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2009 Calendar

Andy Fraknoi's IYA Calendar. -|- IYA 100 Hours of Astronomy

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For individual club calendars, see AANC Resource Guide.


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January, 2009

  • 2009 Jan 2 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 5:01 pm, 36% moon sets 11:13 pm. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm.
  • 2009 Jan 10 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr. Ruslan Belikov of NASA/Ames, Searching For Other Earths Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00
  • 2009 January 12 Mon 7:30pm - Alex Filippenko, University of California, Berkeley. Benjamin Dean Lecture Series in Astronomy, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; 415-379-8000; deanseries@calacademy.org ; http://www.calacademy.org/events - Observations of very distant exploding stars (supernovae) show that the expansion of the Universe is now speeding up, rather than slowing down due to gravity as expected. Other, completely independent data strongly support this amazing conclusion. Over the largest distances, our Universe seems to be dominated by a repulsive "dark energy," stretching the very fabric of space itself faster and faster with time. The physical nature of dark energy is often considered to be the most important unsolved problem in physics; it probably provides clues to a unified quantum theory of gravity. Adults $10, Seniors $8, California Academy of Sciences Members $5
  • 2009 Jan 16 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 5:15 pm, 58% moon rise 11:57 pm. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm.
  • 2009 Jan 16 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. The topic will be Telescopes & Eyepieces.
  • 2009 Jan 17 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 5:16 pm, 48% moon rise 12:57 am.
  • January 17 UC Berkeley Astronomy Department Lecture - Geoff Marcy The Search for Habitable Planets and Life in the Universe - in Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100. http://astro.berkeley.edu/~scroft/iya/
  • 2009 Jan 21 Wed at 7 pm, Astronomer Anthony Colaprete of NASA's Ames Research Center will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on: Prospecting for Water on the Moon: The Upcoming LCROSS MIssion as part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California. Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information and driving directions. This coming April, NASA will purposely crash two spacecraft into one of the Moon's polar regions. The impacts should raise huge plumes of material, visible even to smaller telescopes on Earth. Astronomers will search for evidence of water in the plumes to get a better sense of how much frozen water may lay hidden in the deep, shadowed craters of the Moon's North and South poles. Dr. Colaprete, the Principal Investigator for this intriguing mission, will fill us in on why scientists believe there is water on the Moon (even though there is no air), and how we might put such water to use in future exploration. He will preview the LCROSS mission and discuss the campaign to observe the plumes from Earth and space. The lecture is co-sponsored by: * NASA Ames Research Center * The Foothill College Astronomy Program * The SETI Institute * The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are now available in MP3 format at: http://www.astrosociety.org/education/podcast
  • 2009 Jan 24 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 5:24 pm, 1% moon rises 6:59 am. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved.
  • 2009 January 28, Wednesday, 12:00 noon The SETI Institute, Europa room. Surface modifications by winds on Earth, Mars, Venus, and Titan - Ron Greeley, Regent's Professor, Arizona State University. Windblown dunes, ripples, and erosional features are seen on Earth, Venus, and Titan, while on Mars these features are ubiquitous and reflect the dominant agent of surface modification. Although the fundamental process is similar, the environments on these planetary objects are substantially different. Simulations conducted in the Planetary Aeolian Laboratory at NASA-Ames, coupled with field work and modeling, enable analyses of wind-related features and processes on planetary surfaces. Colloquium series webpage: http://www.seti.org/csc/lectures CSC/ SETI Institute Colloquium Series: The colloquiums are free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California.
  • 2009 Jan 30 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 5:31 pm, 21% moon sets 10:09 pm. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm.

