Starlight Astronomy Club Web Site

[Key Personnel    Upcoming Events    External Links]

Application for Membership ] Bylaws of the Starlight Astronomy Club ] Information for New Observers ] The 2018 SkyWatch Weather Project ] Three Astronomy Books ] New and Full Moons in 2019 ] Primary Meteor Showers ] Monthly Sky Tour Podcast ] Photo Archive ] Clark Thomas' Astronomy Links ]

Starlight Astronomy Club Meeting:  October 17, 7 pm      Canoe Creek Sky Watch:  October 18, 6:00 pm

undercon.gif 40 x 38This page is always under construction!

Welcome to the Starlight Astronomy Club web site, hosted by the Web Space Outlet in State College, Pa.



Public Sky Watch

  October 18, 2019 
  6:00-9:00 pm 
Canoe Creek State Park
(Rain Date: Saturday).
This will be our last Canoe Creek event for the year.
This is the last public event at Canoe Creek for the year


Updated for 2019: Plan your observing schedule around New and Full Moons

Download Sky & Telescope's monthly sky tour Podcast for your MP3 player


2018 was wet and cloudy.
How bad was 2018 for amateur astronomy?
Read my report on local weather observations.


The address for the club's e-mail list-server is

The club runs a Yahoo! chat group at

Bill, one of our more active members, maintains a help page for the club.  It's address is


Celestial Almanac

Evening Events Morning Events

Sept 9    Neptune at opposition

Oct 18
  Starlight Astronomy Club Sky Watch at Canoe Creek
Oct 19   Mercury at greatest eastern elongation,
               25 degrees from the Sun
Oct 27   Uranus at opposition

Nov 23-24   Jupiter 1.5 degrees north of Venus

Dec 4    Earliest end of evening twilight
Dec 8    Earliest sunset
Dec 10  Saturn 1.8 degrees north of Venus
Dec 21  Earth at Winter Solstice, 11:19 p.m. EST
                Winter begins
             Shortest day of the year, 9h 20m

Sept 23  Earth at Autumnal Equinox, 3:50 a.m.,
              Fall begins

Nov 10  Mars 2.8 degrees from Spica
Nov 11  Mercury transits the Sun
               from sunrise until about 1 p.m. EST
Nov 28  Mercury at greatest western elongation,
              20 degrees from the Sun



The table of New and Full Moons now includes the approximate time of sunset for your planning purposes.



When was the last time you viewed an Iridium Flare?

The Iridium satellites provide voice and data communications for users around the globe.  Each is equipped with 3 door-sized aluminum antennae protected by a highly reflective layer of silver-coated Teflon. When sunlight reflects off of one of these antennae, we see what has come to be known as an Iridium flare.  Flares range in brightness from magnitude +1 (as bright as Antares or Deneb) to magnitude  8.4 (dozens of times brighter than Venus).  The brightest flares are even visible in daytime!
Planning to view one of these glints is very easy thanks to Chris Peat's excellent satellite-prediction website, Heavens-Above.  First, enter your location.  Then click the Iridium flares link under the Satellites menu.  You'll be directed to a page listing Iridium satellite passes for the coming week. The date and time, brightness, altitude, and direction are shown.  Click on the date link for an easy-to-use sky map showing the satellite's arc across the sky and the time and location of the flare.  You can also fine the location of the flare's center line where it will shine brightest.  Just scroll down below the sky map for a ground track map showing the location of the center line.



Wanted: A Little Common (Sky) Sense

When it comes to things astronomical, why do so many people with no knowledge of the sky try to figure things out for themselves and come to the wrong conclusions?   Read more


Starlight_Astronomy_Club.jpg 800x600
The Starlight Astronomy Club at their January 15, 2015 meeting.


Welcome to the Starlight Astronomy Club.  We are based in Altoona, Pennsylvania, with members active from the surrounding counties of south-central Pennsylvania.  You're welcome to join us and get involved.

Meetings are held monthly on the third Thursday of the month at Penn-Mont Academy in Hollidaysburg.  (See the schedule.)  Public sky watches are conducted on the Friday evenings after the club meeting (typically, but not always, on the third Friday of the month) from April through October at Canoe Creek State Park.  (See the schedule.)  Cloud dates are the following Saturday evening.

Anyone with an  interest in astronomy is invited to become active in the Starlight Astronomy Club.  Even if you are just getting started in amateur astronomy or if your interest is only casual, you'll find that we're a group which is open to beginners.  (Our group has many members who are just getting started.)  Families are welcome!

One of the primary benefits of membership in the Starlight Astronomy Club is the opportunity for membership in the Astronomical League.  The League is a national association of affiliated astronomy clubs.  Individual members enjoy the benefits of a quarterly newsletter, access to excellent instructional programs, observing clubs, and opportunities to participate in conferences, symposiums, tours, and expeditions.

Below, you will find a schedule of upcoming events, and on the following pages you'll find our current bylaws, brief instructions for subscribing to our list server, and information on getting  started in amateur astronomy.  Your contribution to the dialog is greatly desired.  We want you to be involved in an organization that you can be proud of. 


Key Personnel:

Office Name E-Mail Address
President Tom Kasner
Vice-President Chris Detweiller
Secretary/Treasurer Diana Worley
   Harold Fultz


Upcoming Events:

Subscribe to and monitor the e-mail list server for any announcements of observing plans

Event Date Time Venue
Next Outdoor Activity:

October 18

6:00-9:00 p.m.

Canoe Creek State Park
Rain Date: Sat.


Next Meeting:

October 17

7:00 p.m.

Penn-Mont Academy
Next Indoor Activity:



Future Meetings: June 20

7:00 p.m.

Penn-Mont Academy
  July 18

7:00 p.m.

Mountain Lion Observatory at Fort Roberdeau
  August 15

7:00 p.m.

Penn-Mont Academy
  September 19

7:00 p.m.

Penn-Mont Academy
  October 17

7:00 p.m.

Penn-Mont Academy
  November 21

7:00 p.m.

Penn-Mont Academy
Public Sky Watches

 April 19

8:30-11:00 p.m.

Location: Canoe Creek State Park
Rain Date: Sat. 

 May 17

8:30-11:00 p.m.

Location: Canoe Creek State Park
Rain Date: Sat.

 June 21

8:30-11:00 p.m.

Location: Canoe Creek State Park
Rain Date: Sat.           *Note: 4th Friday of the month
  July 19

8:30-11:00 p.m.

Location: Canoe Creek State Park    (Picnic Night - come early)
Rain Date: Sat.
  August 16

8:30-11:00 p.m.

Location: Canoe Creek State Park
Rain Date: Sat.
  September 20 7:00-11:00 p.m. Location: Canoe Creek State Park
Rain Date: Sat. 
  October 18 6:00-9:00 p.m. Location: Canoe Creek State Park
Rain Date: Sat.


NOTICE: Due to numerous abuses, online applications are no longer being accepted!
To join, you may submit an application in person at the next meeting.
(If you insist, you may join online by paying the $100 Online Application Fee
per application submitted within the past year!)



External Links:

SKY Online
Astronomical League
Heavens Above
Intellicast National Radar Map
Orion Telescope & Binocular Center


Discover the cosmos!
Visit the Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.

Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.


Visit the Altoona Clear Sky Chart web site
configured for Altoona, PA


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Last Modified: Sunday, September 22, 2019 07:38 AM


Web Site created and occasionally maintained by Eric Hilbert

Last Revision: 09/22/19