This website is being maintained by CCAS for the astronomical community of Cape Cod. It needs a few moments to load. Please be patient.
Cape Cod Astronomical Society was founded in 1986

Founded 1986

Our logo is the setting planet Venus, the nebulae of Orion, the bended arm of Cape Cod, and the dome of the Werner Schmidt Observatory
Lat: N 41 40' 42"
Lon: W 70 11' 37"
New Mailing Address:
Werner Schmidt Observatory
D-Y High School
210 Station Avenue
South Yarmouth, MA 02664

You are viewing this page in the CCAS "old" website format. For new website please press the button provided below...

We're Growing! Come learn and enjoy Astronomy with us.

*The Cape Cod Astronomical Society is an excellent source for information on studying the night sky and heavens. We have provided hundreds of useful links throughout this website to steer our members and astronomy friends to helpful information. This website is created with Internet Explorer, therefore, some features of this website may be masked if you are using another browser like Mozilla or Netscape. Be sure to refresh any/all pages of this website as the information and photographs are updated frequently. Observatory telephone number is 508-398-4765. Other contact telephone numbers (including Observatory Director Mike Hunter) can be found on the Membership Info page. Our e-mail address is CCAS meets at 7:30 pm on the first Thursday of every month in the library at Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, Station Ave, South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Meetings are open to the public. CCAS supports the Cape Cornerstone Project, the D-Y Regional High School Astronomy Club, and dark skies. This website is set up for easy viewing with your monitor display set at 800 by 600 pixels.

Search CCAS site

Mike Hunter, Observatory Director

Observatory Director Mike Hunter believes everyone from Cape Cod needs to slow down and enjoy the view through our 9mm Nagler eyepiece.

Latest News Letter
Werner Schmidt Observatory
Membership Information
Meeting Location
Cape Cod Cornerstone Project
CCAS - Yahoo Group
The Astronomical League

NASA Picture of the Day
Getting Started
Maria Mitchell association
Telescopes under $200
FAQ About Being an Astronomer
Low cost equipment
Julian Date converter
S&T Sky at a Glance
Celestial Objects
Star Types
Using Electronic Eyepiece
Astrophotography Hints and Tips
Amateur Observatories
Palomar Observatory
Seeing in the Dark
USNO Data Services
Navigational Astronomy
Navigator's Star Finder
Astronomy Mag Stardome
Satelite Finder
Tour of Orion
Periodic Table in Videos
Official Time

click to photo to learn about Einsteins Theory of Relativity

Night Sky this week
Solar System Now
Deep Sky for Amateurs Program
Nightskies Almanac
Nasa Virtual Skyview
Lunar Atlas
USGS Moon Viewer
The Eight Planets
Programable Sky Above
Sky Conditions & Visibility
Astronomer and Harbormaster
New Scientist Space
Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews
Meade LDX 75 - Yahoo Group
Eyepiece Power & FOV Calculator
Telescope Simulator


So you have an obsession to spend an evening observing open clusters and Milky Way star fields? Come to The Schmidt and be treated to an evening with the 18" Obsession Dobsonian and the assistance of a an observing assistant.

If small, dim fuzzies are your desire, try the 16" at 450x. It's GOTO's are tack on the spot. For those who would like to learn how to use a GOTO scope, the 8" NextStar is just the scope for you.

The Schmidt has it all.

Image of the Week

Image of Messier object M13 in consteallation Herrcules, Tom Leach July 2012

Photo of the Season

Harvey Patasnick wows astronomical society

Local Satellite Tracking



click to see how our Eratothenes Project is going

Eratothenes calculated the circumference of the Earth in 240 B.C.
Our CCAS team is developing a new method in 2009.




Please subscribe to the
Cape Cod Astronomical Society


Check out the Top 50 Amateur Astronomy sites!


Harwich School Observatory







NASA Space Calendar

Latest CfA Forums below require Realplayer Program


Cool Stuff


Starfinder ~ Tufts University

Casini Mission to Saturn

CCAS Vice President Paul Cezanne talks about Killer Asteroids

Mars Exploration Program
Galileo Jouney to Jupiter
Venus Express Satellite to Venus

Click to find the latest First Light our monthly newsletter

Tom Leach with new Astronomical Society wall banner which will be posted in the parking lot near the Observatory


Click to see Mike Farber's Cornerstone Research Cape Cod Historian Mike Farber is among the list of great speakers on astronomy related topics which often triggers the Society's support in their project area. CCAS makes it a point to have a keynote speaker at every monthly meeting. Our meetings are held the first Thursday of the month are free and open to the public.

Astronomer Dr. Timothy, Wheaton College Department of Physics lectures on Visual Astrophysics at the May 2009 meeting at Dennis-Yamouth Regional High School.

