Message from the President

Summer is a great time of year for stargazing, notwithstanding the mosquitoes!  July and August in particular conjure up happy memories of watching the annual Perseid meteor shower with my daughter. The Perseid is one of the best annual meteor showers with up to 100 meteors an hour, each one streaking by at 30 or 40 miles per second to burn up in the upper atmosphere with spectacular effect.

All too often, amateur astronomy is a hobby done alone in the cold and in isolation. Hollywood always seems to portray an astronomer sitting in a control room alone atop some desolate mountain. The AAA is, however, all about community. Our stargazing events are about inclusion and fellowship. When we set up our telescopes on the High Line, Floyd Bennet Field, or car-pool up to our dark-sky location in the Catskills, it’s because we want to share this great passion we have for astronomy with others.

I loved the way my daughter got so excited about going down to beach at night to watch the meteors. She would invite her best friend and the two of them would lie down on the sand or on a dock and just stare up into the night sky watching the meteors. Looking back on those days now that she is far away on the West Coast brings back not just fond memories but helps to ignite some purpose to share astronomy with others. 

Let’s get out and observe with friends and family this summer! Oh, one last thing, we have a great upcoming course teaching everything you want to know about Eclipses. The classes start July 11th, go to our
Classes page to see it and hopefully sign up!

Alfredo Viegas, President