Club In Action

February 2020 Howard Bond, pictured on left talking with Wayne, talked about the recent fainting (yes, that’s a term) of Betelgeuse which has heightened interest in variable stars – and that one in particular. 

photo by Dave Reasinger

January 2020 We 
had a four member round table program. Jim Steamer gave a nice presentation on his growing up with Astronomy interests and visiting some noted telescopes and observatories.     
Jim Paine gave us a synopsis of the struggle to get permits to observe in our local parks.   
Steve Taylor gave us some insight to his latest projects and Bill Arden gave us a presentation about the Parker Solar Probe.

Jim Steamer                                                     Jim Paine
Steve Taylor                                 Bill Arden


December 5, 2019 
The CPO held an Open House for the public. Bill Arden gave a very nice talk about what to see in the sky and how the stars move. 

Bill Arden gives a presentation about the sky.

October 3, 2019

We had an excellent presentation by Källan Berglund entitled “Seeing the Invisible: Observing Black Holes”

Källan is a PHD Candidate at PennState

Black Forest Star Party 2019

We had a very successful Star Party thanks to some good weather and companionship.

Keynote Speaker was Mel Bartels (Photo by Dave Reasinger)

speaker Trevor Jones (photo by Dave Reasinger) 

Below are photos of the children’s program by Bob Baumbach

Below are shots of the camp at Cherry Springs State Park where the BFSP is held annually. (photos by Bob Baumbach)

    The Dickinson College students are regulars at the BFSP (photo by Dave Reasinger)

Ohio Trip

Recently a group of members went to the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Following are pictures from Bill Warden


May 2019 Presentation by Chris Palma

Chris gave a nice talk about the history of Astrophysics at Penn State. 

NEAF 2019: Several members attended this year and for the first time we shared a booth with the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg.


Photos by Dave Reasinger and Bill Arden





April 2019 Open House: Photograph by Dave Reasinger

Photographs by Bill Arden



Presentation: At our February 2019 meeting Stephan Coutu gave a really interesting presentation about his research with high energy particles coming from the cosmos. He gave us an update on ISS-CREAM (detectors placed on the International Space Station pictured in the second image below). Stephan also updated us on the Auger project in Argentina, a huge particle detector that stretches over many miles!

Black Forest Star Party 2018: It was the 20th Anniversary of the BFSP. The party at Cherry Springs was pretty much a wash as it threatened to rain due to the moisture from Hurricane Gordon. It was cloudy most of the time. If you camped at the site early in the week you were treated to some nice clear skies.

The speakers were all excellent. (Photos by Bill Arden)

The CPO once again sponsored and worked to have a good star party.

This was the last year for our chair for the BFSP.  Joe Broniszewski has run a quality show for the past 15 years. Judy Mark made this great quilt as a departing gift for Joe.

Bill Arden photographed the Children’s Program at BFSP 2018

May Meeting: Bill, Mike R and Dave R gave a nice astrophotography talk for our program.

NEAF 2018: Several members of the club attended NEAF this year at various times. Bill, Liz, Jim S and Mike P car pooled on Saturday. Rumor has it that Dan and Carol and Dave R were also there. Below are two photos from Bill Arden.


Great Skywatch! We had a fantastic turn out for Skywatch in April at Bernel Park. It is estimated that we had 75 guests. Thanks to the members sharing their scopes that evening.

Open House December 7, 2017

Many members came out to meet guests and talk about and show off astronomy equipment. The public could view many displays, small Schmidt-Cassegrains, Dobsonians, and refractors as well as talk to our members about astronomy. Youngsters could put together a puzzle and watch slide shows. Photos were contributed by Dave Reasinger and Bob Baumbach


Black Forest Star Party 2017

Photos by Bill Arden and Bob Baumbach

Children’s Program

Night Shots

Night Light by Bob Baumbach

IC 1805 and NGC896, Bob Baumbach

M33 by Bob Baumbach

Bernard’s E by Bob Baumbach Crescent Nebula by Bill Arden

Orion by Mike Renne

Skywatch at Oak Hall Park

On June 30, 2017 the CPO held a Skywatch at CRPR’s new Oak Hall Park. It was a very successful event with 50 plus guests in attendance. Photos are by James Steamer.