Our 16 inch Meade Reflector Telescope

Sky Chart over Cape Cod now
Stardate Magazine
Earth & Sky
The Astrophysics Spectator
Asteroids approach list
Stardate McDonald Observatory
Yesterday's Sandy Wood Message
This Week's Sky
The Universe Today
Tonight's Sky Movie
Heavens Above Cape Cod
Astronomical Headlines
Observatory Webcams
Earth Viewer
Detailed Monthly Sky Maps
Simpler Monthly Sky Maps
Messier Objects Messier list 2
Sky Maps - Messier List
Non-Messier NGC, IC & others
AAVSO Constellation Guides
Graphics of all Constellations
Star Names (alphabetical)
Brightest Star List
Nearest Star List
Cheap Astrophotography Technique
Old Tonight's Sky (downloads)
Old Stardate tapes (downloads)
Old Stargazer Show (downloads)
Science Daily

Jon Greenberg

The Astronomical League
Amat.Telescope Makers Boston
American Meteor Society
Astronomy Web Guide
International Space Station
Amateur Astronomy Blogs
Paul Cezanne's Observing Reports
Chris Cook's Astrophotography
Tom's Astronomy Blog
Comos Firma (Blog)
Astronomy Podcasts
Astronomy Daily Forums
Center for Astrophysics
Astronomy 101 Cornell
Cal SD Space Sciences
Mounting Binoculars
Amateur Astrophotography
Our 16" Meade LX200R
JAT Sky Cam (Fairless Hills, PA)
International Meteor Organization
A Pair of Binocular Mounts
Strobel's Astronomy Notes
Astronomy Without a Telescope
Constellation Information

Former CCAS newsletter editor NASA spacewalker Dan Burbank onboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis Sept 9, 2006 (see our Oct Newsletter and interview)

Sky This Week

click image to open the Sky This Week Channel
(weeky movie from
The Astronomical League)

When are there too many lights?

Many thanks to Dr. Mario Motta of ATMoB for speaking to the Cape Cod Astronomical Society about his successful efforts in Gloucester to pass a light pollution By- Law. Some surprising details that he spoke about really hit home ffor our light situation on Cape Cod and the Islands.
  • Nationally 1/3 of our energy costs goes to lighting
  • National expense for this lighting is $6 Billion (this pales against the cost of war, $80 Billion per year)
  • A 100 watt light bulb left on burns 1/2 ton of coal which produces 700 lbs of carbon dioxide per year
  • RPI study found night lighting does not deter crime
  • East Hampton, NY proved "glare bomb" street lighting actually skyrocketed auto accident rate by 40% instead of helping
  • Full cut-off lighting means a fixture where no light goes above the horizon
  • Cobra head street lighting fixtures and 'glare bomb" parking lot lighting are still common on Cape Cod.
  • This lighting has dangerous and disruptive side effects for: insects, bird and amphibean migration, navigation, plant blooming and trees lossing their leaves all effected by the period of light and not temperature

    Light Pollution. Is there somethng we can do?

    Speaking frankly, the Cape skies for star viewing worsen as towns continue to add poorly shielded public and commercial all night outdoor lighting. Some of the worst examples are at mini malls and cellphone towers disguised as enormous flagpoles lit by powerful mercury vapor spot lights burning out wholesale areas of sky. We need to talk some more about how CCAS can get involved locally in reducing this problem. Please join our Yahoo Group to participate in this active discussion or you can learn more at the Global at Night Project where you can see how dark skies on Cape Cod stack up against the rest of the world. Doing your part to save the night sky.

    CCAS clock $11.99

    Diary of a Mars rover driver
    Popular Mechanics Archives

    Peter Kurtz presents the autumn skies at September CCAS meeting
    Peter Kurtz presents his powerpoint presentation of 'The Autumn Skies' at recent CCAS meeting at DY Regional High School

  • Marveling at the night sky

    A visit from Larry Brookhart's Harwich Junior Astronomers

    Schmidt Observatory - (4/9/07). We arrived at the Observatory at 6:30PM, long before the last rays of the Sun were to drop below the horizon. Already about seven families from Harwich and 15 grade schoolers were busy chasing around the Observatory grounds and blowing off some energy while Larry Brookhart set his school made 10" scope on planet Venus burning in the western sky. As the students took turns "ooing and awing" at the yellow planet I asked a few kids which was further away, the Sun or Venus? Why is this planet yellow and so bright? Of course a few tried to answer the first question saying the Sun of course is further. But the answer is, at this moment Venus is further than 1.16 times the distance Earth to our star the Sun. How come?? Others were surprised to learn Venus is always surrounded by a cloud of yellow sulphuric acid gas that reflects the Suns rays in yellow and absorbs all other colors. Neat.

    Well by this time, dusk was being overcome by darkness and we had a a good view of Orion and his belt, the Big Dipper and and some power house stars like Sirius and Procyon that worked their way through the mercury vapor light stream coming off the parking lot and High School. Observatory Director Mike Hunter and Matt Jones had finally gotten the telescope in the dome to track and the kids lined up for the best view they will find of Saturn on Cape Cod. Wow. Later Mike used the laser pointer to find more star features. Yes it was a successful evening for these Harwich junior astronomers. Hopefully, they will all remember their visit to the Schmidt.

    CCAS Golf Shirt $17.99

    Telescope basics at the Werner Schmidt Observatory.
    Harwich Elementary students help describe what they want to see. Filmed for the International Year of Astronomy.

    CCAS Video of the Week

    Astronomy is a fascinating lifetime hobby enjoyed by people from all walks of life with varied interests. Being outside and marveling at the night sky is a way to enjoy nature. Astronomy is fun and easy to learn! You don't have to be a scholar in physics or math to enjoy our universe. Besides binoculars or a telescope you will need star maps or books listing the location of various objects in the sky. You can observe or photograph the heavens on a casual or serious basis, undertake scientific study or marvel at the wonderment of our existence. Now even computerized telescopes and programs are available making it very easy to identify numerous objects. Much useful information for all levels of interest is available from amateur astronomy clubs like ours, libraries, and thousands of websites, including this one.

    You could drive 80 miles to Cambridge to hear these interesting astronomy lectures held every Thursday at 4 PM at the Harvard University campus, Phillips Auditorium, Building D, Center for Astrophysics (unless noted otherwise) or you can see the lecture online using services on this frame.