The Chester County Astronomical Society was formed as a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and enjoyment of astronomy for the general public. The Society holds meetings (with member or guest speakers) and observing sessions once a month. Anyone who is interested in astronomy is welcome to attend meetings and become a member of the Society. In addition to the monthly meetings and observing sessions, the Society also provides a variety of services to the public, including astronomy classes as well as telescopes and expertise for "star parties" for school, scout, and other civic groups.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - CCAS Monthly Meeting, ONLINE via Zoom. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Eric Jensen, PhD, Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science, Swarthmore University. His presentation is entitled “New Exoplanet Discoveries from NASA’s TESS Mission."
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - CCAS Monthly Meeting, ONLINE via Zoom. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Dr. Sarah Dodson, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware. Her presentation is entitled “Enceladus and Titan – A Dance of Two Saturnian Moons.”
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - CCAS Monthly Meeting, ONLINE via Zoom. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Member Speaker: John Conrad, CCAS member and NASA Solar System Ambassador, will present “The James Webb Space Telescope and Other IR Missions.”
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - CCAS Monthly Meeting, ONLINE via Zoom. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Member Speaker: Dennis O’Leary, CCAS member and NASA Solar System Ambassador, will present“ NASA Robotic Missions: An Update on New Horizons, Insight, Perseverance, and Juno.”
Astronomy Video of the Month: What's Up for January 2021
What are some skywatching highlights in January 2021? Mark Earth's closest approach to the Sun for the year, called perihelion, at the start of the month, then spot a couple of elusive planets: Uranus on Jan. 20th and Mercury throughout the second half of the month. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up-skywatching-tips-from-nasa.
The society schedules monthly observing sessions in the Myrick Conservation Center of the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance. The observing sessions, which are planned around the new moon, are open to the public and announced in the Society's newsletter, Observations. Owning a telescope or binoculars is not required; anyone interested in observing the heavens is welcome to show up. If you do have a telescope and need help using it, our observing sessions are a great place to practice and learn from other society members.
The Chester County Astronomical Society's regular monthly meetings include a presentation from an invited speaker or the demonstration of an astronomical project by one of the Society's members. After the presentation, a brief business session is held to review the status of society activities. Meetings typically last 1-1/2 to 2 hours including an informal conversation over refreshments before the start of each meeting.
The Society meets at 7:30 PM the second Tuesday of each month online via Zoom during the Fall 2020 semester. In the future, we hope to return to Room MER112 in the Merion Science Center (former Boucher Building) at West Chester University (corner of South Church Street and Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, Pennsylvania). Click for Directions and Maps.
The Chester County Astronomical Society offers "nights out" to interested organizations including local schools, scouting groups, and other civic groups for the purpose of learning more about the heavens. For example, scouting groups often hold them to earn badges for their members. If your organization is interested in hosting a "night out", please contact us.
Upcoming Nights Out
Monthly observing sessions at Myrick Conservancy Center, BVA, have been cancelled until further notice as part of the national effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. For more information about future observing opportunities, contact our Observing Chair, Don Knabb.
Star parties are national and regional events similar to "nights out" and open to the public. They are held throughout the year. For a list of upcoming national events in 2020, visit the star parties page.
The West Chester University Department of Geology & Astronomy hosts a planetarium show open to the general public on the 2nd Friday of each month. The WCU Planetarium is located in the Schmucker Science Center on Church St. To locate the planetarium, view the campus map.
The shows start promptly at 7:00 P.M. ET and run approximately one hour in length. Late arrivals will not be permitted to enter the planetarium. Each show includes an overview of what is visible in the current night sky and a special focus on some aspect of astronomy.
Reservations are required because the planetarium has limited seating. For contact information, visit the WCU Public Planetarium Shows webpage.