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February, 2009

  • 2009 Feb 2. 7:30pm-9:00pm. Dean Lecture - encore presentation of Alex Filippenko's talk, "Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe." This special encore is intended for those who were unable to attend the original lecture. Reservations for all of the spring lecture series now available by calling 415-379-8000 and pressing 0 for an agent. We strongly recommend advance ticketing. We are unable to guarantee tickets at the door, so please check with our phone representatives or on our website at www.calacademy.org for the status of ticket sales. E-mail: deanseries@calacademy.org; Web: http://www.calacademy.org/events/index.php
  • 2009 FEB  2 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- KEPLER’S HUNT FOR HABITABLE PLANETS - Dr. Natalie Batalha of San José State University and NASA Ames Research Center will describe the science objectives of NASA’s Kepler Mission, scheduled to launch in March, and will also highlight some of the job opportunities that exist for physics majors in the space sciences. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd
  • 2009 Feb 3. Astrophysicist Mario Livio discusses and signs his latest book 'Is God a Mathematician? ' - 07:30 PM at Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025. A fascinating exploration of the great discoveries of historyâs most important mathematicians seeks an answer to the eternal question: Does mathematics hold the key to understanding the mysteries of our physical world? Mario Livio is a senior astrophysicist and Head of the Office of Public Outreach at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of The Golden Ratio, a highly acclaimed book about mathematics and art for which he received the International Pythagoras Prize and the Peano Prize, The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved and The Accelerating Universe. Introduction by Dr. Keith Devlin, a Consulting Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Stanford, an author, and "the Math Guy" on National Public Radio
  • 2009 Feb 5. The Commonwealth Club is hosting Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium and author of The Pluto Files. He'll talk about how exactly he led the way for the demotion of Pluto as a planet. There will be a wine and cheese reception starting at 5:30, followed by the program at 6:00 pm. The event is in the Blue Room of the Commonwealth Club office, which is located at 595 Market St., 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105. Tickets to the event are being sold at $18 per person, but for students, tickets are only $7. For more details about the event, please visit this website: http://tickets.commonwealthclub.org/auto_choose_ga.asp?area=1 .
  •  2009 February 7 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr.Chris McKay of NASA, who will tell us "What We Have Learned From the Mars Phoenix Lander". Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 This is the Annual Meeting, to elect the Board of Directors.
  • 2009 FEB  9 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- THE CONVERGENCE OF PARTICLE PHYSICS AND ASTROPHYSICS: THE LHC/FERMI ERA - Dr. Michael Dine of the University of California, Santa Cruz will explain the relation of some of the big questions in cosmology and particle physics and how the Large Hadron Collider currently being commissioned at CERN and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope may address them. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd
  • 2009 Feb 13, 7-9 pm Sonoma State Univ Observatory Public Viewing Night - Venus and the Pleiades, a Valentine treat!. (707) 664 - 2267; http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/observatory/pvn.html
  • 2009 Feb 14 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 5:47 pm, 66% moon rise 11:48 Pm.
  • 2009/02/18. Multiple Asteroid Systems: New Techniques to Study New Worlds. Franck Marchis, UC Berkeley and the SETI Institute. Since the discovery of Ida’s companion Dactyl in 1993, the number of known multiple asteroids has been continuously increasing and ~165 of them are now known. Since 2003, Dr. Marchis and his colleagues have been conducting a large survey of these interesting and diverse populations using various ground-based telescopes and techniques, such as high angular resolution imaging, lightcurve photometry, and VIS/NIR spectroscopy, and also the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. Dr. Marchis ' talk will cover the latest insights into these multiple systems, such as the sizes and shapes of their components, their bulk-density and their orbital parameters, which are key to understanding how they formed and evolved. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 Feb 20 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 5:53 pm, 12% moon rise 4:59 am. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm.
  • 2009 Feb 20 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Jay Freeman speaks on Binoculars in astronomy.
  • 2009 Feb 21 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 5:54 pm, 7% moon rise 5:32 am. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved.
  • 2009 February 21 11am Eliot Quataert - Black Holes: Monsters Lurking at the Centers of Galaxies, 145 Dwinelle - UC Berkeley IYA Public Talk - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 February 23 - David Morrison, NASA Ames Research Center. Benjamin Dean Lecture Series in Astronomy, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; 415-379-8000; deanseries@calacademy.org ; http://www.calacademy.org/events. Long-term habitability of our planet is linked to external as well as internal influences. In particular, cosmic impacts are now recognized as a major factor in the biological history of the Earth. Most dramatic was the discovery that the end-Cretaceous mass extinction of 65 million years ago was caused by the impact of an asteroid or comet. Now that we recognize the importance of impacts, we can consider ways to protect our planet from future cosmic disasters. The first step is the Spaceguard Survey to discover and characterize potentially threatening near-earth-asteroids. We are also beginning to study technologies that could deflect future impactors before they hit. For the first time in history, we humans have the capacity to predict, and perhaps avoid entirely, the sort of catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs. Adults $10, Seniors $8, California Academy of Sciences Members $5.
  • 2009 FEB 23 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- THE LIGHT, THE DARK, AND THE HOT GAS: DISSECTING GALAXY CLUSTERS - Dr. Anja von der Linden of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and Stanford University will explain how multi-wavelength observations of galaxy clusters can reveal the properties of dark matter, and how they can constrain cosmological parameters. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd
  • 2009/02/25. Interstellar and Early Solar System Organics in Samples from Comet Wild 2. Scott Sandford, NASA Ames Space Science Division. The Stardust mission successfully returned samples from Comet Wild 2 in 2006. Studies of these samples have confirmed the presence of organics, some of which appear to be similar to those found in meteorites and some of which looks unlike anything seen in extraterrestrial materials before. The presence of D and 15N excesses in many of the organics suggests they have an interstellar chemical heritage. The nature of these organics, and their possible relationship to interstellar environments will be discussed. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592

