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Star Parties Archive

Blue Moon Viewing on Friday, Nov. 30, 2001

The Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be hosting a "Once in a Blue Moon" star party downtown in Berkeley Springs this Friday evening November 30th from 6:30 PM til whenever behind the Library, next to the Ice House. A "Blue Moon" is the second full moon to occur in a single month, which is an uncommon event. Telescopes will be set up for viewing the full moon and other celestial objects throughout the night. Experts from the foundation will be on hand to guide you through the night sky. The entire family is welcome. Admission is free to all. Donations will be accepted and foundation memberships will be sold. Come out to learn more about astronomy and the night sky while supporting your local observatory.

The mission of the Morgan County Observatory Foundation is to build a public observatory to house the donated US Naval Academy 16" Cassegrain telescope, and to provide programs and materials to educate the public about astronomy and space sciences. Construction is ongoing at the observatory site in Greenwood in the southern part of Morgan County. Soon the telescope will be moved there from the shop where it has been undergoing repairs and upgrades. The facility will be completed early in January, and testing will begin before the public is allowed to make use of the new county observatory.


MCOF would like to thank Kate Evans, Alderton-Dawson Post 60 of the American Legion and the Town of Bath for their generous contributions. The MCOF website can provide you with their latest newsletter, and a wealth of resources related to astronomy.

MCOF Public Stargazing Party Friday night, Oct. 12, 2002

Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be holding a public stargazing party this Friday October 12th at 7:00 PM in front of Warm Springs Middle School. In These events are planned around the month's New Moon to get the best viewing conditions. Bring your own telescope and get help on setting up and using it. Experts from the Foundation will be on hand with their fine telescopes to guide you through the wonders of the night sky. In the event of overcast skies or rain, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday night October 13th at the same time.

The prize winners for the yearly telescope raffle were drawn by Jeanne Mozier at the Apple Butter Festival last weekend and two local residents won this year. The first prize telescope, a 90mm refractor, was won by Susan Lee. Second prize, a Jason reflector telescope was won by Mary Lou Trump. Congratulations on winning these fine telescopes. Citizen's National Bank generously displayed the first prize telescope over the last month.

Many folks stopped by the booth at the Apple Butter festival to find out more about the Observatory project, purchase memberships and raffle tickets and to get their faces painted. Volunteer face painters who donated their time this year included: Wendy Golden, Nicole McCusker, Brianna Grigsby, Ashley Putnik and Victoria Pasquale. Barb Hermann donated a large portion of her face painting proceeds from her booth to the Observatory Foundation.

The Observatory Foundation will be holding an annual meeting on Sunday October 21st at 4:00PM at the home of Dave Fye. On the agenda are operational plans and programming and funding for the soon to be completed observatory facility. Anyone interested is invited to attend. For directions or more information, call Dave at 304-258-8781.

There will be a special Star Show given by the Foundation at the Ice House in Berkeley Springs on Saturday November 10th at 7:00PM. Thomas Waugh will give a presentation on what it's like to be an amateur astronomer. There will also be a show on interesting events in the winter sky, and an update on the Morgan County Observatory project.

Construction of the Observatory is in progress at Greenwood school. Take a ride south on route 13 to see the progress on the facility. Anyone interested in donating labor, materials or contracting services is encouraged to contact the Foundation soon. Grand Opening of the Observatory is expected this winter.

The Foundation would like to thank the following new or returning members and donators for their generous support: Antonia Alba, Loretta Brown, Steven Grigsby and family, David Duchon & Jennifer Comer, Donavon Kelly, Mary Alice Mos, and David Willis.

Come out and enjoy the dark skies of Morgan County while learning more about astronomy and the stars. In the event of rain or mostly overcast skies, this event will be rescheduled for Saturday night August 15th.

MCOF Public Stargazing Party Friday night, Sept. 14, 2002

Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be holding a public stargazing party Friday September 14th at 8:00 PM in front of Warm Springs Middle School. These events are planned around the month's New Moon to get the best viewing conditions. Bring your own telescope and get help on setting up and using it. Experts from the Foundation will be on hand with their fine telescopes to guide you through the wonders of the night sky.

Last month's star party had some of the best viewing conditions ever between 9 and 11 pm. Many falling stars were seen, leftover from the Perseid meteor shower the previous week. Mars is still a brilliant red in the west after sunset. The Andromeda galaxy, the most distant object visible to the naked eye was easily visible, as well as the Trifid and Lagoon Nebulae in Sagittarius and many other deep space objects seen that night.

