Busy summer of outreach observing

posted Jun 14, 2019, 6:51 AM by Anthony Pisano

Please check our calendar and FB page for all the most up to update info on our outreach observing.  Many dates have been added and more to come!  We hope to see you out at our activities and at UACNJ this summer!

Moonwalk at 50! - July 20 at the Morris Museum

posted May 20, 2019, 7:33 AM by Anthony Pisano   [ updated Jul 8, 2019, 9:27 AM ]

Moonwalk at 50! festivities on Saturday, July 20 11AM-5PM. Activities include a crafts, science, a celebratory ‘moonwalk’, and a special screening of the recent hit documentary, Apollo 11. Guest speaker amateur astronomer and space enthusiast Alan Witzgall will give a talk on the first moon landing.

Mr. Alan Witzgall. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences from Kean University. He is a very active long-term member of Amateur Astronomers, Inc. of Cranford, NJ, and is a past president of that organization. Al is chairman of its Instrument Qualifications Committee, training AAI members in the use of the telescopes of Sperry Observatory. He is currently very involved with public education in astronomy and science outreach programs in general.

He is also active at the New Jersey Astronomical Association in High Bridge, NJ, serving as its Vice-president.

In his professional life, he is a Senior Optician for ESCO Optics of Oak Ridge, NJ. His career in optics came from building telescopes in his basement during his high school and college years. In 1977, one of them, a 10-inch reflector, took first award at Stellafane, the birthplace of the amateur telescope-making hobby in America.

Today we celebrate a momentous event in the history of humanity. Fifty years ago, on July 20th, 1969, two American explorers landed safely on the surface of the Moon, and a few days later returned safely to Earth. 

One Small Step : The Voyage of Apollo 11.

2PM talk time

Holiday Party

posted Dec 3, 2018, 5:21 AM by Anthony Pisano

Reminder: December 13th 7:00PM at the museum is our Holiday Party! 

Please bring a dish to share and join is for good company, good food and a re-cap of the year for our club.  We hope to see you all there.  

Thursday Evening Meeting & Picnic

posted Sep 11, 2018, 8:47 AM by Anthony Pisano   [ updated Sep 26, 2018, 1:00 PM ]

Welcome back all!  Just a reminder, we have our first meeting back from our summer break this Thurs, Sept. 13th, 7:00pm at the Museum.  Our own Ron Furia will be presenting his talk: "Exoplanets".  This is a make-up talk.  Ron was snowed out back in March of this year.  I hope you all can make it. 

Keeping with the theme of makeup dates, on Sat. Sept. 15th with will be having our MMAS/SSG/NJAG pic nic at the UACNJ.  Start time is 3PM till whenever.  If weather becomes an issue we will be putting info on Facebook and email that morning.  


posted Aug 18, 2018, 8:42 AM by Anthony Pisano

The club picnic has been postponed due to the threat of severe weather this afternoon and into the evening. We have rescheduled for September 15th 3PM. We apologize for this, but we would rather everyone in both clubs have an enjoyable and dry time instead of a rain out and being trapped in the house at UACNJ. More updates will follow in early Sept. and please spread the word.

SUMMER PICNIC 2018 - 08/18/18

posted Aug 17, 2018, 9:56 AM by Anthony Pisano

We have had a discussion about the possible severe weather tomorrow afternoon and will be watching the forecast and developments as time progresses to see if it will effect the picnic badly or not.


We will have come to a decision by that time.
Thanks so much everyone, and keeping fingers crossed!

Summer - Fall 2018 Schedule

posted Jun 26, 2018, 5:42 AM by Anthony Pisano

Aug. 18 - MMAS / NNJAG / SSG picnic at UACNJ

Sept. 13 - Ron Furia "Exoplanets"

Sept 22 - National Chemistry Week : Science is Out of this World

(MMAS Participation at the Morris Museum)

October 11 - Krishnadas Kootale "Everything You Need for a Trip to Mars"

November 8 - Lonny Buinis "Is the Universe Curved?"

Astro Day at the Morris Museum

posted Feb 27, 2018, 6:33 AM by Anthony Pisano   [ updated Feb 27, 2018, 3:32 PM ]

Saturday, March 24, 2018

(Morristown, NJ, March 6, 2018) –The Morris Museum and The Morris Museum Astronomical Society ( will host a fun-filled family event that is out of this world!  Astronomy programs, children’s activities, and interactive displays will be scheduled throughout the day from 11:00AM to 4:00PM, with night sky observing of the moon, planets and other celestial objects (weather permitting) from 7:30PM to 9:00PM. All Astro Day activities are free with museum admission.

Experts from the Morris Museum Astronomical Society will be on hand to provide lectures, telescope training (bring your family’s telescope), solar observation and night sky observing (weather permitting). Astro Day visitors will be able to view the sun through special filters, revealing sunspots, flares and prominences.

Further program and ticket information is available by calling 973.971.3700 or

Guest Speakers Topics:


12:30PM – Missy Holtser “Exploring Our Invisible Universe on SOFIA.” A first-hand experience onboard NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy 

2:00PM – Krishnadas Kootale “Everything You Need to Know to Fly to Mars.” A close look at what we need to get to Mars, and back. Don't pack your bags and put on your space suites, just yet.

