Verde Valley



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AstroVerde is the website of the Astronomers of Verde Valley.


Who Are We?

We are an amateur astronomy club serving the communities of the Verde Valley, Arizona. To learn more about us, click here

If you are as interested in Astronomy as we are, we hope you will  join  us at one of our star parties, meetings or guest lectures.

If you would like to become a member of AVV please use the contact information  below. We will be happy to assist you.

Here is the Club Brochure.

of Verde Valley

Click for Cottonwood, Arizona Forecast

The Digital Collection

A new wave in astro photography is in process with the Astronomers of Verde Valley. Several of the members have acquired digital photographic equipment and are now busy taking and processing images. In the Digital Collection, more and more pictures will be updated on the site as time goes by.

Click here and here for more digital galleries.

Special Event Update

The Alamo Lake Night Under the Stars event has just been designated as an Arizona Centennial Event. (02/23/2012)

Click for more info

 Astronomy Clubs click here

JD's Obsession

Iridium flare and Comet Holmes

Iridium 52 is the bright streak intersecting this shot. Comet Holmes 7P is above the satellite at the top of the page. The photograph was captured on December 12th, 2007, from Clarkdale, Arizona, by our very own JD Maddy and published in the UK's Sky at Night Magazine.

Iridium Gallery click here:  Iridium Flares

Equipment used: Pentax IST digital camera, 50mm lens at f/2.0 for a 30-second exposure


Message in a Bottle

A message broadcast from Earth to the globular cluster M13 during the dedication of the Arecibo Observatory in 1974.

Check out our Members Telescopes here: Club Member Telescopes

For those who are somewhat nostalgic, check out our past star party page.  Past Star Parties

Our new Solar and Lunar picture page is under progress.   See the new page here.

Elsewhere on Our Website: 

Observing Tools - Star Charts, Clear Sky Clocks and Topographic maps.

Astronomy Newsfeeds - From NASA, Astrowire,

Articles - by our very own members.

Astrophotography - see the Astrophoto Galleries.

Focus Sections on Observing Mars, SaturnAsteroids, Comets and Satellites

News Flash:

This coming Saturday, April 26th is the annual Tuzigoot National Monument Star Party. Come out and see the night skies wonders thru the telescopes set up. Jupiter, Mars and Saturn will be visible as the evening progresses. Nebulae, clusters, galaxies and more will be seen also.

News Flash:

Comet Lovejoy R1 2013 joins ISON in the mornings sky on Nov 14th. ISON will be nearing the Sun  and will not be visible until after it comes back around. In the meantime, Lovejoy will keep everyone busy with views.  Click the picture for a larger view. To see a video of the movement over a 4 hour period, click the link below.


Below is Comet ISON as it nears the Sun on Nov 14th 2013. After passing near the Sun, the comet broke apart and disappeared from our amateur view. Click the photo for a larger view.

The planet Venus made a two day pass by the Pleiades on April 2nd & 3rd, 2012. This pass was on the later of the dates. Click here for a full size image. The next near pass of Venus by the Pleiades will be on April 11th, 2015.

The Semi Annual Star Night at Kartchner Caverns is now in the books. The cool day and evening skies were wonderful. Over 450 observed thru the solar telescopes and the evening telescopes. Click the picture for more Kartchner pictures and other Outreach events. Click here for an infra red movie made from stills of the event.


Jupiter is high in the sky this spring. The cloud bands and Galilean Moons are easily seen in small telescopes. Click to expand.

Photo Credit: Bob Barnes

The Blue Horse Head Nebula in Scorpius is captured by member Mike Cadwell. IC 4592 as it is also known is 420 light years from Earth. To see more of Mike's photos, click here.

On the evening of April 14th and the morning of April 15th, the Verde Valley (and most of the U.S.) was treated to the first of a Tetrad of total Lunar eclipses. Click on the photo for a full size picture. For more eclipse pictures, click here.

Lunar Eclipse Photo Credit: Barry Middleton

Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA

Click picture to super size.

