Who Are We?
We are an amateur astronomy club serving the communities of the Verde Valley, Arizona. To learn more about us, click
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
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.
The Alamo Lake Night
Under the Stars event was designated as an Arizona
Centennial Event. (02/23/2012)
Iridium flare and
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
Iridium Gallery click here:
Equipment used: Pentax IST digital camera, 50mm lens at f/2.0
for a 30-second exposure
Message in 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:
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
new page here.
on Our Website:
Observing Tools - Star Charts,
Clear Sky Clocks and Topographic maps.
- From NASA, Astrowire, Space.com
- by our very own members.
Astrophotography - see the Astrophoto Galleries.
Focus Sections on Observing
Asteroids, Comets and
A young just under two day old Moon as
it sets on Wednesday evening. The bright lower portion is illuminated by the
Sun's direct light. The upper part is illuminated by the reflection of the Sun's
light off of the Earth. Primarily in this
case by the Pacific Ocean. This
is called Earthshine. It can be easily seen as the Moon sets when it is only a
few days old after the New Moon. The small star is HIP 19036. The Moon occulted
the star a few minutes after this picture was taken, but a mountain got in the
way of photographing it.
Asteroid Vesta and Asteroid
Ceres are closing in on each other visually this summer. The pair are in the
constellation of Virgo, not far from where Mars is visible. Even though they
appear near each other, they will still be over 50 million miles away apart. Mid
July will have them moving apart, but still very close. Check monthly astronomy
magazines for accurate finder charts. Click picture for larger view.
Below is Nova Delphinus that was discovered on August 14th, 2013.
It reached naked eye visibility before starting to fade. After nearly a year, it
is still telescopically visible. 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 setting quickly after Sun set this summer. A low
western horizon is needed to see it after Sun set. 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.
Club member Mike Cadwell is showcasing his astrophotography at
the Sedona Library in the Villages of Oak Creek branch. The exhibit starts
September 16th. Stop by and have a look at some of the beautiful things our
universe is made of. Click the poster for a larger view.
The International Dark-sky Association has
designated Sedona, AZ as the worlds' 8th Dark Sky Community.
Click here for the news release.
Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA
Click picture to
super size.Three Galaxies in
Image Credit &
This intriguing trio of galaxies is sometimes called the
Draco Group, located in the northern constellation of (you guessed it)
From left to right are
edge-on spiral NGC 5981,
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
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
To see more of Steve's APOD pictures
and others, click here.
Up coming events
09/27/2014: Verde River Day Solar Viewing
10/11/2014: Monthly Meeting @ V VMC 6:30 PM
10/18/2014: Montezuma Well Star Night
10/08/2014: Total Lunar Eclipse starting at
about 2 AM Arizona time.
10/23/2014: Partial Solar Eclipse 2 PM - 4:30
10/25/2014: Two Trees Dark Sky Weekend
Club Calendar for the complete
Details of 2014 Special Events are
On the afternoon of October 23rd for most of
the United States, there will be 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 will be covered at least 30%. Check the link below for a map of the coverage
and the times in Universal Times for the eclipse. You will need to adjust the
time based on your time zone. I.e., Arizona subtracts 7 hours from UT.
Map of eclipse.
For more eclipse pictures, click
Illustration Credit & Copyright:
J D Maddy
and Gerald Madero.
Explanation: The Great
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
can't appreciate the galaxy's impressive extent in planet Earth's sky.
This entertaining composite image compares the
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,
(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.
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
Large flare erupts Nov. 18th,
Image Credit & Copyright:
J D Maddy
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.