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July Planetarium Shows

Black Holes

Saturday July 2 at 7:30pm:

What are black holes?
How are they formed?
Will our sun ever become one?

Please come to our July 2nd family centered show for answers to these questions and more.

Presented by Brenda Rogers


James Webb Space Telescope

Saturday July 9 & 23 at 7:30pm:

On Dec 25th 2021, NASA (in collaboration with European Space Agency and Canadian Space Agency) created history by successfully launching the world’s largest and most complex space science observatory, The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). On its journey to the Sun-Earth L2 point (which is a million miles away from the Earth), JWST went through a series of complex deployments to fully unfurl as a telescope. Over the last few months, The Webb team carefully aligned the mirrors and took test images to make sure that the Telescope is ready for the first science images. NASA plans to release the first science image on July 12th. Join us to learn about this exciting journey of the telescope.

Presented by Dr. Naveen Vetcha


Meteors

Saturday July 16 at 7:30pm:

What is a meteor?
Where do they come from?
Why do we see them?
What popular meteor shower is coming in August?

Please come to our July 16th family centered show for answers to these questions and more.

Presented by Brenda Rogers

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VBAS Equipment Sale and Annual Meeting – May 20th

VBAS will host an equipment sale and silent auction on Friday, May 20th, 2022 at 7:00pm. That date is also our regular monthly meeting and, in fact, our Annual Meeting at which we’ll elect new officers. Pizza will be served.

Some of the items up for auction include a Meade 10″ LX200, Celestron SP-C 102, 1000mm fl refractor, and an Intes 63MK Telescope (6” Maksutov). Sale items include eyepieces, adapters, diagonals, filters, small refractors, and more!

A list of items and prices can be found here.

The spreadsheet has two tabs – one lists sale items and one lists silent auction items.

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May 2022 Shows


May 7th, 7:30pm

Mom’s are Out of this World!

On this Mother’s Day eve, join us for a presentation to learn a little global Mother’s Day history and then hear some stories about a few celestial moms while we explore our planetarium night sky.

Presented by Alex Hall

May 14th, 7:30pm

Eclipses

On Sunday night beginning at about 8:30 pm we will be treated to a total LUNAR eclipse.  The eclipse ends slightly before 2:00 am on Monday morning.  Tonight at VBAS we will talk about why and when lunar eclipses happen.  Watching a lunar eclipse is always more enjoyable if you understand what is happening!  We will also talk about the upcoming total SOLAR eclipse in 2024.  It might be time to start making your plans for that incredible event.


May 21st & 28th, 7:30pm

3D Printing in Space

Join us for a tour of 3D printing processes and learn how they are being used in space exploration.

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The Sun and Eclipses Discussion – This Friday!

Crisscrossing the continental United States in October 2023 and April 2024, two solar eclipses will take place, one annular the other total. To prepare for these two eclipses, the American Astronomical Society has been holding a series of eclipse workshops; the most recent of these workshops took place on April 8 and 9. For our April 15, 2022 monthly meeting (at 7pm), we will discuss The Sun and Eclipses, review the AAS workshop discussions, and reminisce about the 2017 total-solar eclipse.

Presented by Mitzi Adams

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“Bear Hunt” Observing Event on April 1st

VBAS is planning an observing event for the evening of Friday, April 1st. The first part of the evening is a “Bear Hunt”, which is an attempt to find many of the deep sky objects (DSOs) in the constellation Ursa Major, the “Big Bear” and in nearby Canes Venatici, the “Hunting Dogs”. Designed for new and experienced observers, we’ll have observing guides and fun games and certificates for finding some key objects.

The evening is also the ideal time of the year for a Messier Marathon. You’re welcome to stay as long as you want in the added effort to hunt down as many of the Messier objects as you can find in our annual Messier Marathon.

Bring your scopes and join the fun!  Setup starts at 6:30pm.

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April 2022 Shows

Saturdays, April 2, 9, and 30 7:30 pm
Astronomer William Herschel

William Herschel made numerous discoveries that give cause for some to call him the father of modern astronomy. His most famous discovery doubled the size of the Solar System. Come learn about this musician/composer turned astronomer/telescope maker who left forever one of the biggest marks in the history of astronomy.

Presented by Jared Cassidy

Saturday, April 9 10 and 11 am, 12 and 1 pm
The Zoo in the Sky

VBAS will be doing 45 minute planetarium shows on the hour during the North Alabama Zoological Society (NALZS) Kid’s Festival. All proceeds will go to NALZS.

Presented by Alex Hall and Gena Crook

Saturday, April 16 7:30 pm
Magic Carpet Tour

With a magic carpet we could travel anywhere we wanted, right? Tonight the planetarium star projector will become a magic carpet and take us to the north pole, the equator, and beyond! Why? So we can see the stars and the sun from different places on Earth. The sun’s path across the sky and the effects it has on earth at different locations might surprise you!

Presented by Gena Crook

Saturday, April 23 7:30 pm
Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope-one of humanity’s most successful scientific creations will turn 32 in April. For 32 years, it has been providing scientists and the public with spectacular images of most distant stars and galaxies as well as planets in our solar system. Come learn about the Hubble Space Telescope and its amazing discoveries.

Presented by Dr. Naveen Vetcha
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Member Meeting November 19th

Don’t miss the Monthly Meeting this Friday, Nov. 19, in person and on Zoom! 7:00 pm for Pizza, 7:30 pm for our speaker, Michael Buford, our Vice-President. Michael will give a presentation on “The History of Space Flight: Early Space Flight to the Future”.

Link for Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89393503262

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“Star of Wonder” Christmas Show Returns!

That’s right! VBAS’s Saturday evening shows are resuming in December with this year’s Christmas show! Seating is limited and must be reserved in advance, read below for details.

All planetarium shows have limited seating and a reservation is required.  To reserve a seat go to our Events calendar and click on the date you wish to attend.  There will be a link where you can make a reservation.

Admission for a show is $5 for adults, $3 for students.  VBAS members are free.

When the sky is clear and the planetarium is open on Saturday nights there will be telescopes in the observing field after dark.  No reservation is required and there is no admission fee for this ‘star party’.  There will not be a star party if the planetarium is closed or if the sky is cloudy.

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S21 Direct Drive – Part 22 & 23

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOphA_jo1Us
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Telescope Buyer’s Guide – 2021

For several years, Jeff Delmas and Don Martin have been distributing guides for telescope buyers, aimed at helping beginners (and others) purchase a quality telescope. Both documents, updated for 2021, are available below.