SAS Astrophotography Contest, Past Entry Showcase - Winter 2016 | Credit: Matt Dahl   
Upcoming Events
August 2 — SAS General Meeting | 7:00 - 9:00 PM
                  Diving Deep, James Webb's First Images Examined w/ Keith Krumm
                  Chuck's Hop Shop, Seward Park

                  Event Details
August 5 — Aurorasaurus| 7:00 - 8:00 PM
                  Citizen Science Project with Dr. Liz MacDonald
Physics/Astronomy Auditorium (PAA), Room A102
                  Event Details
August 10 — SAS Board Meeting | 7:00 - 9:00 PM
                   In-person at Museum of Flight Second-Floor Board Room
                   Online via Zoom link from
                   Event Details
August 17 — SAS General Meeting | 7:00 - 9:00 PM
                  Viewing and Imaging the Planets w/ Cloud Break Optics
                  Bickerson's Brewhouse, Ballard

                  Event Details

August 5 — Covington Park | 8:00 PM
August 20 — Bonney Lake | 8:00 PM
August 20 — Paramount Park | 8:00 PM
August 25 - 29 — Brooks Memorial in Goldendale, WA
August 27 — Rattlesnkae Ledge Trailhead | 8:00 PM
                  SAS members only
August 27 — Snoqualmie Point Park | 8:00 PM
                  Open to public
Find all Star Party details here

Bonney Lake Tunes @ Tapps every Wednesday in August! | 5:00 - 8:00 PM
     Come listen to live music and visit the SAS booth
     Event Coordinator: Alan Spurgeon,
     Event details

Celestial features found in South American desert

July 6 — Chile’s Atacama area boasts rare and wonderful astronomical sights.
Read the full story here


Curiosity rover quantifies key ingredient for life on Mars

July 13 — NASA’s rover recently measured the ratio of organic carbon in martian rocks.
Read the full story here


Human and machine intelligence work together to find 40,000 ring galaxies

July 14 — Dr. Mike Walmsley used a decade of Galaxy Zoo volunteer measurements (totaling more than 96 million clicks) to create an automatic assistant—a new AI algorithm.
Read the full story here
First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and B. Holler and J. Stansberry (STScI)

July 12, 2022
The dawn of a new era in astronomy has begun as the world gets its first look at the full capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). The telescope’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data were released during a televised broadcast at 10:30 a.m. EDT (14:30 UTC) on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. These listed targets below represent the first wave of full-color scientific images and spectra the observatory has gathered, and the official beginning of Webb’s general science operations. They were selected by an international committee of representatives from NASA, ESA, CSA, and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

These first images from the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope demonstrate Webb at its full power, ready to begin its mission to unfold the infrared universe.

Press release: NASA Reveals Webb Telescope’s First Images of Unseen Universe

For more about Webb’s current status, visit the “Where Is Webb?” tracker

Member Spotlight

My name is Anthony Vescio.  I'm 57 years old and work as a government Software Engineer for over 20 years.

Back in 2005 I purchased a 12" Meade LX200GPS scope in hopes of fulfilling my dream of getting into backyard viewing and DSLR astrophotography.  When my sons were born, I decided to put the scope in storage for a few years.

Well many years later, I finally brought the scope out.  I joined SAS as a way to get back to my long lost passion and utilize the wealth of knowledge that your members possess.  I live in Bonney Lake so I have recently attended my first star party with fellow member Alan Spurgeon.  I look forward to future star parties, SAS meetings and getting my sons, now 14 and 12, into the wonderful world of star gazing and astrophotography.

Forrest Ritscher and Norman Dalke, February 3, 1952



The History of

the Society
"Talking over a telescope instead of teacups were Mrs. Wayne G. Mosby and Mr. Norman C. Dalke of the Seattle Astronomical Society."
- Seattle newspaper, June 22 1955

On August 25, 1931, a short ad appeared in a Seattle newspaper inviting the public to the organization meeting of the new Seattle Astronomical Society. According to the ad, interest for such a group had been raised after a series of star lectures were given by Seattle resident and UW librarian, William Gifford Hale. The club's second meeting, led by Hale as newly elected president, took place five days later and featured a talk titled "How to Know Your Stars."

1931_09_08.pngBy September 8, the society was holding weekly meetings as well as planing to conduct a monthly study of the sky to map the stars and track their positions relative to each other and Earth.

While there is little documentation of the club's early activities, it appears that they continued to hold regular meetings. On Tuesday, November 26, 1935 it was advertised that Hale was to give a talk at that evening's SAS meeting titled "Life Dawns on Earth" about the origins of life.

