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.
Check out Jerry Madero's recent astro photos
here. Jerry's Pics
The Alamo Lake Night
Under the Stars event has just been designated as an Arizona
Centennial Event. (02/23/2012)
Clubs click here
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
Comet ISON is heading towards the Sun and hopefully will brighten
to naked eye views soon. This picture has ISON cruising by not only Mars, but
Regulus in the constellation of Leo. Click on the image to expand. Click
here to see more comet images.
Photo Credits: Robert Mueller
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.
Astronomers hope it will brighten after it circles the Sun and appears again in
the morning sky. 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 200
observed thru the solar telescopes and the evening telescopes. Click the picture for more
Kartchner pictures and other Outreach events.
This picture of the Helix Nebula was taken from the dark skies of
Kartchner Caverns. A Celestron 11" with a Starizona Hyperstar and Canon camera
was used. 20 30 second subs were taken. Click to expand.
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.
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.
Up coming events
11/22/2013: Sedona Posse Grounds Star Party at
7 PM until 10 PM
11/23/2013: Monthly Meeting at the V VMC
11/30/2013: Two Trees Dark Sky Weekend
12/28/2013: Two Trees Dark Sky Weekend
Club Calendar for the complete
Details of 2014 Special Events to be posted
A new nova in the Milky Way in the constellation Delphinus was
discovered on August 14, 2013 by amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki. Within 48
hours, the nova had increased in brightness over 1 million times and was able to
be seen with the naked eye. The nova seemed to peak in brightness on Aug 16th to
magnitude 4.5, but since has dimmed to a magnitude of about 5.0. Novas don't
completely blow up and it is likely that the star may return to its original
state after the flare up. It is rare to see a visual nova in the Milky Way and
the last visual nova in the constellation Delphinus was in 1967. The small
planetary nebula NGC 6905 in the above picture is a star that exploded off its
outer shell of hydrogen, but didn't have enough mass or energy to go nova or
supernova. Our own Sun will have this fate in a few billion years. Click the
above picture for a larger view. For more pictures of Nova Delphini 2013, click
here. A finder chart is
Photo by J D Maddy
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.
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.