Verde Valley



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AstroVerde is the website of the Astronomers of Verde Valley.


Who Are We?

We are an amateur astronomy club serving the communities of the Verde Valley, Arizona. To learn more about us, click here

If you are as interested in Astronomy as we are, we hope you will  join  us at one of our star parties, meetings or guest lectures.

If you would like to become a member of AVV please use the contact information  below. We will be happy to assist you.

Here is the Club Brochure.

of Verde Valley

Click for Cottonwood, Arizona Forecast

The Digital Collection

A new wave in astro photography is in process with the Astronomers of Verde Valley. Several of the members have acquired digital photographic equipment and are now busy taking and processing images. In the Digital Collection, more and more pictures will be updated on the site as time goes by.

Click here and here for more digital galleries.

Special Events

The Alamo Lake Night Under the Stars event was designated as an Arizona Centennial Event. (02/23/2012)

Click for more info


JD's Obsession

Iridium flare and Comet Holmes

Iridium 52 is the bright streak intersecting this shot. Comet Holmes 7P is above the satellite at the top of the page. The photograph was captured on December 12th, 2007, from Clarkdale, Arizona, by our very own JD Maddy and published in the UK's Sky at Night Magazine.

Iridium Gallery click here:  Iridium Flares

Equipment used: Pentax IST digital camera, 50mm lens at f/2.0 for a 30-second exposure


Message in a Bottle

A message broadcast from Earth to the globular cluster M13 during the dedication of the Arecibo Observatory in 1974.

Check out our Members Telescopes here: Club Member Telescopes

For those who are somewhat nostalgic, check out our past star party page.  Past Star Parties

Our new Solar and Lunar picture page is under progress.   See the new page here.

Elsewhere on Our Website: 

Observing Tools - Star Charts, Clear Sky Clocks and Topographic maps.

Astronomy Newsfeeds - From NASA, Astrowire,

Articles - by our very own members.

Astrophotography - see the Astrophoto Galleries.

Focus Sections on Observing Mars, SaturnAsteroids, Comets and Satellites

News Flash:

A young just under two day old Moon as it sets on Wednesday evening. The bright lower portion is illuminated by the Sun's direct light. The upper part is illuminated by the reflection of the Sun's light off of the Earth. Primarily in this case by the Pacific Ocean. This is called Earthshine. It can be easily seen as the Moon sets when it is only a few days old after the New Moon. The small star is HIP 19036. The Moon occulted the star a few minutes after this picture was taken, but a mountain got in the way of photographing it.

News Flash:

Asteroid Vesta and Asteroid Ceres are closing in on each other visually this summer. The pair are in the constellation of Virgo, not far from where Mars is visible. Even though they appear near each other, they will still be over 50 million miles away apart. Mid July will have them moving apart, but still very close. Check monthly astronomy magazines for accurate finder charts. Click picture for larger view.


Below is Nova Delphinus that was discovered on August 14th, 2013. It reached naked eye visibility before starting to fade. After nearly a year, it is still telescopically visible. Click the photo for a larger view.


The planet Venus made a two day pass by the Pleiades on April 2nd & 3rd, 2012. This pass was on the later of the dates. Click here for a full size image. The next near pass of Venus by the Pleiades will be on April 11th, 2015.

The Semi Annual Star Night at Kartchner Caverns is now in the books. The cool day and evening skies were wonderful. Over 450 observed thru the solar telescopes and the evening telescopes. Click the picture for more Kartchner pictures and other Outreach events. Click here for an infra red movie made from stills of the event.


Jupiter is setting quickly after Sun set this summer. A low western horizon is needed to see it after Sun set. The cloud bands and Galilean Moons are easily seen in small telescopes. Click to expand.

Photo Credit: Bob Barnes

The Blue Horse Head Nebula in Scorpius is captured by member Mike Cadwell. IC 4592 as it is also known is 420 light years from Earth. To see more of Mike's photos, click here.

A recently discovered comet, Lovejoy 2014 Q2 has been moving across the sky over the past couple of months. For more comet pictures click here.

Picture Credit: Robert Mueller

The International Dark-sky Association has designated Sedona, AZ as the worlds' 8th  Dark Sky Community. Click here for the news release.

Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA

Click picture to super size.

