nearly-20 year mission to Saturn. A good way for us to keep those memories alive is to see Saturn with our own eyes. Now the giant ringed planet is well-positioned for splendid telescopic views just after sunset this month. Members of AAAP as well as the public can see Saturn – and imagine the ghost of Cassini – through our state of-the-art telescopes at Washington Crossing Observatory each Friday night through the end of October. Members also have the privilege to be at the observatory any other night if a trained keyholder has opened and is using the facility, preferably before colder weather arrives. To participate send your request, indicating which nights you’re interested in coming to the observatory, by e-mail to

This entry was posted in October 2017, Sidereal Times and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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