Astronomy club for On Top of the World residents in Ocala, FL
Moonstruck Astronomy Club was formed in August 2018 for OTOW residents.
The club meets once a month to further educate members on the many aspects of astronomy.
Night sky observing sessions are scheduled monthly based on weather conditions.
Members are not required to own a telescope to join the club.
We meet on the 2nd Thursday of every month from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM at the Event Room in the Hobby Building. The club also schedules night sky observing sessions once or twice a month when weather permits.
Only OTOW residents may join the club.
OTOW residents living outside of OTOW central require a gate pass.
Dues: $20 per year
IC 434 is a bright emission nebula in the constellation Orion, discovered on February 1, 1786 by William Herschel. The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula silhouetted against it.
The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, and originally the Andromeda Nebula, is a barred spiral galaxy and the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way.
NGC 2359 is an emission nebula in the constellation Canis Major. The nebula is approximately 3,670 parsecs away and 30 light-years in size.
The Orion Nebula is a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, being south of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the brightest nebulae and is visible to the naked eye.
The Pleiades, also known as The Seven Sisters and Messier 45, is an open star cluster containing middle-aged, hot B-type stars in the north-west of the constellation Taurus.
The Eagle Nebula (catalogued as Messier 16, and also known as the Star Queen Nebula and The Spire) is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens.
Image of the Moon and Jupiter taken on February 22nd, 2023. Imaged with Nikon D750 with 40-420mm lens mounted on iOptron Pro Tracker. Exposure 8 seconds, f/8 at ISO800.
Image of the Venus and Jupiter taken on March 1st, , 2023. Imaged with Nikon D750 with 40-420mm lens mounted on iOptron Pro Tracker. Exposure 30 seconds, f/11 at ISO800.
Image of the Moon, Jupiter and Venus taken on February 22nd, 2023. Imaged with Nikon D750 with 40-420mm lens mounted on iOptron Pro Tracker. Exposure 8 seconds, f/8 at ISO800.
James Albury, along with Larry and John, discuss the astronomy topics of the day in preparation for the start of the club meeting.
James Albury informing the club about "The Sky Above Us" TV astronomy series that he hosts.
James explaining the time and distances for traveling to some of the planetary systems located in the Star Trek Next Generation series.
Image of the Moon and Mars during opposition was taken by Dean Rehpohl on December 7th, 2022, using an 8" Dobsonian Reflector and a smartphone with a 15mm eyepiece.
Image taken on April 29th, left to right, Jupiter, Venus Mars and Saturn. It was the closet Jupiter Venus conjunction at furthest elongation from the Sun until 2039. Photo by Cammie
Aurora imaged by Cammie at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba.
Another photo taken by Cammie during a February 2022 trip to view the Northern Lights.
Cammie & Beverly during their trip to Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba.
Lunar eclipse imaged by Dean on November 19th, 2021.
Members pose with some loaner telescopes the club has available to loan out to members.
Larry doing his silly meeting thing!
Everyone excited to return to in-person meetings since March of 2020.
Larry showing members how to use red gel on flashlights used during observing events.
Larry instructing members how to set up and use one of the club's loaner telescopes.
John going over a Dobsonian and a Reflector telescope with members.
Members with their telescopes ready for targeting celestial objects.
Russell setting up to view the cosmos.
Designated survivor, Larry, getting set up to target some deep sky objects.
Ed tweaking his monocular.
Jim catching his breath after setting up.
Kathie and John waiting for the Sun to set.
John setting up his Celestron 8" SCT to view the super conjunction.
Russell preparing to image Jupiter and Saturn.
Telescopes are set up and members are hoping the sky to the west clears up!
Crowd gathering to view the super conjunction!
Getting into the spirit of the event!
Larry (VP), the designated survivor, hanging out with some members in anticipation of the event!
Great photo of Russell imaging.
Telescopes are aimed at the Moon while waiting for Jupiter and Saturn to appear.
Larry captured this awesome sunset while we waited for the super conjunction.
Larry's image of Jupiter & Saturn taken on December 21st, 2020. Views of the super conjunction were shared on our camera screens for astronomy club members to view that attended the event.
The Moonstruck Astronomy Club observing event was held on December 21st to view the rare super conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn. We had around 60 people in attendance and the members were happy to see the clouds to the west clear up a bit to give us a view of this great celestial event!
Mars at its opposition was captured using a Celestron 9.25" Edge HD SCT.
The image of Saturn was captured the same night as the Mars opposition.
Captured this image of Saturn while waiting for Mars to rise higher in the sky.
Comet NEOWISE imaged on July 16th, 2020 . Photo by John B.
Comet NEOWISE imaged from John's house.
Imaged on July 19th, 2020 at 10:42 PM.
Image of comet NEOWISE taken on July 19th, 2020.
320mm focal length, ISO 3200, f/5.7 and 15 second exposure..
Photo was taken at 9:47 PM.
Larry capturing comet NEOWISE on July 19th, 2020.
Jim, Ed and John set up telescopes to observe Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon.
John tweaking his refractor to share some planetary views with club members.
Ed putting the final touches on his C8 to do some real-time video capturing.
Venus and Pleiades imaged by Larry.
April 2nd, 2020.
Photo of Mercury transiting the Sun on November 11th, 2019. Photo by John.
While waiting for the Mercury transit on November 11th, 2019 to begin, Jim captured a jet aircraft transiting the Sun.
Members pose with donated telescopes at a club meeting on July 11th, 2019.
The club was given a presentation on celestial navigation by Captain Kenneth Puckett on February 13th, 2020.
The club attended a special show hosted by James Albury at the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium in Gainesville on November 14th, 2019.
Ed is set up and ready to do some night sky viewing on November 30th, 2019.
John with his Celestron 8" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. John shared some celestial objects with club members.
M31, the Andromeda Galaxy
imaged on November 30th, 2019.
Image by Jim D.