Michiana  Astronomical  Society



The Michiana Astronomical Society is an Astronomy club based in the South Bend/Mishawaka Indiana area. We meet in the third Thursday of the month @ 7:00PM. Meetings take place at the Centre branch of the South Bend library located at 1150 E Kern Road South Bend, IN 46614.



3/11/2020 - Because of COVID-19 the SBCPL has canceled all meeting rooms through the end of 2020.

October meeting will be held virtually via WebEx. Invitations where sent out via the MAS Google Groups email.

Thursday, October 15, 2020 7PM-9PM
Webex Virtual Meeting
Connect for the Thursday, August 20th Meeting!
The meeting starts at 7:00 PM and will be held via Webex.
Note that all recent club members with an email address on file will receive a Webex invitation via email.  If not, please request one by contacting Bruce.

Basic Astrophotography Concepts

Presenters: Matt Bielski and Paul Surowiec

 Greetings from the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society, based in southwest Michigan. Attached is an invitation to all of your members to attend our 2020/2021 season of "Online Viewing Sessions," to be held on Zoom beginning November 7th (weather permitting). These unique sessions feature our premiere facility, the KAS Remote Telescope, located in southeastern Arizona.

 2020 MAS Calendars are now available. $15.00 + $2.00 shipping or $2.80 shipping for two.

To order: Contact Linda Marks and Steve Accuosti at  information@michiana-astro.org

Important News

2020 MAS Due's are due in January.

Seeing stars: Cass County park aims for Dark Sky status

Cass County's Lawless Park wants to be Dark Sky site

Upcoming MSP12 Star Party

Michiana Star Party 12 (2020)

3/13/2020 - The Cass County Parks and Recreation Department has decided to cancel the star party/grand opening for Dr. Lawless Dark Sky Park that was scheduled for April 24th-26th.

Dates: Cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19 virus.

For details, click here:

Earthbound Events

Suspended by the NPS due to COVID-19 precautions   -  Saturday Stargazing @ Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore - Cost: Free

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is having a stargazing starting on Saturday January 26, 2019. The program will take place at the Kemil Parking Lot, near Beverly Shores, one of the Dark Sky Communities. That location is one of the darkest spots between Chicago and Michigan City. The address to plug into gps is "Kemil Beach, Beverly Shores, IN 46304, or GPS Coordinates - 041.40.39N 087.00.35W.   

Stargazing will continue at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Kemil parking lot, on the fourth Saturday of the month in 2019.

Stargazing will continue at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Kemil parking lot, on the third Saturday of the month in 2020.  Note: This is a change for 2020.

2020 Schedule
January 18, 2020 - Canceled due to weather
February 15, 2020 - Canceled due to weather
March 21, 2020 - Suspended due to COVID-19 precautions
April 18, 2020 - Suspended due to COVID-19 precautions
May 16, 2020 - Suspended due to COVID-19 precautions
June 20, 2020 - Suspended due to COVID-19 precautions
July 18, 2020 - Suspended due to COVID-19 precautions
August 15, 2020 - Suspended due to COVID-19 precautions
September 19, 2020
October 17, 2020
November 21, 2020
December 19, 2020

The program is weather dependent, so check back the Saturday of the event.  Here is wishing you Clear Skies!

Click on the image below to enlarge it.


TBD - Potato Creek Astronomy Program  (Potato Creek State Park) - Cost: The event is free, but there is a cost to enter the state park.

July 11 @2pm at the Nature Center

August 22 @2pm at the Nature Center - considering doing a 9:45 pm laser tour...  

Sept. 19 @2pm at the Nature Center 

Oct. 17 @2pm at the Nature Center

Contact  Linda Marks for additional details.

On scheduled Friday nights we observe from the campground Site 211, from dusk until 11 pm.

On scheduled Saturdays Linda shows a powerpoint and then we do a hands-on paper project at the Nature Center from 2 pm to 3 pm. When the sun is shining, we show folks views through solar telescopes, after the main program.

On a scheduled Saturday nights we do our observing normally at the Whispering Winds site near the Nature Center (you have to pass the sign on the way in). We arrive one hour before sunset to set up.

The programs are weather dependent.