Three Galaxies in Draco
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin

Explanation: This intriguing trio of galaxies is sometimes called the Draco Group, located in the northern constellation of (you guessed it) Draco. From left to right are edge-on spiral NGC 5981, elliptical galaxy NGC 5982, and face-on spiral NGC 5985 -- all within this single telescopic field of view spanning a little more than half the width of the full moon. While the group is far too small to be a galaxy cluster and has not been catalogued as a compact group, these galaxies all do lie roughly 100 million light-years from planet Earth. On close examination with spectrographs, the bright core of the striking face-on spiral NGC 5985 shows prominent emission in specific wavelengths of light, prompting astronomers to classify it as a Seyfert, a type of active galaxy. Not as well known as other tight groupings of galaxies, the contrast in visual appearance makes this triplet an attractive subject for astrophotographers. This impressively deep exposure hints at faint, sharp-edged shells surrounding elliptical NGC 5982, evidence of past galactic mergers. It also reveals many even more distant background galaxies.

To see more of Steve's APOD pictures and others, click here.

Up coming events

04/26/2014: Tuzigoot Star Night

05/03/2014: Red Rock Ranger Station Star Party & Solar Viewing

05/17/2014: Monthly Meeting @ VVMC 6:30 PM

05/24/2014: Sunset Crater Star Party

05/30/2014: Red Rock State Park Star Party

05/31/2014: Two Trees Dark Sky Weekend

06/06/2014: Sedona Community Campout @ Sunset Park

06/13/2014: Moon Lite Hike @ Red Rock State Park

06/14/2014: Monthly Meeting @ V VMC 6:30 PM

06/21/2014: Sunset Crater Star Party

See the Club Calendar for the complete 2014 schedule.

Details of 2014 Special Events are here.

News Flash:

Large solar storm groups move across the face of the Sun as it rotates the week of January 5th 2014. The largest Sun spot is over 40,000 miles across. This view is (from the left) visual, hydrogen alpha and ultra violet. The animation is from the week of February 2nd, 2014. Click the comparison picture for a full view. For more solar picture from the week of January 5th and after, click here.

Photo by J D Maddy


Illustration Credit & Copyright: J D Maddy and Gerald Madero.

Explanation: The Great Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda (aka M31), a mere 2.5 million light-years distant, is the closest large spiral to our own Milky Way. Andromeda is visible to the unaided eye as a small, faint, fuzzy patch, but because its surface brightness is so low, casual skygazers can't appreciate the galaxy's impressive extent in planet Earth's sky. This entertaining composite image compares the angular size of the nearby galaxy to a brighter, more familiar celestial sight. In it, a deep exposure, tracing beautiful blue star clusters in spiral arms far beyond the bright yellow core, is combined with a typical view of a nearly full Moon. Shown at the same angular scale, the Moon covers about 1/2 degree on the sky, while the galaxy is clearly several times that size. The deep Andromeda exposure also includes two bright satellite galaxies, M32 and M110 (bottom). This composite image is made from a stack of M31 images taken with a Celestron GPS11, Hyperstar 3 with a Canon 450D (XSI) and a single image of the Moon taken with the same setup.


The Astronomers of  Verde Valley are members of the Night Sky Network

Check out the Club's Community Outreach page for their latest activities by clicking here.

News Flash:

The Astronomers of Verde Valley were recognized at the recent volunteer luncheon for the National Parks Service National Monuments. This year (2013) marked the 5th year that the Astronomy Club has given programs at Tuzigoot National Monument. Click the on picture for full view.

Large Solar Flare Erupts

Click picture to super size.

Large flare erupts Nov. 18th, 2012.

Image Credit & Copyright: J D Maddy

A large solar flare decorates the Sun and it spews Hydrogen gas aloft. This flare was short lived and lost its detail in a two hour period. I call this a Serengeti Flare as it has the appearance of a tree on the Serengeti Plains. To see more solar pictures click here. To see the Annular Eclipse and Venus transit pictures, click here. For a look at a Serengeti Tree compared to the flare, click here.



      Contact Information:

               Astronomers of Verde Valley

       PO Box 714 Cottonwood, AZ  86326

       928 649 0485

        Here is a membership application form. Here is the Club Brochure.

J. D. Maddy


Vice President:
Doug Ostroski

Outreach Director:
Karen Maddy


Nancy Snyder