The Battle Point Astronomical Association (BPAA) is excited to invite you to join them at their Open House at the Edwin E. Ritchie Observatory at Battle Point Park this Saturday. This will be the first live event in over two years.
The BPAA was founded as a nonprofit in 1992 by Edwin (Ed) Ritchie, Mac Gardner and John Rudolph. The observatory, which was named for founding member Ed Ritchie, was constructed from the remnants of a World War II Helix Building at Battle Point Park and houses the 27-inch Ritchie Telescope, the largest publicly accessible telescope in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the telescope, there is a planetarium, workshop, library, meeting room and sundial.
Open House from 3pm to 5pm
The observatory will be open for tours to the general public and light snacks will be provided, as well as commemorative T-Shirts for purchase (proceeds go towards the maintenance and programs of the observatory). If the weather permits, they will have two telescopes set up (with sun filters) to the view the sun, which is in active phase.
Quest for 100 Comets – 7:30pm
Join John Goar*, a 20-year member of the Olympic Astronomical Society in Bremerton and public summer telescope programs volunteer leader and “Dark Ranger” at Olympic National Park-Hurricane Ridge for a presentation on his quest to observe 100 comets. John is a self-described “comet chaser” and will discuss his journey, specifically the different types of comets he’s seen as well as the adventures he’s embarked upon to find them. As the meeting room is snug, vaccination proof and masks are required.
If you’re unable to attend the event in person, it will be broadcast via Zoom, to register in advance, for this presentation, click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.
Star Party – Saturday Evening after the Quest for 100 Comets
If the weather permits, the Observatory will open the Ritchie Telescope, as well as placing their smaller “loaner” telescopes on the concrete observation pads near the sundial for a Star Viewing Party.
Total Lunar Eclipse Viewing Party – Sunday Evening
Weather permitting, the Observatory will host a lunar eclipse viewing party. The moon is expected to rise at 8:30, however it will be approximately 9pm before the eclipse will be visible. Click here for updates and details.
Attendees are welcome to bring their own binoculars and telescopes to both evening viewing events. BPAA recommends using binoculars with a larger objective lens as the apertures collect more light and make for better viewing (7×35 or 7×50).
*John is also an officer and certified Master Observer in the Astronomical League, running the Binocular Messier Observing Program and the Asteroid Observing Program. In the offseason, John teaches physical science at North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo. To learn more about his programs, visit his website: www.olympictelescope.com
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