Note: Be aware due to Covid-19, Potato Creek State Park currently closes at 11:00 PM.

TBD - New Carlisle Library Astronomy Program  - Cost: The event is free

This is from Roanna Hootten, of the New Carlisle Library:   "Because of the ever changing nature of Covid, we are postponing in person August/September programs."   So we are looking forward to trying to do this event next spring. Stay tuned! Keep enjoying the views through your own telescopes.

Our Universe Revealed - Physics for Everyone

Dear All,

Following on from my previous message and the responses from our attendees, all of our planned public talks for this semester will now be streamed live online rather than being held in person. These can be accessed on Youtube as well as on Zoom using the connection details below:
Our Universe Revealed Youtube Channel - https://bit.ly/2WqK1jq 
Connect using Zoom (instructions for how to install the Zoom client and connect to the talk can be found at https://bit.ly/2xbGZVs) - https://notredame.zoom.us/j/724722144 (Meeting ID is 724-722-144). 

We will aim to follow our usual event format with a 30-40 minute presentation followed by time for audience questions. Questions can be asked through both Youtube and Zoom platforms at any time during the talk and we will collate and respond to them at the end of the talk.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support with the series in these challenging times. Through the power of technology we will do all we can to keep educating our students, our neighbors and the Notre Dame community whether close by or further afield.

If you think this and our other events would be of interest to any of your friends, family or colleagues, please feel free to forward this email on to them so they are able to join us.

Jonathan Crass
Series Coordinator

Our Universe Revealed

Note: Due to limited space, Tickets are required for some events but are typically free of charge.

Recent News / Activities:
June 18 - Comet C/2019 U6 / Lemmon at perihelion
June 19 - Potato Creek Astronomy Program - Linda & Steve - Canceled
June 20 - Kemil Beach - Canceled for COVID-19
June 20 - Potato Creek Astronomy Program - Linda & Steve - Canceled
June 20 - Potato Creek Astronomy Program - Linda & Steve, Nature Center 2:00
June 22 - June Solstice
July 3 - Comet C/2020 F3 / NEOWISE at perihelion
July 4 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse 23:07-01:52
July 11 - Potato Creek Astronomy Program - Linda & Steve, Whispering Winds
July 14 - Jupiter at Opposition

Recent Launches:
June 30 - SpaceX Falcon 9 launch - GPS 3 SV03 USAF NavSat TBD
July 15? - USAF Northrup Grumman Minotaur 4 - NROL-129 Spy Satellite

Upcoming Launches:
July 19 - SpaceX Falcon 9 launch - Anasis 2 S.Korean Military TBD
July 20 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - Starlink 9 (60) & BlackSky Global 5&6 TBD
July 23 - Soyuz launch - Progress 76P Cargo Delivery to ISS
July 25 - SpaceX Falcon 9 launch - SAOCOM 1B - Argentina Earth observer TBD
July 30 - United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 - Mars 2020 Rover Perseverance
August 1 - Rocket Labs Electron - STP-27RM (USAF) VA First Launch TBD Q3
August 1 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - Starlink 11 (60) TBD
August 1 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - SXM 7 for SiriusXM
August 14 - Virgin Orbit LauncherOne launch from B747 - ELaNa-20 (14 CubeSats) TBD
August 26 - United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy - NROL-44 Spy Satellite
August 30 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - Dragon Crew 1 (3 NASA, 1 Japan astronauts)
September 1 - Soyuz - OneWeb 4 (32 satellites for broadband network) TBD
September 30 - SpaceX Falcon 9 launch - GPS 3 SV04 USAF NavSat TBD

