Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society


Bringing knowledge of astronomy and enjoyment of the night sky to the Chippewa Valley of west-central Wisconsin


Planets Around Other Stars
Nathan Miller
Department of Physics and Astronomy
UW – Eau Claire
For centuries, astronomers have dreamed about the possibility of
planets orbiting other stars, but until recently the planets which make
up our own solar system were the only planets known. Now, over
3400 planets have been discovered and more are continually being
found. This talk will focus the methods astronomers use to discover
these planets and how their properties are determined. Interesting
comparisons can be made to the planets in our own solar system. I will
conclude with a brief discussion of what these new planet discoveries
tell us about the possibility of life elsewhere in the galaxy. This talk will
help prepare you to understand the news reports that are sure to be
coming in the next few years in this exciting and rapidly-developing
area of science.

The public observing schedule for August has a few bumps due to the Great American Solar Eclipse and Northwoods Starfest.


Saturday August 12th,
Public observing for about two hours starting about an hour after sunset if skies are clear.


Saturday August 19th

Observatory closed - No monthly program and no public observing!


Monday August 21st

The Great American Solar Eclipse


CVAS will have a small solar telescope available for safe eclipse viewing from about 11:30am to 2:00pm in front of Hobbs Observatory


The UWEC Physics and Astronomy Department will have solar scopes and other safe viewing methods available in the outdoor amplitheater between Davies and Schofield from about noon to 2:30pm

For those viewing the partial eclipse in Eau Claire:

Start of partial eclipse  11:47:03am
Maximum eclipse : 1:09:58pm
End of partial eclipse: 2:31:56pm

The moon will cover just less than 82% of the sun


Saturday August 26th

Observatory closed - No public observing!

This is the weekend of the annual Northwoods Starfest - registration required.




About the society:

The Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society (CVAS) is an amateur astronomy organization in Wisconsin's Chippewa Valley.

The society members have a broad spectrum of astronomical interests from casual to serious visual observing, astro-photography, radio astronomy, and telescope building.

The society holds monthly business meetings, monthly club observing sessions, and performs public outreach at Hobbs Observatory and other locations.

The society hosts Northwoods Starfest,  a regional star party attended by amateur astronomers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.



Membership Information

CVAS membership is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. Yearly membership dues are $20 for individuals, $25 for families, and $10 for full time students. Membership runs from January 1st to December 31st each year.  Members receive email notices of all upcoming club events.

For an additional cost of $7.50, members may become a member of the Astronomical League (a national group of amateur astronomers). This membership the quarterly publication Reflector.


A membership form is available HERE


2017 CVAS Officers

Mike Brown - President

Emmett Kyle - Vice President

Rick Swenson - Secretary

Bill Childs - Treasurer

Mail Address:

Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society

PO Box 765

Eau Claire, WI  54702






CVAS is a 501(c)3 organization.  All donations are tax deductable to the extent allowed by law.



CVAS Planisphere

A planisphere is a star chart that can be set for any day or time.  It is useful for learning stars, constellations, and motions in the night sky.  A copy of the

files required to assemble the CVAS PLANISPHERE is available for download by clicking HERE