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:

Jupiter will return in 2017's first quarter seen in the late evening's sky.  The cloud bands and Galilean Moons are easily seen in small telescopes. Mars and Saturn are also visible in the south west after sunset. Saturn will be disappearing into the Sun's glow soon. Click to expand.

Photo Credit: J D Maddy

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.


Karen Maddy instructs the Sedona Parks & Recreation Summer Camp kids how to safely observe the Sun. Click the picture for more AVV Public Outreach.


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

Comet LINEAR 252P is showing nicely in April skies with this April 10th, 2016 picture. The comet is in the 13th zodiacal constellation of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.

The above views of Comet Lovejoy Q2 will be hard to beat in the upcoming months for viewing as it was a couple of years ago.

Picture credit for the above two pictures: J D Maddy


Global SUNday participation

Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA

Click picture to super size.

Elephants Trunk Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin

Explanation: Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Also known as vdB 142, the cosmic elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long. This colorful close-up view includes image data from a narrow band filter that transmits the light from ionized hydrogen atoms in the region. The resulting composite highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees. This dramatic scene spans a 1 degree wide field, about the size of 2 Full Moons.

To see more of Steve's APOD pictures and others, click here. To see how this picture was put together, click here.

News Flash:

The International Dark-sky Association has designated Big Park/Village of Oak Creek, AZ as the worlds' 14th  Dark Sky Community. This community joins Sedona and Flagstaff  as a Dark Sky Community. Click here for more info.

Up coming events

March 1st thru 3rd: Sci Tech Festival in the Verde Valley

03/01/2017: Sci Tech Festival @ Mingus Union High School. Solar viewing from 8:30 AM til 2 PM.

03/03/2017: Sci Tech Festival @ Yavapai Community College 5 PM til 8 PM.

03/11/2017: Monthly Meeting @ VVMC in Cottonwood. Conference Room B @ 6:30 PM.

03/25/2016: Messier Marathon Weekend

04/01/2017: Kartchner Caverns Star Night (Benson)

04/08/2017: Monthly Meeting @ VVMC. 6:30 PM til 9 PM.

04/10/2017: Moon Light Hike @ Red Rock State Park Lunar Viewing.

04/21/2017: Camp Verde Community Park Star Party

04/22/2017: Red Rock Ranger Station Solar Viewing and Star Party.

See the Club Calendar for the complete 2017 schedule.

Details of 2015 Special Events are here.


The fourth in a Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses was on the evening of September 27th, 2015 (Arizona Time). 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.  This event also included the Moon as the Harvest Moon and a Super Moon. This triple effect will not occur again until 2033. Click the picture for full screen. Click here for more eclipse pictures. A video of the eclipse is at:

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: Robert Mueller

Explanation: The Rosette Nebula and its cluster reside in the constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn. This picture was processed in what's called a Modified Hubble Pallet. Using a variety of filters gives it a unique appearance. Click the picture for a larger view.


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 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