Cygnus -meeting 17.-19.7.2015

The traditional Cygnus -summer convention of Finnish amateur astronomers was this year organized in Ylöjärvi, near Tampere, Finland by local amateur astronomy association Tampereen Ursa (astronomical association Ursa of Tampere). The event site was located by Lake Näsijärvi, which is one of the largest lakes in Finland!

The programme of the meeting was quite traditional: it consisted of lectures, smaller group meetings and some freetime socializing by campfire and of course bathing in Sauna! This year the excursion organized during the meeting was to the Amusement park/planetarium of Särkänniemi in Tampere. There we were watching a show about all kinds of violent events in the Universe! Another excursion after the meeting was organized to the observatory of Ursa of Tampere in Kauppi district, Tampere. The observatory is located on the top of the water tower of Tampere. The horizon is pretty much open in there, but the lights of Tampere city are causing quite nasty light pollution problem.

Weather during the meeting was quite variable: it was raining during every day of the meeting, but still we were able to do all kinds of observations, mostly of atmospheric phenomenae like halos, rainbows and noctilucent clouds.

During this meeting also a photography contest was organized! I also participated in the contest with two photos, but they weren’t very succesfull this time. The quality of the contest was really exceptional!

There was also one a bit sad thing in the programme: one of our colleagues, Marja Wallin has passed away after long struggle with cancer in June this year. At the moment of her death, she was only 38! Absolutely too young to pass away! During the meeting we having some time remembering her and her activities and contributions to the community of Finnish amateur astronomers. Marja was so happy and strong person also in the middle of the struggles, and she participated to the hobby activities until the very end! Rest in peace Marja, we will be missing you!

The amount of participants was about 130, which has been quite typical number during past years! I think the event was mostly very succesfull, and I had really good time there with my astronomy friends and colleagues!

Photos from the event:

Photos: Juha Ojanperä


Cygnus -summer meeting of Finnish amateur astronomers was organized in Mäntsälä 17.-20.7.2014

The traditional Cygnus -summer meeting of Finnish amateur astronomers was organized in Mäntsälä, Southern Finland. The event place was a camping site of the local Parish, called Leiriniemi. The place is located in the shores of a small lake called Keravanjärvi. The number of participants was about 120, which has been quite typical number during recent years.

The programme of the event consisted of lectures and workshops. Also a museum visit to home site museum of A.E. Nordenskiöld was included in programme. A.E. Nordenskiöld was an explorer, cartographer, mineralogist and geologist born and raised in Finland. Nordenskiöld was the first man to navigate through the Northeast passage. One of the most anticipated lectures was the 3rd part of the lecture series about the Moon race during the Cold war given by Hannu Määttänen. Other popular and interesting lectures were the lecture given by Arto Oksanen about the spectropolarimetry -observations of T Pyx in VLT, Chile and the lecture given by FMI researcher Harri Haukka about the Rosetta -comet exploration mission. Outside the formal programme, we were having sauna and having some good time with other fellow amateur astronomers and friends. The event ended in the excursion to Tähtikallio observatory in Artjärvi, only 60km from the event site.

Weather during the event was mostly warm and sunny, except few isolated showers. We also were able to observe some thunderstorms during the event. Noctilucent clouds were observed only during the first night of the event.

More photos here.

Cygnus -summer meeting of the amateur astronomers of Finland was organized in Vihti 25.7.-28.7.2013

The traditional Cygnus -summer meeting of Finnish amateur astronomers was organized this year between 25th and 28th of July 2013 in Vihti, Southern Finland. The main local organizer of the event was the local astronomy club Kirkkonummen Komeetta (The Comet of Kirkkonummi) and national Ursa astronomical association. The event site was the summer camp site of the local parish. The site was located in the village of Ojakkala, in the shores of the Enäjärvi -lake. Weather was fine during the whole event, only friday it was raining. The amount of participants was about 150, which is clearly higher number than last year!

And because this event is organized in late-July, the nights are already getting darker, and it is possible to do some astronomical observations already! During the nights of the meeting, we did some observing together in the yard of the site, and the atmosphere was just like in some big American star partyes!

