“…a two million degree ejection of plasmatic fury is launched from the penumbral edges of a giant sunspot three times as large as Jupiter. This apocalyptic force of nature, known as an X class flare, propels energized matter over two hundred thousand miles above the Sun’s photosphere, all the while clinging to extended magnetic lines of force emanating from the core of our nearest star. The magnitude of this eruption is unimaginable to us as its heat alone could have instantaneously vaporized the entire Earth/Moon environment.…these are the things we observe almost daily in this hobby…fantastic! ”
In the last twenty years, the ability to observe the ferocious natural beauty of the sun in narrowband wavelengths has grown beyond the domain of isolated observatories and academic institutions and is now readily available to the amateur astronomer. The hobby of solar astronomy is one that presents an ever-changing view of our life-giving star that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all ages, from the elementary school student to the retired policeman with almost no required experience or knowledge of the science behind it. It is a fantastic way to get your friends or family interested in science and one of the easiest to perform STEM outreach programs that there is.
On November 16th and 17th, 2013, in Tucson, Arizona, the world-wide headquarters of solar observing, the Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo, in partnership with the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, will host the largest gathering of solar astronomy enthusiasts, vendors and manufacturers in the history of the hobby. ASAE will bring together all things solar from across the astronomy world for one magical weekend in the Arizona sun. This event will highlight the family oriented nature of what has become the greatest and most accessible hobby in modern science-Solar Astronomy!
The Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo will feature lectures from many of the hobbies biggest personalities including Master Outreach award recipient Stephen W. Ramsden. There will also be daily outdoor solar observing hosted by renowned imagers and observers, Randy and Pam Shivak of Anthem, Arizona and Roger Kennedy from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Equipment from every major solar telescope manufacturer will be freely available for guided public use throughout the weekend. You can even have a one-on-one chat with Andy Lunt of Lunt Solar Systems to discuss the future of the hobby if you like!. All of this is INCLUDED in the price of admission!
This year’s event will focus on educational family involvement in the hobby of solar astronomy. We invite you to mark your calendars and attend the greatest gathering of solar astronomy enthusiasts in the world at the annual Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo- Nov 16 & 17, 2013 at the Tucson Convention Center.
Stephen W. Ramsden is the director and founder of the highest volume private astronomy nonprofit in the world The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, CBSAP has over 50 members in 13 countries worldwide whose guiding principles are ego free, direct solar observing and imaging outreach at absolutely no cost to the public. CBSAP shows the Sun directly to over 60,000 people per year at their free outreach events all the while maintaining less than 1% operating costs. See www.solarastronomy.org if you would like further information or to support the program.
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