Roper Mountain Astronomers

Club Monthly Meeting - July

  • July 16, 2020
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • TBD

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Note: Meeting location (on-site or on-line) has not been decided. Check back as more information is available 


Presentation:  Cold War Spy in the Sky now Provides an Eye on the Cosmos

 Abstract: The 12-meter satellite communications dish at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) was updated and converted from an electronic spy role to an astronomical radio telescope after being dormant for 20 years.

The presentation will compare radio and optical telescopes and look at the cold war mission of this instrument when PARI was formerly a Department of Defense facility (Rosman Station). The story of the update and conversion to a radio telescope, after the dormancy of 20 years, will be illustrated along with the current student involvement at PARI with the newly commissioned instrument. Finally, we will look at the variable star observation on August 21, 2017, to our knowledge the first time a solar eclipse was observed by a large radio telescope.


Speaker:  Ken Steiner


Ken Steiner, President of Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club, also served as CAAC Observatory Director for 7 years during the major expansion of the Gayle H Riggsbee Observatory (GHRO). He has served as Interim Executive Director of Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). Ken is presently is Consultant for Special Projects at PARI with the main focus on acquiring Dark Sky Park Designation for PARI from the International Dark Sky Association.

Ken arrived in the Charlotte area in 2001 as Sales Engineer for Enprotech Technologies (Forging and Stamping Press rebuilding) covering the SE USA and Mexico. He has served on numerous National and International Non-Profit Boards. Ken and his wife Deb have been active in the CAAC since their arrival in the Charlotte area.





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