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March 2009

  • 2009 Mar 4, 7pm. Steven Beckwith, former Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute - The Dawn of Creation: The First Two Billion Years. Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series.
  • 2009/03/04. Discovery of Strong Cycles in Fossil Diversity. Richard Muller, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, UC Berkeley. Richard Muller and his collaborators have recently analyzed the most complete record of marine animal fossils ever compiled, the "Compendium" of Jack Sepkoski, which lists all known fossil marine animal genera back 542 million years. When the fossil diversity (number of distinct genera) is plotted, it shows a very strong 62 Myr cycle. The cycle is particularly evident in the species that endured for relatively short times, as shown in the diagram below (published in Nature, vol 434, 208-210, 10 March 2005). CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 March 4, Wednesday, Hitoshi Murayama, Professor in the Department of Physics at UC Berkeley, and Director of the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at University of Tokyo - How Could We Survive the Big Bang?- East Bay Science Cafe held the first Wednesday of every month at Cafe Valparaiso at La Pena Cultural Center from 7 to 9pm. 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705. http://bnhm.berkeley.edu/about/sciencecafe.php
  • 2009 Mar 6 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 6:07 pm, 84% moon sets 4:20 am. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm.
    2009 Mar 6 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm, Topic to be announced.
  • 2009 March 6. 7:30 pm. SPEAKER: Patricia Burchat, Chair, Department of Physics, Stanford University - TOPIC: The Dark Side of the Universe - A 21st Century View of the Universe: Dark Matter and Dark Energy. TIME: SCAS General Meeting Friday March 6, 7:30 pm, speaker at 8:00pm. WHERE: San Mateo County Astronomical Society/College of San Mateo/
    The CSM Planetarium(for map). 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd. San Mateo, CA 94402. Free and open to the public.
  • 2009 Mar 7 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr. Kevin Zahnle of NASA/Ames, speaking on the Earth After the Moon-Forming Impact Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00
  • 2009 March 7, 9:30AM Northern California Historical Astronomy Luncheon and Discussion
    Association(NCHALADA) 87th meeting - discussions on historical astronomy held in the Board Room at Chabot Space and Science Center http://www.nchalada.org. Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland. Morning discussion, 10 - 12:30: Constellations of Middle and South America. Chair: John Westfall, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers; Lunch probably at Harry's Hofbrau or Home Town Buffet, then a brief business meeting. Afternoon discussion, 2 - 5 PM: The Other Moons of the Solar System Chair: Nancy K. Cox, San Francisco Amateur Astronomers.Contact Norm Sperling, Editor, "The Journal of Irreproducible Results" http://www.jir.com; http://www.everythingintheuniv.com
  • 2009 Mar 8, 8PM Sunday San Jose Astronomical Association - Houge Park. General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr. Kevin Zahnle of NASA Ames. Topic: Earth After the Moon-Forming Impact
    Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00
  • 2009 March 8, Sunday. Eastbay Astronomical Society's 2009 Annual Awards Dinner. Doors Open 5:45 pm. Dinner from 6:30÷8:00 pm. Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA
  • 2009 Mar 8 -Su- 2 am. DST begins. Advance clocks 1 hour.
