Roper Mountain Astronomers


  • June 17, 2021 3:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our picnic was held at Musgrove Mill Memorial Park on Saturday June 12.  Severe storms went through the Laurens area around 3pm but were out of the area by the time we stated at 6pm.  

    Bucky's Barbecue catered the event  with pulled pork and chicken barbecue, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, cold slaw and drinks.  Everyone had plenty to eat and it was excellent as usual.

    Before eating, several of us took to one of the 2.5 miles of nature trails in the park and walked to the Enoree River where the old bridge used to cross it for many years.  Only the foundation pillars remain but the river is impressive at this site.  We saw a display with a photo of the last mill house on the site from 1908.  There is also a memorial commemorating the Revolutionary battle found at this location.  We did not get to see the Horseshoe Falls area as it closed at 6pm.

    After dinner, David Quattlebaum gave a talk on how to locate objects in the night sky using various coordinate systems, apps, and landmarks in the sky.   This talk triggered a great discussion of what everyone liked to observe and how they find objects.  The talk led into each person introducing themselves and relating how they got into astronomy as a hobby.  It was great to meet our newer members that have not been able to get together in person. 

    Josh Palmer held a raffle for some items and Su Devaraj won the Wonder Globe and Scott Stevens won the Telrad red dot finder.  Congratulations to the winners and we plan to have more raffles in the future.  

    After the raffle, Josh demonstrated how he track satellites and photographs then with his Celestron  11-inch f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.  The demonstration was held inside the picnic shelter due to the clouds.  Josh will be repeating this in the future when we will be able to see satellites being tracked.

    Overall we had a great picnic and only clear skies and a star party could have been better,  Thanks to everyone who participated to make this event happen.  Our members and board really work to make our club a success. Their passion for our hobby and our club is obvious with the participation we see in all our events.

    We owe a special "Thank You" to Dawn Weaver. Dawn is the Park Manager at the Musgrove Mills park.  She was extremely helpful in getting the Special Permit for our party to be held after hours.  Dawn also met with us and shared her in-depth knowledge of the park.  For instance, she informed us of the large bat population on the sire with two bat houses, the recent new births that were monitored, and the value of the bats in controlling mosquitos and other insects in the area. 

    Josh has added a folder to the Photo Galleries section for the picnic.  If anyone else has photos they want to post, let Josh know and he can setup a folder for you.

  • June 15, 2021 10:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A new members-only page has been added on the website; Located under the Members menu, the Club Bylaws page now lists the current, amended Club Bylaws document. This new document was voted into effect this past Spring. 

    Also added is a members-only page for our new Discord server. This page contains a description of Discord, a list of active users, and a link to join our server. The page can be found under the Forums menu. More details can be found there. 

  • May 21, 2021 8:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We just received some great news.  Furman is allowing visitors on campus and that allows us to get back  to our dark site at the Observatory on Hwy 11. We will have access to the air conditioned building just in time for our sweltering summer nights.  It will also  be great to have rest rooms again. 

    Anyone inside the buildings will  have to wear masks per the University rules and unvaccinated people should wear them outdoors as it can be crowded at this site.

    We have already scheduled the June Star Party and Picnic for Musgrove Mills Memorial Park, but the following dates will be at our home site.  

  • February 26, 2021 5:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Raleigh Astronomy Club is having an online meeting tonight and is open to the public. 

    Register to get the ZOOM link at :!event/2021/2/26/indoor-meeting

    Meeting Time:  Friday 2/26 at  7:30pm (Meeting room opens about 7pm for informal chat)

    Meeting Topic: Pluto, Our Distant Cousin

    Abstract: Over the last few years, Pluto has turned out to be one of the most interesting places in our Solar System.  Far from being just a remote rock/ice lump at the edge of the Solar System, it turns out that Pluto is a cooler cousin of Earth/Mars.  The New Horizons mission transformed our understanding of Pluto and the data that was obtained is still leading to new questions and answers today.  This talk will cover some of the latest research and theories on Pluto. 

    Speaker: Ian Hewitt is a long-time RAC member and long time amateur astronomer.  He is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, teaches astronomy at Coastal Carolina University and is an Research Adjunct at the Astronomy and Astrophysics Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  Although his main efforts are in astronomical data processing, he hasalways been fascinated by Pluto.

  • February 25, 2021 6:59 PM | Anonymous member

    Hi all at Roper Mountain Astronomers,

    Unistellar is hosting an international Messier marathon from March 10-16, 2021 featuring numerous astronomy “races” that can be completed in anywhere from an hour to an evening. 

    We’ll set a world record, bring international audiences together, have a lot of fun under the stars - all in the name of astronomy outreach.

    We’re seeking partners to officially participate in the event, alongside Unistellar, SETI Institute, and some of the northern hemisphere’s leading planetariums, observatories and astronomy clubs. I thought you might be interested because it’s a fun and easy to participate, and there’s opportunity to connect with astronomy-lovers around the world. 



    Please let me know if you’re interested and keen to participate, or if you have any questions. 

    I look forward to hearing from you. 

    Clear skies!

  • February 18, 2021 11:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The day has finally arrived! The Mars rover "Perseverance" is due to land on Mars this afternoon! If you'd like to watch live, there are multiple streams available, starting at 2:15PM EST. See below for more details: 

  • January 18, 2021 11:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings, RMA members!

    In an effort to improve the membership process, we have enabled email alerts for upcoming renewals. 7 days before your membership renewal date, you will receive an email reminder and invoice. Your membership fees can be paid online instantly (preferred), or via check by mail. On your renewal date, you will receive another reminder, followed by a "Grace Period" email 7 days later, and a Lapsed email 7 days after that, when access to some website features will be suspended.

    Since these notifications were enabled while some memberships were in a Pending Renewal state, you may only receive a Grace Period or Lapsed email for this cycle.

    You will continue to see renewal-related messages when logging into the website. 

    If you have any questions or issues with your renewal, please contact us. Thank you for being a part of Roper Mountain Astronomers!

    Josh Palmer

  • January 16, 2021 10:23 PM | Anonymous member

    Northern Hemisphere Astrophotography Competition

    Happy New Year! The world’s most awesome astrophotography competition is back in the Northern Hemisphere! Between the 1st January and the 31st March, nPAE invites you to enter any two astro photos taken either by yourself or a group effort with your friends into our annual Northern Hemisphere Competition!
    Not only can you win USD270 / GBP200 cash, there is also amazing nPAE gear up for grabs. See our website competition page for full details on how to enter.

    Once the 2021 North and South competitions have been won, they will, along with the 2020 World Champion, go head to head in a public vote to decide who will become the 2021 nPAE World Champion Astro Photographer!
    Good luck!
    nPAE Precision Astro Engineering.

    Copyright © 2021 nPAE Precision Astro Engineering, All rights reserved.
    You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

    Our mailing address is:

    nPAE Precision Astro Engineering

    North Gate House

    North Gate

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  • December 31, 2020 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I just wanted to personally wish everyone a happy and safe New Year! Thank you for sticking with us, not only through the transition to the new RMA Website, but also through the introduction of our virtual meetings and events. 2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone, but it also has been full of interesting opportunities: Seeing the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, watching all of the historic SpaceX launches, 4 consecutive "supermoons", a Lunar Eclipse, and more. I am convinced that 2021 will bring us together once again, where we can observe and share the night sky with each other in person. 

    Happy New Year! 

    Josh Palmer
    RMA Webmaster & Board Member at Large

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