CPO Trip to Hdvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, May 13, 2017

We had a very nice trip to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport. The 21 people that went on the trip enjoyed a special docent lead tour by Paul Jacobs, a friend of Bob Baumbach. Paul gave us a great tour of the Space Wing of the museum first. Then we had lunch and then an Imax movie, “Our Beautiful Earth” which was in 3D and all about the International Space Station and its relation with the Earth. After that Paul met us again for a tour of the Airplane Hanger. He had many special insights about some of the displays. WE headed home with a stop at Cracker Barrel to end out our trip.


NEAF 2017   Once again the CPO provided a van for six of our members to travel to the Northeast Astronomy Forum. Other members attended as well and we had a great time as usual.

     Thanks to Bill Arden for the photos.

April Open House 2017

Thanks to Gordon for photos.



December 2016 Open House We hosted our annual open house for the public. Our guest seem to have a deep interest in astronomy. Several members spent time with them discussing various topics and demonstrating equipment. Thanks to all the club members who brought in equipment and shared their expertise with the guests. Pictured below are members and guests. Photos by Carol Tancibok

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The Black Forest Star Party 2016 is a Success! Three great nights of viewing made for a successful Star Party. Many thanks to all the volunteers, attendees, vendors and speakers who helped keep the party running smoothly! We were filled to capacity on the observing field and the night skies cooperated nicely. Go to our Club in Action post to see more images.

5d3a8927 img_1182 Morning by Bill Arden, Bill Arden by Bob Baumbach

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M33 by Michael Renne and Listening to Speakers by Bill Arden

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California Nebula by Bob Baumbach and Keynote Speaker by Bill Arden

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Pelican Nebula and Paul from Ohio and 20″ homemade DOB  by Bob Baumbach

bfsp-2016-35 Milky Way by Bob Bbfsp-2016-32 Evening Moon by Bob B

bfsp-2016-36 Over the Camp by Bob B

June 2, 2016


Sam Finn gave us a very nice explanation of Gravitational Wave Astronomy. Sam has been studying this field all of his career. Sam is a club member and a Professor in the Astronomy Department at Penn State. He is slated to be one of the speakers at the Black Forest Star Party this year on this very same subject.

Transit of the Sun by Mercury, May 9, 2016

The club sponsored a viewing of the transit from 11:00 to 2:00 on Monday, May 9. At first the sky cooperated and we had some good viewing. We got many “Ooohs” and “Wows” from the visitors. We had about 30 plus visitors until about noon when the clouds moved in!

Photos by Judy Marks (Click on photos to see larger in another window)

Sign (Judy) Mercury by Judy Looking by Judy Kids by Judy Judy Crowd Dan by Judy Crowd by Judy    CPO-Poster-Merc-Trans-AD

Photos by Bob Baumbach

IMG_8933 IMG_8929 IMG_8932 Mercury-Transit Mercury is the dot to the top right of center. Bob Baumbach


By Joey Nicosia Mercury is at the bottom.

Renne mercury transit

By Mike Renne through the solar scope.


Trip to NYC to the American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium


IMG_8907The CPO took a day trip on May 7th and took in two shows at the AMNH. We saw “Dark Universe” in the planetarium, narrated by Neil DeGrasse-Tyson and an Imax 3D film narrated by Robert Redford on the National Parks. The rest of the time we visited the museum or walked about NYC.

IMG_8877 IMG_8876 IMG_8881 IMG_8875 Frank and Dan by Judy

NEAF 2016:  Nine members of the club were at the North East Astronomy Forum April 8-9th. Carol and Dan spent the weekend while Bob, Dave, Matt, Liz, Bill, Mike and Sam went for a day trip on Saturday. We call the mini van ride up there and back “The Sardine Express” as it was the smallest seven passenger vehicle ever! We had a good day with some good speakers and the ever popular vendors and exhibits in the gym.


The April 2016 Open House was a big success!

April OH 5

We were attended by a Cub Scout Troop from Howard, PA and at least a dozen others






Thanks to Gordon for the photographs!

February 4th 2016 Meeting

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Chris Palma, Penn State Astronomy Dept., gave a presentation about our galaxy and its influence on minor galaxies near by, giving some hint as to what our the Milky Way may look like.


