San Juan Stargazers Astronomy Club announces several changes

By Joan Mieritz | San Juan astronomers

The San Juan Stargazers Astronomy Club monthly reunion was scheduled for Thursday, December 23, to include an indoor reunion, birthday celebration for Joan Mieritz, and our first winter star party with telescopes.

No votes were taken, but the consensus of members was that the meeting should be called off due to persistent COVID conditions in Colorado, with 17 new deaths on Sunday, December 12 and an average of seven days in the state of 42 deaths per day. We may all want the pandemic to be over, but with the death toll so high, that is obviously not the case.

Because we would be eating inside and having to remove our masks, it is much wiser to be safe than sorry. Astronomers value life, the universe, and others. Mieritz wants people to say that she loves her friends and club members more than an “auspicious birthday” party.

Saturday, December 18, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the first Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration on the San Juan Riverwalk and as part of the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association’s presentation, the beautiful 2022 Deep Sky Calendar Mysteries will be available for payment ($ 15) and pickup for those who have already ordered one. Please try to get your calendars at this event. There may be a few additional calendars available.

In January and February, instead of the regular monthly meetings, there will be winter members-only evenings, weather permitting, on January 7, January 28, February 4 and February 25, 2022, starting at 6 p.m. There will be a place to warm up. The location will be made available to club members.

On Wednesday 22 December at 5 a.m. the launch of the $ 10 billion James Webb infrared telescope will finally take place in French Guiana. The Webb was built by a consortium of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. It will take him a month to reach his destination, Lagrange’s second location more than a million kilometers from Earth. An Ariane 5 rocket from the European Space Agency will launch the telescope incredibly folded up to fit inside the rocket. It will take six months to deploy remotely to its massive size. Unlike Hubble, the Webb cannot be maintained by astronauts because it does not revolve around the Earth, but rather around the sun at such a great distance. This is the reason for many adjournments. Everything must be perfect. Have humans ever reached perfection? This is a one-time deal with $ 10 billion and years of work involved. It should be worth getting up to see the launch and then waiting for the incredible wonders it will reveal to us.

The San Juan Stargazers Club is part of the National Astronomical League, celebrating its 75th anniversary of service, and includes more than 250 clubs from across the United States. Our local group has a website, www.sanjuanstargazers.org. Check it out. Hope to see you at the old fashioned Christmas celebration to get your calendar.

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