DSO Club (Dark Sky Observers)

Astronomy Day May 11, 2019 – Meet at the Helper Cemetery @ 9:00 pm!

  1. Messier Marathon March 29, 2019

Begins at 8 p.m.

Join us for our Messier Marathon star party. It will be at the Paint Road observing site along Highway 10 south of Price (directly across the highway from the Hiawatha turnoff).

Directions: From Price Main Street head south on Highway 10 for approx. 8 miles. At the Hiawatha turn off, turn left instead of right. That is paint road….a road the state uses to practice striping the highway. Head east a few tenths of a mile and we will be at the end of the road. Be careful with the left turn….it is a double lane there but no left turn lane….signal early. We’ll put up some signs. Easy car access and plenty of parking.

Coordinates are: 39°29’44.22″N 110°50’7.04″W. Enter them on Google Earth and you’ll see exactly where it is. We will be attempting to view as many of the 110 Messier objects as we can in one night. For this event it’s best to bring your own telescope. Binoculars also work but not quite as well. If you don’t have either, come and look through the scopes that are there. It’s actually quite a challenge, especially for scopes without auto go-to systems. A true marathoner will turn that stuff off and find the objects the old fashioned way. It’s quite fun.

We will have star maps and checklists available. The weather has to be clear all night so if it looks sketchy for Friday night we will try again on Saturday night.

The Messier Marathon event is a Carbon County Star Parties event scheduled for March 29 with backup night March 30. I shared the first announcement on Dark Sky page already and will share the final announcement with more details in the next couple of days. An event like this requires completely clear skies all night so weather is an even bigger factor than normal. I’m waiting to get into the forecast range before I make a final announcement. – Mark Bunnell

Meeting March 8, 2019 at 7 pm at the library.

Mark Wickman gave a talk about the use of different eye pieces for telescopes. The best practices of eye piece use were discussed.

Setting up financial accounts was discussed.

T-shirts were sold.

February 9,2019 Meeting. 

The meeting was short. The Balanced Rock was noisy and busy which make discussions difficult. The bake sale made over $400. It was decided to donate the leftover items to the Film Festival at the Rio.

Mark Bailey was a no show at the film documentary at the Rio Theater. Weather prohibited many guest speakers from coming to Helper during the film festival.

Lenore had beautiful DSO shirts for those who had ordered one. She will have prices at the next meeting. Lenore would like to discuss business items at the next meeting. We need to set up a checking/savings account for money collected. We want to do this as part of the library. No solar viewing due to the overcast sky. Next meeting March 8, 7 pm at the library.

Next Meeting February 9 at 1 p.m. at the Balanced Rock. Solar viewing and bake sale before the meeting.

The bake sale will be Feb 9th, 11:00 to about 1 or 2:00 at Balance Rock. We will have the telescopes and binoculars out so that people can look at the sun. After the bake sale, we plan on staying at Balance Rock have a lite lunch, count the money and have our DSO meeting. Then adjourn and go home.

If you have items for the bake sale, please bring them to the Balance Rock at 11 am.



*** Lunar Eclipse*** 

January 20 at 9 pm at the Helper Cemetery Parking lot.


Minutes from Club meeting  January 12 at 6 pm.

Mark Bunnell showed a short video from Science Friday about light pollution in the Salt Lake area. We discussed light pollution in Carbon County.

Mark Bunnell had a great slideshow of pictures he has taken. He discussed equipment and method he used for beautiful pictures.

Lenore Callor has volunteered to be the club president. Mark Wickman has volunteered to be vice president.

Lenore took orders for club shirts. They are awesome!

Discussion of future events.

Debbie Hatt has a calendar of star events for the coming year.

Lenore is organizing a bake sale.

Please check the list below for ideas of future meetings.


Nov. 17, 2018 club notes

The club meeting began at 6:00. Mark Bunnell was at the crafts fair at 1:00 pm with his solar telescope. Lenore Callor had activities for kids. The sky was overcast so visitors were minimal. They left at 2:30.

Mark Wickman presented what sized telescopes were good for viewing which objects. It was very informative and well presented. He used a 4 star rating system and explained that the bigger telescopes did well for most uses, but sometimes the smaller ones were better.

Paul Rickets offered to present at the next meeting if the library’s router was in working order. It will need to be much stronger if he is going to be able to stream the telescope located in Southern Utah.

Mark Wickman discussed that it is time for the club to elect officers. If this is something you are interested in, please notify the library before the next club meeting as we will have elections.

There will be no December meeting due to the holidays.

****New Event***

Mark Bunnell will be in front of the Helper City Auditorium with a solar telescope on Nov. 17 from 1-5 pm. Come and view the sun! The Helper City Crafts Fair will be going on inside the auditorium at the same time. There will be a table with more information and a sign up sheet if you want to join the DSO Club. (It is free to join.)

Our next meeting is Nov. 17 at 6 pm.

Oct. 20, 2018 club notes

The club meeting began in the library at 7 pm. Mark Bunnell had a wonderful slide presentation of constellations and handouts to go with it. He also discussed computer aps. Paul Rickets from the UofU joined us and added comments. We discussed future discussions ideas. Mark had a handout with a list of ideas for future discussion. Michelle and Phyllis got the IPads ready to download the computer aps for the next meeting. It was mentioned that there would be a meteor shower tonight. It was also International Observe the Moon


We then went up to Cemetery Hill to star gaze. Paul Rickets spoke of what Helper City and home owners can do to be Dark Sky compliant. He also talked about some changes for Dark Sky Designation.


Mark’s List. Please let us know of ideas you wish to add or what topics you would like us to discuss at the next meeting.

We had an astronaut come to the club meeting!




Sept. 14, 2018 club notes

There were over 30 people at the auditorium. Michelle Goldsmith welcomed everyone. Carly Yates oversaw the children’s activity in the library. Mark Bunnell discussed parts of the telescope and the different types of telescopes with the older group. Michelle encouraged everyone to view the new astronomy books. Lastly, there was a drawing for several door prizes.ast 2

Michelle said the telescopes would be available for checkout once they were cataloged into the library. However, you must be a member of the library to check one out. Phyllis told everyone they needed to provide a driver’s license or similar identification to get a library card.

Ideas for future meetings were discussed. The October meeting will be about some of the more common constellations and how to find them in the night sky.

There were 58 people who viewed the night sky by the cemetery. Several planets and constellations were viewed.

Next Club Meeting Saturday October 20 at 7 pm!!!!


Text “dark” to 917-242-4070 to learn about how you can protect Utah’s night skies!

I had the chance to attend a live broadcast of Science Friday, the NPR radio show last night. One of Ira’s guests was Jess Dwyer, founder of Dark Sky SLC. She gave a great interview on the importance of dark skies in Utah. She teamed up with Doug Frabrizio of Radio West and Ira Flatow of Science Friday to make a great video on dark skies in Utah.

Mark Bunnell

Go to sciencefriday.com to the “space” section and the video is there to download.