All Upcoming Events:
July 18 - Kemil Beach - Canceled for COVID-19
July 19 - Astro Camp 7/19-25, YMCA Camp Eberhart - Canceled
July 19 - Nebraska Star Party 7/19-24 - Canceled
July 20 - Saturn at Opposition
July 22 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation - View in morning
July 28 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower with waning crescent Moon
August 12 - Perseid Meteor Shower with full Moon
August 13 - Stellafane Convention 8/13-16 - Canceled
August 13 - Venus at Greatest Western Elongation - View in morning
August 15 - Kemil Beach - Canceled for COVID-19
August 15 - New Carlisle Library, 9:00 Indoor, Scopes to 12:00AM - Canceled
August 20 - MAS Meeting
August 22 - Potato Creek Astronomy Program - Linda & Steve, Whispering Winds
September 11 - Neptune at Opposition
September 11 - Okie-Tex Star Party 9/11-19
September 17 - MAS Meeting
September 19 - Kemil Beach
September 19 - Potato Creek Astronomy Program - Linda & Steve, Whispering Winds
September 22 - September Equinox
October 1 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation - View in evening
October 7 - Draconids Meteor Shower with waxing gibbous
October 13 - Mars at Opposition
October 15 - Illinois Dark Skies Party 10/15-17 - Springfield, IL - www.sas-sky.org
October 15 - MAS Meeting
October 17 - BSA Iron Horse Hike and camping, Potato Creek
October 17 - Kemil Beach
October 17 - Potato Creek Astronomy Program - Linda & Steve, Whispering Winds
October 21 - Orionids Meteor Shower with Last Quarter Moon
October 31 - Uranus at Opposition
November 4 - Taurids Meteor Shower with Full Moon
November 10 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation - View in morning
November 17 - Leonids Meteor Shower with waning gibbous
November 19 - MAS Meeting
November 21 - Kemil Beach
November 30 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
December 13 - Geminids Meteor Shower with full Moon
December 17 - MAS Meeting
December 19 - Kemil Beach
December 21 - Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn - 7 arc minutes
December 21 - December Solstice
December 21 - Ursids Meteor Shower with waning crescent Moon

Step out, look up: a guide to local summertime stargazing

A recent article in the South Bend Tribune about local Stargazing. Click here to read it: (July 26, 2018 SBT article)

Previous Event - Febuary 4th, 2017 Science Alive

MAS again participated in Science Alive at the St Joseph county library.

2018/2019 MAS officers are:

Bruce Miller - President

Linda Marks - Vice President

Ruth Craft - Secretary (Chuck Buter - backup Secretary)

Paul Surowiec - Treasurer & Alcor

Matt Bielski - Member at Large

Many thanks to our previous officers and their service to the Michiana Astronomical Society, it members and the community.

Space Events


Meteor Showers:

Quadrantids - Active from December 28th, 2018 to January 12th, 2029
Lyrids - Active from April 16th to April 25th, 2019
Eta Aquariids - Active from April 19th to May 26th, 2019
Southern Delta Aquariids - Active from July 21st to August 23rd, 2019
Alpha Capricornids - Active from July 11th to August 10th, 2019
Perseids - Active from July 13th to August 26th, 2019
Orionids - Active from September 23rd to November 27th, 2019
Southern Taurids - Active from September 23rd to November 19th, 2019
Northern Taurids - Active from October 19th to December 10th, 2019
Leonids - Active from November 5th to November 30th, 2019
Geminids - Active from December 4th to December 16th, 2019
Ursids - Active from December 17th to December 23rd, 2019

Note on Meteor Showers: These dates are the times of peak occurrence, you can actually see some a few days before and after these dates.

Full Moon -  June 17th, 2019 - July 16th, 2019 - August 15th, 2019 - September 14th, 2019 - October 13th, 2019 - November 12th, 2019 - December 12th, 2019

New Moon -  July 2nd, 2019 - August 1st, 2019 - August 30th, 2019 - September 28th, 2019 - October 28th, 2019 - November 26th, 2019 - December 26th, 2019

Transit of Mercury - November 19th, 2019 - Transit of Mercury 7:34AM-1:04PM EDT

Total Solar Eclipse - Next one in the US is April 8th 2024.

   The Moon will totally block out the Sun on Aug 21th, 2017 @ 2:21PM.
Time until the total Eclipse


For additional information on the Eclipse, be sure and visit NASA's Eclipse web site.

If you have come here looking for information on the MAS8 Star Party, you have come to the right place. It can be found on the MSP8 page. You can also find the information located on our ex-presidents web site Nightwise.

Time for a Star Party - Read Chucks blog about what goes on at a Star Party .

Can you find these galaxies in the sky? 

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