The next public mention of the society is in April 1942 when Hale announces that "the Seattle Astronomical Society will widen its educational program to include the study of birds, beasts and flowers."

William Hale led the amateur astronomers of Seattle until he passed away in 1950. He's now recognized as the
grandfather of the Seattle Astronomical Society.

The club must have gone dormant for a few years after Hale's passing, as the next mention isn't until February 3, 1952 when it's printed in the paper that Forrest Ritscher and Norman Dalke were making efforts to establish a Seattle branch of the Astronomical League. In December 1952, Dalke was elected President and they held their first meeting.

6_6_115_img0000408A.jpgIn early July of 1955, the newly formed Seattle Amateur Astronomical Society (it is unclear when "amateur" was removed from the club's title) hosted the national convention of the Astronomical League. There was a welcoming tea on opening day and a "Silver Stars" themed evening banquet. The event was organized by Dalke and Mrs. Wayne Mosby (pictured left) as well as the wife of Andrew P. Patten, society member and eventual chairman of the SAS board.

"The primary purpose of the observatory is to broaden the general interest in astronomy as a science."
- A. P. Patten, July 18 1963

Patten next to pier.jpgIn July of 1963, it was announced that a large SAS construction project was nearing completion. A new observatory, equipped with a 12.5-inch Newtonian telescope, was being built on land donated by society member Andrew Patten near Beaver Lake in Issaquah. It was an ambitious project that included a dome, meeting room, electronic seismograph and multiple telescopes. The building and telescope mount alone took nearly 10 years to complete, according to the Issaquah Press.

A "deep earthquake" jolted the Puget Sound area in 1965 and was recorded on the observatory's seismograph for four minutes. And in 1968 it was reported that the observatory was a frequent place of learning and stargazing for the Seattle Astronomical Society's Junior section.

It's currently unclear as to the status of the Patten Observatory and the 12.5-inch Newtonian telescope it once housed.

Nearly a century ago, William Gifford Hale brought together the amateur astronomers of Seattle for the common purpose of astronomy. Today, the society consists of over 400 members across the greater Seattle area who meet frequently to share their love of the night sky with each other and the public.

The compilation of the Seattle Astronomical Society's history is an ongoing effort. If you have information to contribute, please reach out to
Credit: Unsplash | Michal Mancewicz   

The August Night Sky

 See what our celestial neighbors are up to this month 
For lovers of the cosmos, the main event during August is the Perseids meteor shower. This is arguably the best meteor shower viewed from the northern hemisphere and will be peaking near the middle of the month. And that's just one of many exciting resasons to point your gaze upward this month. So grab your best viewing equipment — whether that be binoculars, a telescope or your eyes — and look out for these stellar viewing opportunities in the August night sky.

August 4 — Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS)
After passing by Earth in July, C/2017 is now traveling away from us and will be brightly illuminated with reflecting sunlight for observers to see. Spot it in the constellation Scorpio. Reference this table to find viewing windows from your location.
(Image credit: Michael Jaeger)

August 12 — Perseids Meteor Shower
The Perseids meteor shower will be on display in the early morning hours of August 12. At its peak, you can expect to see up to 150 meteors per hour. The Perseids Meteor Shower is caused when the Earth passes through a stream of debris left by the Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids will appear to radiate from a central point in the sky within the constellation Perseus, but meteors will be visible across the sky. The Moon will be very bright and nearly full this night, so it’s best to plan your meteor viewing earlier in the night before the Moon fully rises.
(Image credit: Matt Payne | Getty Images)

August 27 — New Moon
On this night, the moon will be on the same side of Earth as the Sun and therefore will not be visible. Take advantage of the darker sky to try and spot these objects:

Messier 24: Sagittarius Star Cloud
M24 is a large Milky Way star cloud that consists of the densest concentration of individual stars that can be observed with binoculars. Located near the galactic center in Sagittarius, it's approximately 600 light years wide and offers observers the chance to capture around 1,000 stars within a single field-of-view.
(Image credit: Roberto Colombari)

Messier 8: Lagoon Nebula
The Lagoon Nebula is a giant interstellar cloud in the constellation Sagittarius and is classified as an emission nebula. It is one of only two star-forming nebulae faintly visible to the eye from mid-northern latitudes, made even more spectacular with binoculars or a telescope.
(Image credit: Miguel Claro)
Thank you for reading our Seattle Astronomical Society Newsletter. Visit our website for all event details and follow our social to stay up to date with all club activities.
Happy Viewing!
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