White House Astronomy Night, October 19, 2015

We held the White House Astronomy Night at Tudek Park here in State College. A special thanks to Tom Kasner, Bill Arden, Dave Reasinger for setting up telescopes. We had about 30 guest viewers throughtout the evening which was good for it being a work night and cold. The skies cooperated and we saw a lot even though the transparency was low due to moon and humidity. We heard many “oohs” and “ahs” and good comments coming from the guests.

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Bill Arden and Dave Reasinger setting up and a display for the public.

Dave also printed out certificates and handed them to viewers (thanks Dave, that was great) and Tom had printed up the collectors cards from the White House packet.

White House Astro-Nite


We celebrated the super moon, harvest moon, full moon and lunar eclipse at Tudek Park on September 27th, 2015. The turn out for the event was great with over 125 people joining us to try to see the lunar eclipse, but unfortunately the clear sky complete with the full moon gave way to clouds just as the lunar eclipse started to occur.

August Skywatch 2015

The August Skywatch was held at Bernel Park. The event started with a Discovery Center program for kids and Carol instructed some children on how to use a planetsphere.


The skies then cooperated despite a few clouds as Mike, Jim, Carmelo and Bob shared their eyepieces with 25 to 30 guests viewing the Lagoon Nebula, Saturn (big hit as usual), M13, double stars, the double cluster and several other objects. The clouds started getting thicker toward 10:30 as the Skywatch was coming to an end. All in all it was a successful outing.

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2015 CPO Family Picnic

The Picnic was held July 25th at the Steamer residence. 30 members and family were in attendance. We had bar-be-que from Clem’s for the main course and everyone brought some good and tasty dishes to fill our tummies!

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We met at Wayne’s cabin near Coburn, PA and found a very nice observing site. The open field topped a small hill on Wayne’s property with a small orchard off to one side. The weather cooperated nicely on May 23, 2015. The moon was a bit bright at first and there was some high moisture in the sky but by midnight when the moon set the Milky Way popped out nice and bright. Bob, Mike, Sam and Wayne observed for a good bit of the night while Joe and Joey B came along to check out the site. Wayne was a very gracious host and we thank him for the opportunity to observe from such a nice site.

Osgood-Site-1 Observing-5-23-2015 Milky-Way-with-Saturn-in-Sc


Many thanks to Frank and Judy Marks for inviting the CPO to their home in the mountains of Virginia. On Friday night, October 17, the evening started with beautiful clear skies. The clouds started to roll by, sparsely at first, and by midnight they were too solid to photograph through. Saturday was a dull cloudy day with a little rain. Frank and Judy sparked up our spirits by organizing a field trip to Greenbank, National Radio Observatory in West Virginia (close by). All of us that were never there before were impressed by the facility, visitor center and size of the immense radio telescope which we were able to get very close to.We also visited the Cass Scenic Railroad close by. A good time was had by all through the whole weekend!

To see images from this event:



The Central Pennsylvania Observers and the Black Forest Star Party were featured in the July 2014 issue of “State College” magazine.

The article by Jill Gleeson entitled “Starry Starry Night” is about the Cherry Springs State Park and in particular our club’s relationship with the park.

The Black Forest Star Party for 2014 is over. It was a rainy and  foggy few days. Occasionally glimpses of the stars would keep us hopeful. The programs were excellent and as usual, whenever a bunch of amateur astronomers get together there is a lot of sharing and exchange of ideas. Thanks to all the people that helped make our event successful despite the uncooperative weather!

Children’s Program at Black Forest Star Party 2014

On Saturday August 23rd at the Black Forest Star Party a workshop on Mars and Mars Rover Missions was presented by various members of the Central Pennsylvania Observers Astronomy club.  Information was shared with the children attending the workshop and a packet of materials was given to each child containing food to use in creating an edible Rover.  A template of a Rover was provided for each child but the participants of the workshop were encouraged to be creative and design their own Rover.

Below are some photos of Rovers that were designed by the children in the workshop.  The club members would like to thank all the children and parents that participated in the workshop and helped to create these Rovers.


Bob and Dan enjoy exhibits at this year’s NEAF held in April. The CPO provided transportation for six members to NEAF.  One of the highlights of the show was the video conference with Neil Degrasse-Tyson.