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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 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:

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

Comet LINEAR 252P was showing nicely as it passed by the Earth with this April 10th, 2016 picture. The comet was in the 13th zodiacal constellation of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.

Picture credit : J D Maddy


Global SUNday participation


On the afternoon of October 23rd, 2015 for most of the United States, there was a partial solar eclipse. For the U.S., the Sun was 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 an eclipse.


Rising high in the sky after Sun set 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 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.

It's time to start preparing for the April 8th, 2024 Total Eclipse. It may be nearly 4 years off, but plans should be in the works soon. Hotels and camp sites will be booking up quickly.

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

11/19/2022: 15h Annual Night Under the Stars at Alamo Lake State Park. See link below for more details.

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:

A  Lunar Eclipse will start on the evening of November 18th, 2021 at Midnight and go until November 19th 4 AM. Maximum eclipse is at about 2 AM.

The first Super Moon of 2022 is on June 14th. A second Super Moon will occur on July 13th.

Click the above picture to enlarge.


Photo by J D Maddy

A comet discovered in August 2014 rose quickly 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: 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:

The Astronomers of Verde Valley were recognized at the 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.


Please note that because of the Corona Virus guidelines that public star parties are subject to change.


      Contact Information:

               Astronomers of Verde Valley

       PO Box 714 Cottonwood, AZ  86326


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

Bruce Morrow


 Vice President:
Dave Norton

Outreach Director:
Bruce Morrow


Nancy Snyder