Friday, August 7, 2015

Perseid Meteor Shower

The Lowcountry Stargazers have scheduled Perseid meteor watches on the mornings of August 13th and 14th at Roxbury Park and Givhans Ferry State Park. One of the major meteor showers of the year, the Perseids reach peak activity under very favorable conditions. The shower is predicted to reach maximum activity early Thursday morning, August 13th, one day before new moon!

Weather permitting, the club will be observing from Roxbury Park Wednesday night until sometime early Thursday morning. The following night, members will observe from Givhans Ferry State Park. Club members, as well as the public, are invited to attend one or both sessions.


It is suggested that those wishing to attend contact the club in order to stay updated on possible cancellations due to weather. Please contact Jim Hoffman.


This is the most popular meteor shower of the year due to the combination of high numbers of meteors and warm weather. Typically, most of the activity occurs on the mornings of August 12, 13 and 14th. The brighter members of this shower are often colorful and produce long-lasting trains. This shower is nearly invisible from the Southern Hemisphere due to the northerly declination of its radiant. The Perseids are associated with Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle which visited the inner solar system in 1992.


For more information on this shower, click here.
For more information on meteor observing, visit the International Meteor Organization.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Public Telescope Workshop on July 18th

Join members of the Lowcountry Stargazers for a telescope workshop on Saturday, July 18th at Roxbury Park. Starting at 7:00 pm, new or beginning observers can obtain assistance from club members in assembling, setting up, or using their telescope.  To assist the club in providing help, we ask those planning to attend sign up by sending an email to Mark Davis and include your name, make, and model of telescope you are bringing. A user’s manual would be extremely helpful. If you do not have one, most likely they can be found at the manufacturer's website.

After you have learned to assemble and set up your telescope, you are invited to stay with us at the park for a night of observing, weather permitting. Dress appropriately, bring bug spray, drinks and snacks, and enjoy a night of observing under some of the darkest skies in the Charleston area.

For more information please contact Mark Davis. For directions to or more information about Roxbury Park, click here, or visit our observing page.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"The Moon and Planets" Skywatching at The Ponds

Weather permitting, we will be holding an event at The Ponds focused on the moon and visible planets.  The moon will be just past first quarter phase, Jupiter and Venus are getting closer to each other in the evening sky, and Saturn will be toward the east.  All of this means that now is a great time for planet-watching.

Join us at The Ponds, Friday, June 26th at 8:30pm for moon and planet watching.  In addition, we will be holding a mini telescope workshop before the event at 7:30pm, so, if you have a telescope that's just collecting dust and want to start using it, come out early and we'll help.  In order for us to be the most help, please email us ahead of time with the make and model of your scope, and bring the user's manual if you have one.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Join us for our June meeting

The Lowcountry Stargazers will hold their next meeting on Thursday, June 4th at 7pm, at Atlantic Aviation, 6060 S Aviation Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406.  We'll be talking about what's in the sky this month, future events - including the 2017 total solar eclipse, and there will be a presentation on how to get started with astrophotography.  Hope to see everyone there!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Few Skywatching Resources

As far as club members go, I'm fairly new to stargazing.  I took astronomy in college, remained interested in the sky above me, and perked up when something special was happening, but I didn't start taking it seriously until a couple of years ago.  My growing interest in photography led me to pointing my camera at the sky, which made me want to know more about what was out there.  This is by no means a complete list, but I wanted to share some of the resources that I use to know what's going on in the sky above me.

I remember how cool it was that you could see the International Space Station fly over.  I would watch whenever I could, even taking a few photographs.  While that's probably the brightest man made object in the sky, it's by no means the only one you can see with the naked eye.  There are many other satellites flying over at every hour of the day and night.

One of the most comprehensive sites for this kind of information is heavens-above.com.  As well as satellite passes, it has positions of most of the celestial objects, including asteroids and comets.  For a site focused on comets, try Comet Chasing.

There are also many general interest astronomy sites that I read on a regular basis.  Some are associated with magazines, and some are not.  The articles they publish range from news about various space programs to unique skywatching opportunities.  Each are good resources for general news, as well as weekly or monthly guides to the night sky.  They are:


One of the authors of many of these articles is Bob King, who has his own blog called AstroBob.

Lastly, I want to mention Phil Plait.  He has a column at Slate.com called Bad Astronomy, but he also has a series of short videos called "Crash Course Astronomy".  He has covered the basics and is working his way through the planets as we speak.

Everyone has their go-to sites, and this is by no means a complete list of resources, but I wanted to share where I get my information from on a regular basis.  Enjoy!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Public Stargazing at The Ponds

Weather permitting, The Ponds of Summerville will be hosting a public star event on Friday, May 15th. The evening will begin at 8pm with a club presentation and dessert reception, followed by stargazing around 9pm.  This event is dependent upon the weather, so, if you'd like to be kept updated, please check our site or Facebook page, or contact Jim Hoffman.

The Ponds is located at 324 Hundred Oaks Parkway, Summerville, SC 29483.  Please join us!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Alpha Lyrid Meteor Shower

Weather permitting, the Lowcountry Stargazers will be watching the Alpha Lyrid meteor shower at Givhans Ferry State Park on Wednesday night, April 22nd.  Mark, who is a meteor shower enthusiast will be out there starting around 10pm.  If you plan on attending, please contact Mark, so he can keep you updated on the weather and the park's gate code.  If you need directions to the park, check out our Observing / Events page.  Hope to see everyone out there!