Tickets for our telescope raffle will be sold this evening and there will be door prizes for kids who attend. The telescope is on display at Citizen's National Bank. Refreshments will be served. Memberships in the Foundation will be sold at this event.

Thanks to everyone who helped and stopped by our booth at the Morgan County Fair. Information will be on hand about the observatory project here in Morgan County and how you can help support efforts to build a public observatory to house the donated 16" Cassegrain telescope from the US Naval Academy.

Construction of the Observatory has begun at Greenwood school. Take a ride south on route 13 to see the progress on the facility. Mike Crawford, of Berkeley Land Surveys donated building layout services. Matt Grove of Grove & Dall'Olio Architects has donated considerable time on the blueprints and is working with Warren Cowles, the Construction Superintendent to get this project moving. Anyone interested in donating labor, materials or contracting services is encouraged to contact the Foundation soon. Construction of the Observatory should be completed this winter.

The Foundation would like to thank the following new or returning members and donators for their generous support: Melanie Files, George Farnham, Judy Webb, Tom Waugh, and Lynette Golden.

Come out and enjoy the dark skies of Morgan County while learning more about astronomy and the stars. In the event of rain or mostly overcast skies, this event will be rescheduled for Saturday night August 15th.

MCOF Public Stargazing Party on Friday, Aug. 17, 2002

Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be holding a public stargazing party Friday August 17th at 8:30 PM in front of Warm Springs Middle School. These events are planned around the month's New Moon to get the best viewing conditions. Show up early to see the new 90mm refractor that will be raffled off at the Apple Butter Festival. Bring your own telescope and get help on setting up and using it. Experts from the Foundation will be on hand with their fine telescopes to guide you through the wonders of the night sky.

Many prizes donated by local businesses and individuals will be raffled off this evening and there will be door prizes for kids who attend. Refreshments will be served. Memberships in the Foundation will be sold at this event.

Information will be on hand about the observatory project here in Morgan County and how you can help support efforts to build a public observatory to house the donated 16" Cassegrain telescope from the US Naval Academy.

The Foundation would like to thank the following new or returning members for their generous support: Judy Jenkinson, Jackie Clark, Brice Williams, Ron & Marion Kaminski, and Bobbie & Richard Rohn.

Come out and enjoy the dark skies of Morgan County while learning more about astronomy and the stars. In the event of rain or mostly overcast skies, this event will be rescheduled for Saturday night August 17th.

Public Stargazing Party Friday night, July 20, 2002

Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be holding a public stargazing party Friday July 20th at 8:30 PM in front of Warm Springs Middle School. These events are planned around the month's New Moon to get the best viewing conditions. Show up early to see the new 90mm refractor that will be raffled off at the Apple Butter Festival. Bring your own telescope and get help on setting up and using it. Experts from the Foundation will be on hand with their fine telescopes to guide you through the wonders of the night sky. Much work has been done to enhance the website and add content to help educate the public about astronomy and MCOF.

Last month's star party was held on Saturday after rain prevented viewing Friday. Mars was brilliant in the west and will still be visible just after sunset. The crescent moon, double stars and M13, a globular cluster in the constellation Hercules were some of the objects seen that night.

The Observatory Foundation will be working with teachers from our county schools on astronomy educational opportunities in science through funding from a WV State Education First planning grant written by the Foundation and awarded to Morgan County Schools.

Many prizes donated by local businesses and individuals will be raffled off this evening and there will be door prizes for kids who attend. Refreshments will be served. Memberships in the Foundation will be sold at this event.

Information will be on hand about the observatory project here in Morgan County and how you can help support efforts to build a public observatory to house the donated 16" Cassegrain telescope from the US Naval Academy. Repairs to the telescope are complete. Architectural drawings for the facility are being finalized.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Morgan County Observatory will be held at Greenwood school on Thursday August 2nd, beginning at 6:30PM. The public is welcome to attend. Informational displays and speakers will be on hand along with the media to record this historic event. Construction of the Observatory should be completed this Fall.

The Foundation would like to thank the following new or returning members and corporate donators for their generous support: Tonya Pell, Loretta Brown, Bill Lands, Kathy & Ansel Gere, Duke & Doris Shepard, Sue Unger, Alison Carter & Sandy Bienen, and Seely Furniture.