The programme was very interesting also this year! For example, lectures were given on following topics: T Pyxidis -recurrent nova (Arto Oksanen), the Moon race of the cold war between USA and USSR (Hannu Määttänen) and a lecture given by professional astrobiologist Kirsi Lehto about the new directions of the astrobiological studies. Also the Stella Arcti -awards were granted in this Cygnus -meeting. The award-winning amateur astronomers this year were Iiro Sairanen (awarded for meritorious, long-lasting visual deep sky observing) and Lauri Kangas (awarded for his active participation in amateur astronomy activities in various ways). Usually these awards have been granted in the Tähtipäivät -event, but it wasn’t organized this year, and that’s why they were granted now in the Cygnus -meeting.

After the event had ended, we had also an opportunity to visit the Komakallio -observatory center of the local astronomy club Kirkkonummen Komeetta (the Comet of Kirkkonummi) that was the main organizer of the Cygnus -meeting. In the site, there are four telescopes in minimalistic sheds. Besides this, they have also a small but warm control room for the telescopes with facilities for overnight stay for three persons. This observatory center is located very close to Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, but the site is nevertheless dark enough for making good astronomical observations!

I think this event was very succesfull, and it was fun to participate!

Copyright of the photos: © Juha Ojanperä

Report from the Cygnus -meeting of Ursa 21.-24.7.2011

The traditional summer meeting of the amateur astronomical association Ursa was organized in 21.-24.7.2011 in small town of Jokioinen, in Kanta-Häme region, Southern Finland. The event place was slightly different than usually, because now we were in the middle of agricultural landscape very close to the center of Jokioinen town. Usually the Cygnus -meeting has been held near a lake in some camping place. The meeting place now was in the facilities of the MTT, the agricultural research center of Finland.

A building called Tapulimakasiini in the event place

This Cygnus -meeting was organized little bit in hurry, because we weren’t able to organize the meeting in the original planned place because of extremely high prices and lack of access to certain important facilities. But considering the tight schedule, the Cygnus -meeting in Jokioinen was very succesfull! The amount of people attending and visiting the meeting was around 115, which was slighty less than usually.

The program was consisted of lectures, presentations and demonstrations. A new element in the program were so-called “lightning-talk” -sessions and a guided hobby section -demonstration tour, where people were touring from point to point where section active members were demonstrating some activities related to their hobby section. For example, me and the assistant leader of the deep sky section Linda Laakso were demonstrating how to build a cheap but safe solar filter from Astrosolar -film.

Ismo Elo giving a lecture about Kaali -meteor impact crater in Estonia

In Saturday, we were visiting the observing station of the Finnish Meteorological Institute in town of Jokioinen. There we were able to see launching a weather sounding balloon and we were given a small presentation of the facilities by the leader of the observing station.

Weather instrument shelters at Jokioinen observing station

During the event, we were able to see several times beautiful cumulonimbus clouds and special clouds related to them. Also wonderful displays of noctilucent clouds were visible, especially during the night between Thorsday and Friday. At times it was also raining and thundering! The weather was nevertheless favourable, it was very warm and sunny during most of the time during the meeting!

The veil of cumulonimbus with mammatus clouds

We were also able to meet many old and new hobby friends, and all in all, the meeting was very inspirating and interesting! Big thank you to all of you, who made this meeting as good as it was!

And then some action photos from the meeting:

Observing the Sun
People were grilling sausages around the camp fire
Freezing marshmellows with liquid nitrogen, those physicians are always trying something new and crazy!


I was also starting my observing season in Cygnus. During the night 22./23.7.2011 I was making observations of the Moon, Jupiter and of Messier 29. Or actually I wasn’t exactly making any observations of those objects but rather watching them for fun! But nevertheless I made some real observations of the observing conditions that night. I estimated that the NELM was about 4.0 and SQM was 16.82 in the zenith.

Summary of obs session #1/11-12
Date: 22/23.7.2011
Time: 01.35-02.00
Place: Jokioinen, Finland
Instruments used: L102/1000mm, naked eye
Objects observed: Jupiter, The Moon, Messier 29
Conditions: NELM: 4.0, SQM: 16.82, clear sky, light sky, warm air, 53% Moon in the east at altitude of 15°