Monthly Archives: July 2012

Quick STARt get’s an upgrade

SJAA is proud to announce an upgrade to their innovative Quick STARt (QS) program.   The QS program is for new members with little to no experience in the hobby.  It is designed to provide some basic instruction about the night sky and how to use one of the loaner scopes.

For more information about the program and to check to see if you are on the invite list, please go to: and then click on the Quick STARt (QS) tab.

Below is a nice picture of the items now provided in this program.  (click on picture to enlarge it)

Scope and Chair

Scope and chair

The recently approved upgrade consists of the following new equipment:

  • An Observers Chair.  An adjustable height chair that folds down flat for easy transport.
  • A new large accessory case with pluck foam. (replaces smaller case)
  • A new 32mm Orion Plossl eyepiece.
  • A new 8mm AstroTech Paradigm eyepiece.  (replaces Orion 10mm eyepiece)
  • A new Moon filter.
  • A new 9 LED red flashlight.  (replaces Orion mini led flashlight)
  • A Bright Star Atlas.

Existing items still in the package are:

  • an Orion XT6 or XT8 scope
  • a 25mm Orion Plossl eyepiece.
  • a 2X Barlow lens.
  • a Discover the Stars book (introduction to the hobby)
  • a Planisphere
  • a Moon Map

Here is a closer look at the accessory case:  (click on picture to enlarge it)

Accessories and start guide

Accessories and star guide

The Quick STARt sessions are made available to all newly approved SJAA members.  These sessions are by invite only.   To request an invite please email

Clear skies,
Dave Ittne

Posted in Anouncements, Blog, Programs

Daytime Jupiter and Solar Observing July 1st

Observe The Sun SafelyNever look at the Sun without a proper filter!
Solar Programs are held 1st Sunday of every Month 2:00-4:00 PM at Houge Park   weather permitting

First I must say hats off and a thanks for Teruo spotting Jupiter in his 8 inch SC scope this afternoon in broad daylight. That was cool.

Second I have to say solar observing is not all H alpha by a long shot. One sunspot group was just visible naked eye and Malika’s “Sunspoter” (eyepiece projection system) beautifully captured the 5 major groups today. The Sunspot count was in the 90’s and two sunspots showed exquisite umbra – penumbra detail.

Third – ok prominences today were pretty darn cool with 5 equal branching plumes looking like a row of  central valley olive trees at 10 O’clock (left-right flipped refactor view). A prominence at ~12 O’clock had part of its structure projected on photosphere giving a 3d like feel to the sun.

This image below show today’s sunspots. I crudely drew in the prominences.
Click Image to Enlarge

Great day and another hats off to Dave Ittner for taking care of a lot of folks at the Telescope Tune-up. Way to go.

Posted in Blog, Solar