  • 2009/03/11. Tools for Probing the Universe: from the Smallest to Largest and All Scales In Between. Jeffrey Scargle, NASA Ames Space Science Division. Jeff Scargle will describe non-standard data analysis methods for extracting scientific information from time series and other data. Examples include large scale structure in the distribution of galaxies, detection of extrasolar planets, "meta-analysis" of clinical studies and psychic phenomena, variability of Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope sources, and the search for quantum gravity effects at the smallest possible space-time scales. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 Mar 13, 8-10 pm Sonoma State Univ Observatory Public Viewing Night - The Orion Nebula and the Beehive Cluster. (707) 664 - 2267; http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/observatory/pvn.html
  • 2009 March 16th-28th, IYA GLOBE at Night project - http://www.globe.gov/GaN/
  • 2009 March 16 Mon 7:30pm - Sandra Faber, University of California, Santa Cruz/Lick Observatory. Benjamin Dean Lecture Series in Astronomy, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; 415-379-8000; deanseries@calacademy.org ; http://www.calacademy.org/events. Dr. Faber will tour the Universe using the most beautiful and notable images from the Hubble Space Telescope and will use these as a springboard to discuss the impact that modern astronomical images have had on our thinking about the history of our species and its role and future in the Universe. Adults $10, Seniors $8, California Academy of Sciences Members $5.
  • 2009/03/18. Google Earth, now with Mars!. Ross A. Beyer, SETI Institute and NASA Ames. Google, Inc., has released Google Earth 5.0 which contains a Mars 3D mode. Working with engineers at Google, we helped collect, parse, and organize the vast store of Mars geospatial data available to the public into a form that could be used by Google Earth. The Mars mode presents data acquired both from orbit and on the surface, presented fully integrated into the Google Earth geospatial browser. Ross will cover a brief history of the project, take you on a detailed tour of all of the features, and answer your questions about using Mars mode for science, education, or fun, as well as answering questions about how to view your own data in the client. The team behind this talk includes NASA Ames engineers Matt Hancher and Michael Broxton. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 Mar 20 -Fr- Spring begins at 4:44 am, PDT
  • 2009 Mar 20 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 7:20 pm, 25% moon rise 4:30 am. Star party hours: 8:30 until 11:30 pm.
  • 2009 Mar 21 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:21 pm, 17% moon rise 5:01 am.
  • 2009 March 21 11am - UC Berkeley Astronomy Department IYA Lecture - Dan Werthimer Is Anybody Out There? Searching for ET with Help from 8 Million Volunteers - in Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100 - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 MAR 23 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- EXPLORING THE EXTREME UNIVERSE WITH FERMI - Dr. Lynn Cominsky of Sonoma State University will describe recent discoveries from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which is observing black holes, exploding stars and more! Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd
  • 2009 Mar 27 -Fr- SJAA Coe has been requested for an additional MM night. http://www.sjaa.net
    2009 Mar 28 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:27 pm, 8% moon sets 10:12 pm. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. This is the recomended weekend for a Messier Marathon. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 MAR 30 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- ENERGY RESEARCH IN DENMARK - Jeremy Hieb (’03) of the University of California, Santa Cruz and Zero Motorcycles will discuss renewable energy research in Denmark–including wind, solar, bioenergy, electric vehicles, hydrogen micro-grids, and smart grids for a sustainable biosphere. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd

