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 Events

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

Click for more info


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:

Jupiter is high in the sky after Sun set this spring. The large gas planet will be closing in on the planet Venus the end of June. 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.


Karen Maddy instructs the Sedona Parks & Recreation Summer Camp kids how to safely observe the Sun. Click the picture for more AVV Public Outreach.


A recently discovered comet, Lovejoy 2014 Q2 has been moving across the sky over the past couple of months. For more comet pictures click here.

Picture Credit: Robert Mueller


Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 as seen on June 6th, 2015. It is over 220 million miles away just above Polaris when this was taken. It has changed quite a bit from the picture below taken in January.

Picture credit for the above two pictures: J D Maddy


Global SUNday participation

Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA

Click picture to super size.

Arp 159 and NGC 4725
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin

Explanation: Pointy stars and peculiar galaxies span this cosmic snapshot, a telescopic view toward the well-groomed constellation Coma Berenices. Bright enough to show off diffraction spikes, the stars are in the foreground of the scene, well within our own Milky Way. But the two prominent galaxies lie far beyond our own, some 41 million light-years distant. Also known as NGC 4747, the smaller distorted galaxy at left is the 159th entry in the Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, with extensive tidal tails indicative of strong gravitational interactions in its past. At about a 100,000 light-years across, its likely companion on the right is the much larger NGC 4725. At first glance NGC 4725 appears to be a normal spiral galaxy, its central region dominated by the yellowish light of cool, older stars giving way to younger hot blue star clusters along dusty spiral outskirts. Still, NGC 4725 does look a little odd with only one main spiral arm.

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


The International Dark-sky Association has designated Sedona, AZ as the worlds' 8th  Dark Sky Community. Click here for the news release.

Up coming events

10/08/2015: Mingus Union High School Star Party

10/10/2015: Two Trees Dark Sky Weekend (Sunset 6PM)

10/17/2015: Civil Air Patrol Star Party @ Dead Horse Ranch State Park

10/17/2015: Kartchner Cavern Star Party Solar Viewing and Night Time Viewing

10/24/2015: Monthly Meeting @ V VMC - Conference Room B 6:30 PM to 9 PM

10/31/2015: Clarkdale Halloween in the Park Star Party

11/07/2015: 9th Annual Alamo Lake State Park Solar Viewing and Night Under the Stars

11/14/2015: Two Trees Dark Sky Weekend (Sunset 5:25 PM)

11/21/2015: Monthly Meeting @ V VMC - Conference Room B 6:30 PM to 9 PM

12/12/2015: Two Trees Dark Sky Weekend (Sunset 5:20PM)


See the Club Calendar for the complete 2015 schedule.

Details of 2015 Special Events are here.

News Flash:

The fourth in a Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses was on the evening of September 27th, 2015 (Arizona Time). This eclipse is also called a Blood Moon Eclipse as the Moon will be directly behind the Earth's shadow and will appear very dark red and maroon in color.  This event also included the Moon as the Harvest Moon and a Super Moon. This triple effect will not occur again until 2033. Click the picture for full screen. Click here for more eclipse pictures. A video of the eclipse is at:

On the afternoon of October 23rd for most of the United States, there was a partial solar eclipse. For the U.S., the Sun will be covered up to 80 % by the Moon.  Depending on your location, the Sun was at least 30% covered. The below picture shows the large Sun spot as the Moon slices across the Sun. The Sun spot was easily seen with only eclipse glasses. Click here to see a You Tube video of the eclipse.

Photo by J D Maddy

A comet discovered in August 2014 is now gathering attention as it climbs in the night sky. This picture has Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 passing by the globular cluster M79 on Dec 28th 2014 in the constellation of Lepus, the Hare.

Click image to enlarge

Photo: 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.



      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