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Roper Mountain Astronomers


  • October 21, 2020 7:59 PM | Anonymous member

    If you missed this event, it is now on YouTube. 

    Link is at the bottom.

    This event was sponsored by the University of SC.

    Dr. Mario Livio is an internationally known astrophysicist, best-selling author, and popular speaker. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Dr. Livio has published more than 400 scientific articles. He has made significant theoretical contributions to topics ranging from cosmology, supernova explosions, and black holes to extrasolar planets and the emergence of life in the universe. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his research, including having been selected as the “Carnegie Centenary Professor” by the universities of Scotland in 2003, and as the “Danz Distinguished Lecturer” by the University of Washington in 2006.

    Dr. Livio is also the author of seven popular science books. His bestselling book The Golden Ratio won him the Peano Prize in 2003 and the International Pythagoras Prize in 2004, as the best popular book on mathematics. His book Is God A Mathematician? inspired the NOVA program “The Great Math Mystery,” which was nominated for an EMMY in 2016. His book Brilliant Blunders was selected by The Washington Post as one of the Notable Books of 2013. His book Galileo and the Science Deniers appeared in May 2020.

    Dr. Livio appears frequently in the media, including “The Daily Show,” “60 Minutes,” and multiple NOVA programs, as well as numerous radio programs such as “Science Friday,” “All Things Considered,” “On Being,” and “Studio 360."

    During the past three decades he has given hundreds of talks across the globe at venues ranging from the Smithsonian in Washington, DC and the Hayden Planetarium in New York, to the Royal Astronomical Society in London, Tel Aviv University, TEDx Mid-Atlantic in Washington DC, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Ciudad de las Ideas in Mexico, and the Berlin Planetarium. He has been a regular speaker at the World Science Festival in New York, and was selected five times as one of the “Nifty Fifty” scientists by the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC. He is also Science Advisor to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and has presented science-related topics in a number of their concerts. He has collaborated with composer Paola Prestini in the creation of the “Hubble Cantata,” which was inspired by Hubble images and discoveries.

     Click here to watch

  • October 20, 2020 12:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (This is a great opportunity to jojn with U of SC Physics and Astronomy students and faculty for current topics and research)

    For those who may not know,  the department also offers a colloquium series on select Thursday afternoons at 4:15 pm EDT during the Fall and Spring semesters. 

    Our colloquia feature speakers from both U of SC and other institutions around the world. This semester, our colloquia are being held virtually on Zoom, which may allow some to attend that could not typically participate in past face-to-face Thursday talks.

    To be added to our colloquia email list (in addition to our separate public lectures and special events list), please reply to Sam Beals at  I will send the Zoom meeting infomation each Thurday morning

    For more information on our colloquia, feel free to visit this website.  

    Sam Beals -  Student Services Coordinator

    Department of Physics and Astronomy
    College of Arts and Sciences
    University of South Carolina

  • October 14, 2020 8:09 PM | Anonymous member

    Club Members

    Hello and we hope you are all doing well.  At our last board meeting we discussed the annual Christmas Party.  Although this has been a tradition for many years and participation has always been very good, the board decided unanimously not to have a Christmas Party this year.  With the safety of all club members we felt this was the right thing to do.   

    We have a few loaner scopes that are in need of use.  We have an awesome 10" Meade LXD75 Newtonian that needs a home.  If you want to borrow this scope or any of the ones on the web page, by all means let one of the Board members know.  We will provide training on how to use them as well.   This is a great opportunity to try a larger more sophisticated scope before purchasing a new one. 


    Bill Michaud

  • October 01, 2020 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Over the next week, we will have many great opportunities to observe (or photograph) the International Space Station. Highest altitude passes are in bold. The cooler weather also seems to be bringing in some clear skies, which means our chances of seeing the ISS are greatly improved from over the summer. We also have the Spot The Station widget on the main page for the daily passes. If you have any questions about observing or photographing the ISS, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. - Josh

    Date Visible Max Height* Appears Disappears
    Thu Oct 1, 9:20 PM < 1 min 10° 10° above NNW 10° above NNW
    Fri Oct 2, 8:33 PM 1 min 13° 10° above N 13° above NNE
    Sat Oct 3, 9:22 PM < 1 min 15° 10° above NW 15° above NW
    Sun Oct 4, 8:35 PM 3 min 30° 10° above NNW 30° above NNE
    Mon Oct 5, 7:48 PM 4 min 20° 10° above NNW 13° above ENE
    Mon Oct 5, 9:25 PM < 1 min 17° 17° above WNW 17° above WNW
    Tue Oct 6, 8:37 PM 3 min 74° 13° above NW 73° above SSW
    Wed Oct 7, 7:49 PM 6 min 57° 10° above NW 16° above ESE
    Wed Oct 7, 9:28 PM < 1 min 10° 10° above WSW 10° above WSW
    Thu Oct 8, 8:40 PM 2 min 20° 18° above WSW 15° above SSW
    Fri Oct 9, 7:53 PM 3 min 37° 35° above WSW 11° above SSE
    Sun Oct 11, 7:55 PM < 1 min 11° 11° above SW 10° above SW

  • September 27, 2020 6:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In response to the fantastic presentation given by Dr. Ludovic Ferrière, we have added a new site page featuring Dr. Ferrière, the Natural History Museum of Vienna, and the opportunities for Citizen Science. In the coming weeks, Dr. Ferrière has graciously offered to provide additional information about South Carolina meteorites in his collection. Stay tuned! Until then, enjoy the new page, the video recording of his tour, and consider helping with the hunt for meteorites through citizen science or direct financial support. 