Three Galaxies in Draco
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin

Explanation: This intriguing trio of galaxies is sometimes called the Draco Group, located in the northern constellation of (you guessed it) Draco. From left to right are edge-on spiral NGC 5981, elliptical galaxy NGC 5982, and face-on spiral NGC 5985 -- all within this single telescopic field of view spanning a little more than half the width of the full moon. While the group is far too small to be a galaxy cluster and has not been catalogued as a compact group, these galaxies all do lie roughly 100 million light-years from planet Earth. On close examination with spectrographs, the bright core of the striking face-on spiral NGC 5985 shows prominent emission in specific wavelengths of light, prompting astronomers to classify it as a Seyfert, a type of active galaxy. Not as well known as other tight groupings of galaxies, the contrast in visual appearance makes this triplet an attractive subject for astrophotographers. This impressively deep exposure hints at faint, sharp-edged shells surrounding elliptical NGC 5982, evidence of past galactic mergers. It also reveals many even more distant background galaxies.

To see more of Steve's APOD pictures and others, click here.

Up coming events

 03/21/2015: Messier Marathon @ Two Trees

03/26/2015: Arizona Scitech @ Camp Verde High School 11 AM to 3:30 PM Solar Viewing

 03/28/2015: Monthly Meeting @ V VMC - Conference Room B. 6:30 PM to 9 PM

 04/11/2015: Red Rock Ranger Station Solar Viewing & Star Party. 2 PM to 10 PM

 04/18/2015: Tuzigoot National Monument Star Party   7PM to 9:00 PM

 04/19/2015: Clarkdale Earth Day Solar Viewing - 10 AM to 2 PM Solar Viewing

 04/22/2015: Sedona Earth Day @ Sedona Wetlands Solar Viewing 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

 04/25/2015: Monthly Meeting @ V VMC - Conference Room B 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

See the Club Calendar for the complete 2015 schedule.

Details of 2015 Special Events are here.

News Flash:

The third in a Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses will be on the morning of April 4th, 2015. This eclipse is also called a Blood Moon Eclipse as the Moon will be directly behind the Earth's shadow and will appear very dark red and maroon in color. The last of the Tetrad Eclipses for this cycle will be on September 28th 2015.

On the afternoon of October 23rd for most of the United States, there was a partial solar eclipse. For the U.S., the Sun will be covered up to 80 % by the Moon.  Depending on your location, the Sun was at least 30% covered. The below picture shows the large Sun spot as the Moon slices across the Sun. The Sun spot was easily seen with only eclipse glasses. Click here to see a You Tube video of the eclipse.

Photo by J D Maddy

A comet discovered in August 2014 is now gathering attention as it climbs in the night sky. This picture has Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 passing by the globular cluster M79 on Dec 28th 2014 in the constellation of Lepus, the Hare.

Click image to enlarge

Photo: J D Maddy


Illustration Credit & Copyright: J D Maddy and Gerald Madero.

Explanation: The Great Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda (aka M31), a mere 2.5 million light-years distant, is the closest large spiral to our own Milky Way. Andromeda is visible to the unaided eye as a small, faint, fuzzy patch, but because its surface brightness is so low, casual skygazers can't appreciate the galaxy's impressive extent in planet Earth's sky. This entertaining composite image compares the angular size of the nearby galaxy to a brighter, more familiar celestial sight. In it, a deep exposure, tracing beautiful blue star clusters in spiral arms far beyond the bright yellow core, is combined with a typical view of a nearly full Moon. Shown at the same angular scale, the Moon covers about 1/2 degree on the sky, while the galaxy is clearly several times that size. The deep Andromeda exposure also includes two bright satellite galaxies, M32 and M110 (bottom). This composite image is made from a stack of M31 images taken with a Celestron GPS11, Hyperstar 3 with a Canon 450D (XSI) and a single image of the Moon taken with the same setup.


The Astronomers of  Verde Valley are members of the Night Sky Network

Check out the Club's Community Outreach page for their latest activities by clicking here.

News Flash:

The Astronomers of Verde Valley were recognized at the recent volunteer luncheon for the National Parks Service National Monuments. This year (2013) marked the 5th year that the Astronomy Club has given programs at Tuzigoot National Monument. Click the on picture for full view.



      Contact Information:

               Astronomers of Verde Valley

       PO Box 714 Cottonwood, AZ  86326

       928 649 0485

        Here is a membership application form. Here is the Club Brochure.

J. D. Maddy


Vice President:
Doug Ostroski

Outreach Director:
Karen Maddy


Nancy Snyder