Come out and enjoy the dark skies of Morgan County while learning more about astronomy and the stars. In the event of rain or mostly overcast skies, this event will be rescheduled for Saturday night July 21st.

Public Stargazing Party Friday night, June 22, 2001

Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be holding a stargazing party open to the public on Friday June 22nd at 8:30 PM in front of Warm Springs Middle School. Show up early to see the new 90mm refractor that will be raffled off at the Apple Butter Festival. Bring your own telescope and get help on setting up and using it. Experts from the Foundation will be on hand with their fine telescopes to guide you through the wonders of the night sky.

Many prizes donated by local businesses and individuals will be raffled off this evening and there will be door prizes for kids who attend. Refreshments will be served. Memberships in the Foundation will be sold at this event.

Information will be on hand about the observatory project here in Morgan County and how you can help support efforts to build a public observatory to house the donated 16" Cassegrain telescope from the US Naval Academy. Repairs to the telescope are now complete, with a projected groundbreaking date for the facility of August 2nd, 2001. Construction of the Observatory will be completed this Fall.

The Foundation would like to thank the following new members and corporate donators for their generous support: Town of Bath, Citizen's National Bank, Arndt-McBee Insurance, Inspirations Restaurant & Bakery, Clark's Inc, Mitchell Lazarus, Mr & Mrs William Belton, and Patrick Nolan.

Come out and enjoy the dark skies of Morgan County while learning more about astronomy and the stars. In the event of rain or mostly overcast skies, this event will be rescheduled for Saturday night June 23rd.

Public Star Party May 26th, 2001

Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be holding a stargazing party open to the public on Saturday May 26th 8:00 PM in front of Warm Springs Middle School. Show up early to see the new 90mm refractor that will be raffled off at the Apple Butter Festival. Bring your own telescope and get help on setting up and using it. Experts from the Foundation will be on hand with their fine telescopes to guide you through the wonders of the night sky.

Many prizes donated by local businesses and individuals will be raffled off this evening and there will be some door prizes for kids who attend. Refreshments will be served and bathroom facilities will be available. Memberships in the Foundation will be sold at this event.

Information will be on hand about the observatory project here in Morgan County and how you can help support efforts to build a public observatory to house the donated 16" Cassegrain telescope from the US Naval Academy. Repairs to the telescope are almost completed, with a projected groundbreaking date for the facility of June 28th,2001. It is hoped that construction will be complete this Fall.

Come out and enjoy the dark skies of Morgan County while learning more about astronomy and the stars. In the event of rain or mostly overcast skies, this event will be rescheduled.

Star Party Saturday Night

Morgan County Observatory Foundation will be holding a star party in front of Garrett's Restaurant across from the Library in Downtown Berkeley Springs this Saturday night from 7-10PM. There will be telescopes setup to view the Moon, Jupiter ,Saturn and other celestial objects. Experts from the Foundation will be on hand to educate the public about the Morgan County Observatory project. There will be raffle tickets sold on a telescope, a 50/50 raffle, and membership sign ups available there. Everyone is invited to come out and view the stars and help build an observatory for Morgan County's 16" Cassegrain telescope donated by the US Naval Academy. To find out more information, call 258-1013 or just stop by.

Repair work on the telescope has now been completed using funds raised by the foundation over the last year. The telescope is now fully operational and undergoing final testing at CoLab Scientific. This makes it even more important to secure funding through grants and public & private donations to complete the observatory building to house this fine astronomical instrument. When completed, the observatory will be a scientific centerpiece in Morgan County's attractions. Nightly programs of firsthand viewing will be conducted to educate and entertain citizens and tourists in our area. A CCD array will record images from our night sky to be used by all interested in astronomy. Connection to the internet will allow folks all over the country to participate in research and education using our telescope.

Students and lifelong learners will be able to use this telescope in a variety of scientific enquiries, including searching for Earth crossing asteroids, a current hot topic in amateur astronomy. Independent study of the heavens will also be encouraged. Partnering with local planetariums, astronomy clubs and colleges will also bring a much needed influx of intellectual collaboration to our county.

Help to build the observatory by stopping by and becoming a member of the foundation, or donating labor, building materials or money to the cause. Show our county commissioners you want this project funded by attending the commission meeting this Friday at 11:00. See our display on building a solar eclipse viewer for the Christmas Day eclipse at the Morgan County Public Library.

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