Roper Mountain Astronomers

Upcoming events

    • June 18, 2020
    • 7:30 PM (EDT)
    • Virtual Meeting Online

    Note:  We will have a virtual club meeting in June.  You will receive instructions via Email on how to attend this meeting. 

    Presentation : Perserverance -The Mars 2020 Rover

    Abstract:  The Mars 2020 Rover, Perseverance, is still on schedule for a mid-July to early August launch from Cape Canaveral. This is an excellent time to review the capabilities of this rover.

    This presentation will cover the history of  Mars landers and rovers and the new Perseverance Rover Mission. Find out about some of the instruments aboard, as well as the improvements in Entry, Descent, and Landing features of this newest of NASA rovers to Mars. 

    Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover - NASA Mars

    Speaker: Ken Brandt

    Ken Brandt is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, volunteering to educate the public about space exploration. He also directs the Robeson Planetarium in Lumberton, NC. 

    Director, Robeson Planetarium JPL/NASA Solar System Ambassador Past-President, South Eastern Planetarium Association Chair-elect, Astronomy and Space Science Committee, American Association of Physics Teachers 

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

    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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