  • September 25, 2020 1:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator),great%20phase%20for%20evening%20observing.

    International Observe the Moon Night is a time to come together with fellow Moon enthusiasts and curious people worldwide. Everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honor cultural and personal connections to the Moon. Note that we encourage you to interpret “observe” broadly.

    International Observe the Moon Night occurs annually in September or October, when the Moon is around first quarter ― a great phase for evening observing. Furthermore, a first-quarter Moon offers excellent viewing opportunities along the terminator (the line between night and day), where shadows enhance the Moon’s cratered landscape.

    You can join International Observe the Moon Night from wherever you are. Attend or host a virtual or in-person event, or observe the Moon from home. Connect with fellow lunar enthusiasts around the world through our Facebook page, #ObserveTheMoon on your preferred social media platform, and join the International Observe the Moon Night Flickr group. Outdoors, at home, online, or wherever you may be, we’re glad to have you with us. However you choose to observe, please follow local guidelines on health and safety.

  • September 21, 2020 9:38 PM | Anonymous member
    Club Members

    Fall is finally upon us.  As the leaves change and the weather cools there is hope for clearer skies for stargazing in the near future.  The Club Board has been diligent conducting club business.  Here is a brief summary:  Monthly club meetings have continued in a virtual sense.  We even added an August meeting, which is typically not a month we hold a meeting.  We have had some very good presentations recently. 

    There has been some extensive effort to find an additional location for star parties.  Musgrove Mill State Historic Site near Clinton was scheduled for July, but cancelled due to weather.  Lake Rabon Park in Laurens County is the location of our September Star Party.  We have also found an additional site in Piedmont.  These three locations, are all in addition to our typical site off Hwy 11.  I'd like to thank all the board members for their efforts during this crazy time.  

    Club elections will be held in October.  James Carr, Member-At-Large will be stepping down when his term expires in October.  This vacancy must be filled.  Below are the current nominees.

    Bill Michaud-President

    Allen Hill Vice President

    Bob Brauer-Treasurer

    Bill Linton-Secretary

    Josh Palmer-Member-at-large (webmaster)

    Susanna McDonnell-Member-at-large

    Member-At-Large  open

    Anyone interested in serving in anyone of these positions can nominate themselves or have someone else nominate them.  If you are interested in any way shape or form, please email me and we can discuss duties and responsibilities.  

    Future of the Spectrum.  The board has decided to reduce the frequency of the Spectrum, to quarterly.  We discussed this matter extensively.  We also surveyed the membership to get their input.  With a functioning web site the board felt several of the Spectrum items were redundant, or immediately available on the internet.  There is currently a significant amount of work done in the background to create and maintain this monthly publication.  Members should expect a streamlined Spectrum, published quarterly.  The Board is open to hear your comments concerning this change.  I'd like to thank Dennis Wild for his time, energy, and effort as the editor of the Spectrum.  He has done a phenomenal job doing this for the past 5 years and has agreed to continue for the time being.  Thank you Dennis!!!

    I hope to see everyone soon at either a star party or a club meeting.

    Bill Michaud


    Roper Mountain Astronomers 

  • August 25, 2020 4:15 PM | Anonymous member

    Professor Chris Impey at the University of Arizona is conducting two questions and answer sessions on astronomy during these live Youtube sessions. These sessions are free. I have been attending these from time to time and thought some of our members might find them interesting.

    If interested you can signup to receive announcements of future sessions which are conducted every week. - Randy Cockrill


    Here are the days and times for the next TWO live question and answer sessions:

    CLICK HERE for LIVE Session #1: TOMORROW on Wednesday, August 26th at 17:00 UTC, 10:00AM PDT and MST, 12:00PM CDT, and 1:00PM EDT.

    CLICK HERE for Live Session #2: Next week on Friday, September 4th at 20:00 UTC, 1:00PM PDT and MST, 3:00PM CDT, and 4:00PM EDT.

    These will be opportunities to ask any and all of your astronomy-related questions to Professor Impey online using YouTube Live.

    For both of these sessions there is a countdown timer, in case you want to check on the exact start time in your time zone. You can also set a YouTube/Google reminder on this page. Please LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel, and click the BELL icon to make sure you hear about upcoming live sessions.

    If you are unable to attend, or prefer not to ask questions in the live chat, you can email them to We do our best to answer as many questions as possible, but we often have more than we can cover in an hour. We try to select a balance of topics and keep the level of questions and answers appropriate for our audience. If your question is not chosen this time, please join us and ask again at the next live session.

    If you are unable to attend, you can always catch up afterwards and watch the archived video by clicking on the links above. We look forward to having you join us!

    Finally, we now have a Discord server! Come hang out with fellow Astronomy, Astrobiology, and Astrophysics enthusiasts!

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