Solar Eclipse Aug 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Aug 21, 2017


The Cape Cod Astronomical Society welcomes the public to a “Local Star” party on Aug 21, 2017 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM EDT (Rain or Shine).  We expect to see about 63% of the sun eclipsed by the moon on Aug 21, 2017 with first contact estimated at 1:28 PM EDT according to


Our program will include first and most importantly a Safety Brief discussing eye safety while viewing the sun.  A Safety Officer will be helping the guests.  Children must be supervised at all times.

The Staff will offer mini-lectures on eclipses and the Sun lasting about 30 minutes and beginning at 2 PM and 3 PM. Viewing with Solar telescopes and telescopes with Solar Filters will allow guests to see the eclipse, sunspots, prominences and other solar activity throughout the event.

Guests who are interested in a tour of the Werner Schmidt Observatory will be given a brief history of the Cape Cod Astronomical Society, observatory construction, equipment, capabilities/programs such as, Student Projects, Occultations, Photometry, and Astrophotography.


Staff will be showing a live-feed streaming from site of totality (operated from NASA) regardless of our weather locally.  Everything you could want to know about the eclipse is at NASA’s website:


Finally, if you would like to be involved, volunteer for this event, future staffing positions or to learn more, please look at our website volunteer page!


We are located at:

Werner Schmidt Observatory

210 Station Ave

Dennis-Yarmouth High School

South Yarmouth, MA 02664


Parking is around the back of the high school and you approach the observatory from the northernmost driveway from Station Ave.  There will be signs to help point the way.

Wide Field Astrophotography – Bernie Young

We have a Canon Power Shot 8MPx camera circa 2007 which will be good for wide field astrophotography (i.e., without a telescope).  There is a Plexiglas shoe in the dome that can be used to mount it on the 16″ for time exposures. Images suitable for this camera are retrograde motion of the naked eye planets, meteor showers, circumpolar motion, and Iridium flares.  It can take movies from video rate to 2 second time lapse.  Mr. Goodwrenches is working on a way to capture spectra with it using our diffraction grating.  A handout with suggestions for the Jupiter retrograde project are with it;  they may be used as a guide for still shots of other subjects.  The MANUALS folder in the Administrator directory of the Lenovo contains a PDF of the manual for those who are interested.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use.

Astronomy Day! – Apr 29, 2017

Weather forecast for today:  thunderstorms in the morning followed by clouds.  Sounds like April on Cape Cod.

The next Astronomy Day is in the Fall — Sept 20th.  There are many resources on the Internet to learn about Astronomy Day and how to participate.  I have downloaded a copy of the Astronomy-Day-Handbook-7th-edition from Sky and Telescope.

          “This Handbook was designed to assist institutions, organizations, individuals and combinations thereof to plan and execute special events for Astronomy Day. Therefore, groups hosting Astronomy Day events have permission to:  Print out this entire Handbook  Duplicate all or part of this Handbook for local Astronomy Day volunteers.  For any other use, contact the Astronomical League and/or Sky & Telescope.”

Please take a look at it to get ideas and learn how to volunteer for participation in an event like this.  If enough people express interest, we can host Astronomy Day on Sept 20, 2017!