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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



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:

The community of Cottonwood has achieved International Dark Sky status by being the 23rd Dark Sky Community in the World. Since 2017, the community has been working towards achieving the status by implementing rules to help keep the night skies dark and protecting this diminishing resource. Cottonwood joins Flagstaff (#1), Sedona (#8), Big Park/VOC (#14), Kaibab Paiute Indian Community (#21), Camp Verde (#20) and Fountain Hills (#17) as IDA Communities. Arizona has more IDA Communities and IDA Dark Sky Parks than any other state or country in the World. These efforts will help keep the nearly 100 commercial telescopes and over 200 private observatories in Arizona seeing the starry skies and universe above.

Click here for more info.


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


Global SUNday participation


A challenge for astrophotographers this winter is the Witch Head Nebula located in the constellation of Eridanus, the River. The Witch Head Nebula, aka IC 2118, is located near the star Rigel, which is in the constellation of Orion, the Hunter.

This photo was taken October 23rd at 3AM with 82 minutes exposure time.

Pictures of the recent Solar Eclipse on October 14, 2023. This was a partial eclipse for the Verde Valley.

The picture above was taken with a glass solar filter on a 6" telescope.

The photo above was taken with a Lunt Solar Hydrogen Alpha telescope. This scope allows the viewing of solar flares off the side of the Sun.

Rising  in the sky after sunset in the north east this time of year is the Andromeda Galaxy. M31 as it is also known lies between the constellations of Cassiopeia and Pegasus. It can be see with the unaided eye as a small cloudy patch in the sky.   Photo by JD Maddy

The next Total Solar Eclipse is coming up next April 8th, 2024. It will take a path thru Mexico, Texas heading all the way up to Maine. Click the link below for the eclipse path.

It's time to start preparing for the April 8th, 2024 Total Eclipse. It may be nearly a year off, but plans should be in the works soon. Hotels and camp sites will be booking up quickly.

The Diamond Ring effect from Glenrock, WY.  Photo by Robert Mueller

The Corona Effect as seen from Glenrock, WY. Photo by Robert Mueller

Click above pictures for large view.

Click here for more eclipse pictures, past and present.


Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA (01/19/2017)

Click picture to super size.

Elephants Trunk Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin

Explanation: Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Also known as vdB 142, the cosmic elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long. This colorful close-up view includes image data from a narrow band filter that transmits the light from ionized hydrogen atoms in the region. The resulting composite highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees. This dramatic scene spans a 1 degree wide field, about the size of 2 Full Moons.

To see more of Steve's APOD pictures and others, click here. To see how this picture was put together, click here.


Up coming events

11/01/2023: Monthly Meeting. Cottonwood, AZ Library. 4:00PM to 6:00PM. Public welcome

11/04/2023: 15th Annual Night Under the Stars at Alamo Lake State Park. See link below for more details.


The next Super Moon of 2024 is on September 18th.  A Super Moon is a Full Moon that is at its closest distance to the Earth. The Moon can vary in distance from the Earth. It is considered Super when the distance is from 218,000 miles to 225,000 miles. The farthest away the Moon can be is about 254,000 miles. 

Click the above picture to enlarge.


Illustration Credit & Copyright: Robert Mueller

Explanation: The Rosette Nebula and its cluster reside in the constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn. This picture was processed in what's called a Modified Hubble Pallet. Using a variety of filters gives it a unique appearance. Click the picture for a larger view.


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:

Keep up with the progress of Comet Pons-Brooks 21P as it gets closer to the Earth and Sun in 2024. Its closest to the Earth on June 2nd, 2024. But, it will be heading close to the southern horizon. Best views for most of the northern hemisphere will be during May, 2024.

This picture of Pons-Brooks 21P was taken as it passes thru the constellation of Hercules on Oct 18th. The comet at this point is 277 millions away from Earth. It will be as close as as 139 million miles from Earth around the 1st of June, 2024.


      Contact Information:

               Astronomers of Verde Valley

       PO Box 714 Cottonwood, AZ  86326


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

Richard Bohner


 Vice President:
Dave Norton

Outreach Director:
Karen Maddy


Nancy Snyder