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Public Star Party – Ranch North Woods Preserve

The Nature Conservancy has asked CAAS to host a special Star Party at its Ranch North Woods Preserve.  Weather permitng the Event will be held MarRanch%20North%20woods%20tract%20boundary%20mapch 4th starting at 7:00 P.M. and will feature a constellation tour and telescopic views of the winter Milky Way’s best objects.  Once the program begins we will ask that people not use white flashlights.  For this reason, and so as not to interrupt the constellation tour, we ask that guest arrive by 6:45 P.M. for an orientation about the preserve and its ecological and recreational assets.

Guests are strongly encouraged to register for the event so as to receive confirmation or changes in the timing of the event, as well as directions and advise for enhancing your comfort and enjoyment during the event.

Register here: 

To subscribe to this event please provide the information below. This will allow us to provide directions and advise to maximize your enjoyment and comfort, as well as allow us to provide up dates on the event, to include last minute changes due to weather. You will also be automatically added to CAAS's public event newsletter - typically less than one a month. Your information will not be used otherwise and you can easily unsubscribe at any time. IMPORTANT! You should receive a response to your subscription shortly after submitting it. It is necessary that you reply as requested to verify your desire to subscribe and the accuracy of you email address. You are not fully subscribed without that and the system will not send you email. If you don't get the confirmation request, check your spam folder and failing that email us at Thanks!

River Ridge Observatory Nature Trail

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Bill Engberg, Bruce & Robert McMath plus Chris Lasley & Danny Flippo and Jack & Jim Dixon, the RRO now has a nature trail that winds around to the south of the observing field from the fire pit back to the parking lot.  Thank you!

caas nature trail

Major Upgrade for the River Ridge Observatory Robotic Research Telescope

RRT New Mount

I am happy to report that the RRORRT is back online and ready for use.
Back in November, the mount for the LX 200 gave out. Dr. Jeff Robertson was able to get funding for a new mount. The Astrophysics 1100GTO is more reliable and opens up greater opportunities for astrophotography and more precise observing runs with fewer errors.
A couple of weekends ago, Jeff, Chris Lasley, Danny Flippo and I met up at RRO to install the new mount.

On Friday, Jeff went up and mounted the LX200 OTA. Saturday evening Danny and Chris finished the installation and performed and necessary alignments and it had its first run last night. There may be some tweaks to the system in the coming weeks, but for all intents and purposes, the RRORRT is now available.
Thank you to Jeff for making this new mount happen, and to Danny and Chris for their expertise. And, a big thanks to you, our users. Your interest in and support for this project has taken it from “proof of concept” and helped the RRORRT to evolve into a more serious platform for photometry and astrophotography.
2016 is going to be an exciting year!

Stephen Caldwell, RRORRT Project Manager (CAAS)