Thanksgiving, November, 2008    

Welcome to the website! This is the internet store for Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory (SRNC&O).
In this blog, I hope to keep you up-to-date on events in the daytime and night sky as well as what is going on at the SRNC&O.

This is the first edition of the catalog.  Within these pages you will find many products we either stock or recommend as holiday purchases for gifts to your favorite astronomer or yourself.  As always, we urge you to call or write for the very best prices on the internet.  The majority of prices listed in our catalog are "manufacturer advertised prices" meaning they are the lowest which can be published according to our agreements with our manufacturers. 

The Observatory will be open for night time programs on November 29, December 20 and 27 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The winter sky is loaded with goodies totally unavailable during our regular Spring, Summer, and Fall hours.  Views of the Great Orion Nebula (M42) are nothing less than jaw-dropping in the 20" RC.  The Christmas Tree cluster (NGC 2264) in Monoceros is a harbinger of the season and definitely resembles its namesake.  M35, in Gemini and one of the finest open clusters in the night sky, is available as well. With some luck, we may be able to point the 18" NGT at the Eskimo or Clown Face Nebula (NGC 2392), also in Gemini.  This is a favorite subject of one of the NASA handouts Bob Grossfeld, SRNC&O Observatory Director, gives to the youngsters who attend night time programs.

Unfortunately, the planets aren't very well-positioned for night viewing (Jupiter is available but low in the sky).  Saturn, however, is rising earlier and earlier and we should be seeing it late in the evening during our January and February programs.

Last week, on November 14, the SRNC&O, in conjunction with the Nancy R Chandler Visiting Scholar Program, hosted a talk at Central Oregon Community College by Tony Leavitt, a NASA educator.  Tony is a popular figure here in Central Oregon at the Prineville Reservoir Star Party and also at the Mt Bachelor Star Party.  The turn-out for Tony's program, MARS EXPLORATION, Past, Present and Future: Will We Find Life?, was very good with over 200 attendees.  Tony works directly for NASA and Ames Research Center.  Bob is planning a program next spring focused on Cassini and Saturn with another guest speaker from NASA.  At last Friday's talk, volunteers from SRNC&O had two telescopes focused on Jupiter and gave many people their first view of another planet! Those who got to see Jupiter were very enthusiastic.

There will be a variety of new programs next year for the International Year of Astronomy.  Stay tuned to these pages for information as they occur. We also have several "sidewalk astronomy" outreach programs in the planning.

© Copyright 2008  David Haworth 

Finally, I want to feature some of the fine astrophotography taken by members and supporters of SRNC&O in this and forthcoming blogs.  This beautiful photograph of M27 (the Dumbell Nebula) above was taken by David Haworth, Camus, WA at last summer's Oregon Star Party. David has given seminars both at SRNC&O and Mt Bachelor Star Party for several years running.  David is very talented and knowledgeable.  He's an asset to our organization. 

Enjoy our new website.  Feel free to write with any questions or to make any comments.  This website is a work in progress.

Keep Looking UP!

Larry Cerullo