Nov
18
3:30 PM15:30

MONTHLY DARK SKIES ORGANIZATION MEETING

  • San Isabel Land Protection Trust Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

San Isabel Land Protection Trust Building 59000 Colorado 69 Westcliffe, CO 81252 (map)

We would love to have you join us at our next meeting or event. Please let us know you're coming by contacting us at (719) 398-1284 or via info@darkskiescolorado.org

Location: San Isabel Land Protection Trust (located just north of the intersection of Main St. and Third St. on Hwy 69) in the Trust’s conference room. Access is from the lower back of the old Wells Fargo Bank building and enter at the SILPT office (left door facing the back of building).

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Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley Speaker Series Presents: Steve Gunnels
Nov
4
2:30 PM14:30

Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley Speaker Series Presents: Steve Gunnels

Join us for our next speaker, Steve Gunnels, in our ongoing Speaker Series, serving to broaden access to intriguing and interesting speakers for the Wet Mountain Valley. Steve Gunnels is a design engineer with 46 years experience designing large custom machines and structures, with over three decades of experience working with large ground-based optical telescopes and instruments.

His talk will be focused on large optical telescopes, including the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), a next generation of giant ground based telescopes that "promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe." The GMT will comprise seven of today's largest monolith mirrors, forming a single optical surface of 80 feet in diameter, with a resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope.

Who: Steve Gunnels of Paragon Engineering: "The Giant Magellan Telescope & Large Optical Telescopes"

What: Presentation discussing large optical telescopes and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project, including special six minute movie "Full Concept Animation of the GMT". Talk will also cover: What does a large ground telescope do, how does it work? What is the most fundamental thing a telescope does? What is so impressive about large ground based optical telescopes?

When: Friday, November 8, 6:30pm

Where: Cliff Lanes Community Room located at 25 Main St Westcliffe, CO.

Cost: This event is free and open to the public.

Steve Gunnels Flyer.jpg
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Oct
5
7:15 PM19:15

PUBLIC STAR PARTY: INTERNATIONAL OBSERVE THE MOON NIGHT

For this final public star party of the season we will be celebrating International Observe the Moon Night. International Observe the Moon Night is a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration held annually since 2010. One day each year, everyone on Earth is invited to observe and learn about the Moon together, and to celebrate the cultural and personal connections we all have with our nearest neighbor.

The event occurs when the Moon is around first quarter. A first quarter Moon is visible in the afternoon and evening, a convenient time for most hosts and participants. Furthermore, the best lunar observing is typically along the dusk/dawn terminator, where shadows are the longest, rather than at full Moon.

Depending on weather conditions, Star Parties can be cancelled the day of the event. All cancellations will be made by 6:30 p.m. the day of the event and our voice mail greeting will be changed to announce the cancellation. In order to obtain cancellation details you can call our phone number, 719-398-1284. We will also try to update the Custer County Community Bulletin Board page with cancellation details as well. However, the voicemail greeting is the primary source of up to date information.

All Star Parties are free and open to the public.

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Sep
20
8:00 PM20:00

Public Star Party: Our Closest Galaxy Neighbor, Andromeda, Makes an Appearance

Join us in celebrating the arrival of our closest galaxy neighbor Andromeda in our night sky. Andromeda is a spiral galaxy that is located a mere 2.5 million light years from Earth. And for some those interested in long term planning, The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide in ~4.5 billion years, merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy, or a large disc galaxy.

Depending on weather conditions, Star Parties can be cancelled the day of the event. All cancellations will be made by 6:30 p.m. the day of the event and our voice mail greeting will be changed to announce the cancellation. In order to obtain cancellation details you can call our phone number, 719-398-1284. We will also try to update the Custer County Community Bulletin Board page with cancellation details as well. However, the voicemail greeting is the primary source of up to date information.

All Star Parties are free and open to the public.

In Greek mythology, Andromeda is the daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus and his wife Cassiopeia. When Cassiopeia's hubris leads her to boast that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon sends the sea monster Cetus to ravage Andromeda as divine punishment. Andromeda is chained to a rock as a sacrifice to sate the monster, but is saved from death by Perseus.

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Aug
29
to Aug 30

Night Sky/Milky Way Photography Workshop

This night sky/Milky Way workshop is presented by Dark Skies member and award-winning photographer Mike Pach.

The workshop includes use of a rental home in Westcliffe owned by Dark Skies Vacations. Check-in is as early as 5 pm. The workshops will start near dusk and end just after sunrise (we do not plan to sleep at the rental house, but it will be available if anyone needs to get some rest). Check-out time is 11 am the following day. Pets are not allowed.

The cost of the workshops, dates thru 2019, and ticket information can be found here. Please direct all workshop related questions to Mike Pach.

The tentative schedule for each workshop is as follows:

5:00 PM - Check in
6:00 PM - Dinner
7:00 PM - Classroom Instruction
9:00 PM - Photographing the night sky at up to 3 locations through sunrise
7:00 AM - Breakfast at the Silver Cliff Inn

Times are subject to change based on weather, sunset conditions and the times the Galactic Core of the Milky Way is visible.

We'll keep an eye on the weather, but we don't have any control over Mother Nature. If the sky is cloudy, we will spend time photographing the barns at one of our locations and practicing light painting techniques. If the weather is poor, we will spend time discussing post-processing techniques at either rental house.

What you will learn

Workshops will be limited to 10 people and will be lead by Mike Pach with assistance from Don Savage. Keeping groups small will ensure that each participant gets the individual attention they need to learn ...

how to photograph the Milky Way and the stars as points of light.
how to photograph star trails.
light painting techniques (we will supply the lights needed).
how to post-process your images in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Learning materials will be provided to each participant prior to each workshop.

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