Monthly Archives: March 2015

SJAA 35th Spring Auction Results!

35th Annual Spring Auction

    It was “good to see friends from other clubs like Tri-Valley, Mid Peninsula, etc.” – SJAA’s Bill O’Neil 


2015 Auction. Credit for all photos goes to Ed Wong unless otherwise stated. Thanks Ed. 


A Little History


Computer Auction Organizer JVN over a decade ago. Credit Dan Wright.


Kevin Medlock started off the auction with a little history. The San Jose Astronomical Association’s First Auction was held 35 years ago at a Red Cross building in Los Gatos. The Red Cross is no longer there but the building still is. And there was a large crowd anticipating this first auction. But back then there was no computer or pizza to make the day go easier.  In later years when SJAA did finally have an IBM computer to keep track of buys and sells for 100’s of items it was still a slow process. Jim Van Nuland recalls one seller who brought in over a 100 items(!) and then accidentally put one on the auction block at a low price. He had to buy it back by out-bidding everyone else.

Upfront Thanks

35 years later, SJAA has better computers but generations of new volunteer Board members and “better” software still can make the day a lot of work for our organizers. A special thanks to the SJAA Board, our Auctioneer Kevin Medlock and snack organizer Marianne Damon. You guys made it real, fun, made it real fun!


Seated left to right: Dave Ittner, Rob Jaworski and Teruo Utsumi


Kevin Medlock


Snacks provided by Marianne Damon


This year we had 156 items for auction. SJAA sold $3,749 worth of stuff and Sellers sold $4,887. Congratulations to both Buyers and Sellers. Below are a few pics of the day.


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Credit M. Packer

Below Left: Lee talking to private bidder from Russia.

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 Thanks to all of you for joining  – see you in the field and at next auction!







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First Sunday March 1 Solar

Observe The Sun Safely! Never 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.
Solar Sunday: In Honor of Leonard Nimoy
Sunspot count 54 (SDIC) C-Class Flare Observed Live in H-Alpha

We talked about Leonard Nimoy at today’s Solar Sunday. There is no doubt that Star Trek is part of the amateur astronomy mind set. The common element of wanting to seek out and explore our universe, and of course imaging life out there is intriguing. And we amateurs get to explore and imagine with our telescopes. Just as appealing – is imagining Gene Roddenberry’s future – where there is no discrimination between a community of planets. Spock’s character brought that universe to life and Leonard Nemoy’s sensibility to the character endeared the minds of a staggering and still growing fan base that started 50 years ago. Many thanks Leonard for ensuring these ideals live long and prosper.


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Leonard Nimoy 1931 – 2015

3-1-15Solar-Srivastava Sanjaya

Sanjay’s daughter, below, iphoned this pic.

Sunday Solar had about 15 visitors today with many of them observing and talking about the sun for an hour or more. We counted 53 sunspots, 11 filaments (prominences), and limb prominences at moderately high power.  Below are some of the dedicated patrons!

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Terry K’s grab and go H-Alpha with new Eyepiece:3-1-15Solar 04

Below is Malika C. with her 66mm refractor and eyepiece projection system. An image of the sun is projected onto high quality rear projection HDTV screen material.
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Carl R pointing out Sunspots

For those of use who observed after 3PM in H-Alpha, we got to see plage (chomospheric brightening) around AR-2290 rise and brighten into a conical flare. The event lasted about 20 minutes. AR-2290 was located perfectly near the solar limb. We had begun to noticed that the plage seamed elevated 1-2 Earth diameters above the photosphere. We then noticed it formed a conical shape, brightening, and extending vertically to a height of 5 Earth diameters. AR-2290 has created about a half dozen C-Class flares over the last couple of days (link). This flare below was recorded just hours before our observations:
2290D  Below Wolf W. showing H-Alpha views with his 100mm Lunt.
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Below (Left) Bob W. at his 80mm Standard Filtered scope. Thanks to Bob – we were able to see the Sunspot AR 2290 at the edge of the solar rim with aid of his green and variable polarizing filters.
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And above is an image of the sun Bob W. took. Another truly stellar day. Live Long and Prosper and Mag. -26.74 skies!


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