In addition to the "Friday Night Open Houses", which are free and open to the public every clear Friday evening at Broemmelsiek Park, we have selectively scheduled some special dates this year with the St Charles County Parks department.
All Public events feature several telescopes and operators who provide views thru their scopes free of charge. Both members and non-members bring scopes. Anyone who needs help with their own scopes are encouraged to bring them, however please have them available for us to help you with them before sundown. If your scope is working fine, but you'd like help to find some objects, please just ask one of our members (most of which will have a name tag). We are glad to help you find things with your scope, please ask!
General rules at star parties apply to help all of us retain our night vision. Please avoid bringing flashlights (unless they are red or covered by red plastic, and kept pointed "downward") or any other lighted devices. Try to avoid shining car headlights at the telescope field as you park or leave, else please minimize it as much as possible while remaining safe (use your parking lights). Again, we are at Broemmelsiek Park every Friday night if the weather is decent.
Here are the "Special Events" events planned for 2013:
[ St Charles County Parks Info: Phone: 636-949-7535 ( or email: email@example.com) ]
[ ASEM Contact info: Outreach@asemonline.org ]
Planned 2013 Events:
MARCH 2013 COMET C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) - Broemmelsiek Park (post 3/12/13)
Note: Initial (and perhaps best observations) are planned to be at the DOE mound at Weldon Springs, just south of Francis Howell H.S. Later, observations at Broemmelsiek Park are expected in the week or so after perihelion which is on March 9. Time will tell how good this comet will show. For now, the only solid plans are for the initial observations at the DOE Mound when the weather permits. Timing will be anytime after March 7 (die hards at DOE Mound) with current best views expected to be March 12 and 13. Of course, weather is a huge factor. Contact Outreach@asemonline.org after we have first observations for latest news on where we will be observing this comet. It is fair to assume that if this comet is showing well, we may be at Broemmelsiek Park or elsewhere taking pictures and viewing this comet on most clear nights (not just Fridays) while we have it. Weather-permitting, Friday March 15 ("Open-house") should be a good time to view this comet at Broemmelsiek Park. General updates will be posted here. March viewing will be best in the evening the first half of the month, before the moon gets bright. Plan on arriving at sunset, and viewing this comet 30+ minutes after sunset. At some point mid-month we may do more viewing of this comet from Whiteside Conservation Area in the hour before sunrise. Current expectations for this comet range from magnitude 2 or 3 at brightest, and should be mag. 6 or brighter for nearly a month. We'll see. BEST VIEWS OF THESE COMETS WILL PROBABLY BE IN BINOCULARS (50MM +). It is very important to have a clear, unobstructed Western horizon for views of this comet as it will stay low in the twilight throughout March. See the Sky & Telescope update page here for reference:
Note also, we may get a second Spring comet [C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)] to entertain us in April! Stay tuned.
FRI SEPT 6 FAMILY CAMPING EVENT - Klondike Park (date currently tentative)
Setup will be at the end of the parking lot for Shelter #1, near the entrance. This location is handy for the campground attendees. Our telescope operators will be at both Broemmelsiek Park and at Klondike Park on this night. Both parks events are open to the public. Consider a day at the local wineries, or spend time with nature at the park, and then a night with the stars. This is a very cool park, located on the Katy Trail. Contact the St Charles County Parks (see above) to reserve a cabin or camp space, or else simply drop by for the evening. This stargazing event will start shortly after sunset, and the telescope operators will pack up sometime between 10:30pm and midnight.
Both locations offer restroom facilities. If it is hot outside, you are advised to bring liquids, sunscreen (for daytime events), and repellent!
Mid NOVEMBER thru DECEMBER COMET C/2012 S1 (ISON) - Broemmelsiek Park
This comet is expected to be VERY bright and may be a truly historic "Great" comet - - "if" it survives a very close pass to the Sun at perihelion. We will start observing this comet at its' approach, likely on October mornings. This comet is expected to be primarily a morning comet. Perihelion is November 28, with best views likely in mid December. In late December and in January it may be a good evening object as well. Best views of this comet are expected to be naked-eye, if it survives perihelion. Again, stay tuned.