Access to the Museum's Exhibitions 

A Cache of Kinetic Art: Curious Characters

Fashion Forwards: A Survey of Post WWII Fashion Accessories

Fresh Perspectives - 29th Annual Juried Art Exhibition for High School Students

Museum Detectives: What is It? 

Activities for Children

Craft-making & BASF's Kids' Lab

Enjoy Astro Day themed science activities.

Touch the Music Workshops 

Enjoy these special musical exploration opportunities for young and old alike!

Learn more about the field of Astronomy 

Through worksheets and other fun activities.  

Photo Opportunities

There will be multiple chances throughout the day to take your photo at a special AstroDay inspired station.


FREE for Museum Members.

FREE with Museum Admission for Non-members.

The Astro Family Day program is made possible in part by generous support from:

Morris Museum Astronomical Society
BASF Corporation

When eclipse hits NJ, weird things likely to happen

posted Aug 9, 2017, 5:46 AM by Anthony Pisano

Check out the article posted in the Daily Record

Whenever a solar eclipse occurs, weird things seem to happen.

“It’s going to be very interesting, even here in Jersey, with only 73 percent of the sun covered. It’s going to get cooler outside. It’s definitely going to get darker outside, almost like dusk or sunset around here. And it’s going to be kind of weird,” said Anthony Pisano, 46, president of the Morris Museum Astronomical Society.

“I remember back in the late 1970s, being in school. We didn’t get a total solar eclipse but we got something similar to this. The dummies at the school, because they didn’t know any better, they closed windows even though it wasn’t raining outside. And yes, it got dark but it didn’t get pitch black outside. There’s a lot of things you can read about online, stuff you notice during an eclipse. If you’re in the farmlands and an eclipse happens, the animals don’t know what’s going on and they start heading back to the barn. They think it’s time to go to sleep. The birds stop singing so a lot of weird things happen when an eclipse takes place.”

To help anyone not planning to travel view the solar eclipse safely, the Morris Museum is hosting “The Great American Solar Eclipse – A Viewing” from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 21 in the museum’s Bickford Theatre. The special free event will feature a live viewing via a NASA feed for one of the largest astronomical events in many decades. The museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown.

“We’re going to have some solar telescopes set up so that you can actually look at the sun safely and we’re going to have some special viewing glasses for people to take a look at the sun. It’s not like you have to there at exactly one o’clock or you have to be there at exactly three o’clock. You can come and go. We’re going to have live feeds from NASA with all the different telescopes from across the United States that we’ll be showing in the theater,” said Pisano, a resident of Boonton Twp.

The eclipse will begin at 1:22:02 p.m. with 73 percent maximum coverage at 2:44:28 p.m. and will end at 4:00:59 p.m. For more information, call 973-971-3700 or email to To learn more about the Morris Museum Astronomical Society, call 973-637-0178 or visit

“I think from approximately 12:30, 12:45-ish when you actually start noticing something till about 4 o’clock. The actual eclipse path goes from Oregon all the way through to South Carolina. Depending how far north or south of that eclipse line is how much of the percentage of the sun is going to be covered. You won’t see the total eclipse here in New Jersey. It will almost look like somebody took a bite out of a big round cookie.”

Pisano strongly stresses never looking directly at the sun except during a total solar eclipse using ISO-certified glasses. Most of the libraries in Morris County have started giving them free to visitors and the Morris Museum’s gift store is also selling them.

“Anything beyond that you can do damage to your eyes. There are eclipse glasses that are available from Amazon and other places but you have to make sure they are ISO-certified because there’s a lot of garbage floating around out there with people saying you can look at the sun with these and you’ll wind up hurting your eyes.”

When the museum hosted a special viewing for the public of the Transit of Venus in 2012, more than 150 people showed up on a cloudy day. Pisano thinks if the day brings bright blue skies, the museum could see more than 500 visitors for this latest solar eclipse.

“Myself, I’m either heading to South Carolina or out to Nebraska. This eclipse happens to be passing over Nashville so you can’t get near Nashville and I believe it’s passing over Minneapolis-St. Paul. But when I looked at a map, I said, you know what, it’s flat, there’s nobody out there, so maybe driving out a few days before to Nebraska will be the best bet.”

North American stargazers don’t have to wait long for the next total solar eclipse which will pass over Mexico, the United States and Canada on April 8, 2024. Totality first touches Mexico, enters the United States at Texas and cuts a diagonal to Maine before heading to the Canadian maritime provinces.

“We’ve waited 99 years for this one so the one in 2024 is literally around the corner. That’s going to be the big one for the Northeast, you can go right over the border to Pennsylvania,” said Pisano, who received his first telescope from his dad in 1986 for the passing of Halley’s Comet.

The Great American Solar Eclipse – A Viewing

posted Aug 1, 2017, 8:05 PM by Anthony Pisano

If you are not planning to travel to view the total solar eclipse, join the Morris Museum’s Astronomical Society in the Bickford Theatre for a live viewing via a NASA feed.  It’s one of the largest astronomical events in several decades.

Begin – 1:22:02pm
Mid -2:44:28pm 73% max coverage
End – 4:00:59pm

Don’t miss this special free event!

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