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Astronomy Club Informational Meeting Held Nov. 22

BOONE–Individuals interested in forming an astronomy club in the High Country are invited to attend a meeting on Friday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. in Room 354 Rankin Science Building at Appalachian State University.

The meeting is being organized by Dan Caton, professor of physics and director of observatories at Appalachian, and Creston resident Roger Hipp.

The meeting will help determine area interest, how often the group should meet, and provide information about telescopes for the amateur astronomer.

“I have had inquires over the last several years from people all over the region who were interested in an astronomy club for amateurs in the region,” he said. There are active organizations in Caldwell and Forsyth counties and in the Roan Mountain Tenn., area but nothing in the High Country, he said.

“The meeting is aimed for people who are new to astronomy but everyone is welcome,” Caton said.

Hipp has been watching the skies since he was a teenager. His first telescope as a 4-inch reflector telescope. He now has an 8-inch computerized telescope from which he observes galaxies, nebulas and planets. But you don’t need a telescope to explore the night skies, he said. “It’s a great hobby to have because it’s relatively cheap. With a set of binoculars you’re set for a lifetime,” Hipp said.

There are approximately 100,000 amateur astronomers in United States. “It’s a very popular scientific hobby,” Caton said.

“Our main resource is the relatively dark skies in the area. Clubs in the large cities routinely have to drive miles in order to do any serious observing. We have dark skies in most people’s back yards,” he said.

For more information about the meeting, visit,

call Caton at (828) 262-2446, or Hipp at 336-385-4090 after 6 p.m.