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April, 2009

  • 2009/04/01. Weathering on Icy Satellites: Probing the Near Surface Using Infrared Spectroscopy. Rachel Mastrapa, NASA Ames Space Sciences Division and SETI Institute. Infrared spectra of icy satellites contain information about the surface composition and the phase state of those materials. For example, the phase of H2O-ice can be used to interpret the temperature and radiation history of an icy surface. Optical constants derived from laboratory data are needed to create model spectra for comparison to observations and may lead to a new understanding of surface processes. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 April 2-5. International Year of Astronomy (IYA): 100 Hours of Astronomy

    Amateur Astronomers around the world will be out on the streets and in parks showing off the heavens to the public to celebrate "100 Hours of Astronomy", an event taking place this weekend, April 2-5. As part of a global effort to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of modern astronomy starting with Galileo in 1609, professional and amateur astronomers are setting up "star parties" where anyone can look through telescopes to see planets and stars. There will also be lectures, webcasts, and other types of events.

    • Streaming webcast - http://www.ustream.tv/channel/100-hours-of-astronomy
    • Sonoma State University sponsored events - http://www.sonoma.edu/pubs/newsrelease/archives/003406.html. See also flyer (PDF).
    • April 2–4 (Thur-Sat) from 7:30 until 9:30 pm. The San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (SFAA) will be setting up telescopes at Lands End in San Francisco for stargazing and learning about the skies. This is an especially good chance to have children see the wonders of the universe and get in touch with the night sky. The SFAA will set up each evening in the parking area above the Sutro Baths on Point Lobos near the Cliff House in San Francisco. For questions email csp@sfaa-astronomy.org or visit http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org/. There is no charge to attend this event. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly.
    • April 2. The Astronomy Department at CCSF is sponsoring the following activities FOR IYA 100 Hours of Astrnomy:
      1. Solar Observation at RAM Plaza (Noon- 2 PM)
      2. Public Lecture - Location: Science 200 - Time: 2:15 PM - Title: Kepler's Hunt for Habitable Planets by Dr. Natalie Batalha, SJSU
      3. More Solar Observation at CCSF Rooftop Observatory (3:30 - 5:00 PM)
      4. Evening CCSF Observatory and Planetarium Open House (7:30 -9:30 PM)
      5. Film Showing at Rosenberg Library 301 (7:30 - 8:30 PM)
    • April 2, 2009, 5:00 p.m. Gleeson Library Associates at the University of San Francisco Presents: Speaker: Nick Kanas, M.D., University of San Francisco. Topic: Mapping the Heavens from Antiquity to Today. Location: Donohue Rare Book Room, on the third floor of the Library, opposite the north elevator, 2495 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, CA 94117-1049 Parking is available on the street. Gleeson Library/ Geschke Center University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Nick Kanas's book, Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography, will be available for purchase at the reception. For more information call 415 422 2036.
    • Apr 2, 6-10 pm. California Academy of Sciences' "Night Life." Telescopic viewing of the sky is a regular activity, weather-permitting, during the Academy's "Night Life" program (Thursdays, 6-10pm). A remote-link to Sonoma State University's GORT facility (GLAST Optical Robotic Telescope) will allow visitors to observe Dr. Kevin McLin of Sonoma State operate the telescope from 65 miles away and view real-time images of the universe taken through the telescope. For information & directions, visit http://www.calacademy.org. Advance tickets advised.
    • Apr 3, 9-11 pm Sonoma State Univ Observatory Public Viewing Night - Saturn and the Moon, a worldwide observing event. (707) 664 - 2267; http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/observatory/pvn.html
    • Apr 3 and 4, 07.30 - 10.30 Public Telescope Viewing; Chabot Space & Science Center - Oakland
    • Apr 3 (Fri) 8:30 until 11:30 pm. The San Jose Astronomical Association public observing session on the grounds at Houge Park in San Jose. Featured will be Saturn, the biggish 68% moon, and other show objects of the early spring sky. For directions, see http://www.sjaa.net/directions.html#Houge_Park.
    • Apr 3 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 7:32 pm, 69% moon sets 3:57 am. Star party hours: 8:30 until 11:30 pm. http://www.sjaa.net
    • April 3–4. The “Around the World in 80 Telescopes” Webcast - The SETI Institute and the University of California, Berkeley are participating jointly from the Allen Telescope Array in "Around the World in 80 Telescopes". The Kepler Mission is also participating in the same webcast event.  The Allen Telescope Array has the 4:40 - 5:00 PM time slot on Friday, April 3.  They hope to have live presentations from both the observatory and the Institute's "control room" cubicle.  Jill Tarter will speak from the Institute and Garrett Keating of UC Berkeley will speak from the observatory. Sonoma State University is part of the operations of the Fermi and Swift spacecraft, which will also participate in the 80 Telescopes web cast.
    • Apr 4 -Sa- SJAA Auction rehearsal, 6 pm until it all works. http://www.sjaa.net
    • Apr 4, Lawrence Hall of Science Stargazing - http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu/planetarium/SatNightStars.html
    • Apr 4, 12.00–22.00 Astronomy Open House at CCSF; City College of San Francisco - San Francisco
    • Apr. 4. 8–11 pm. Star Party at Foothill College, sponsored by Foothill College and the Peninsula Astronomical Society. Foothill College Observatory in Los Altos Hills, provided the sky is clear. The 16-inch college telescope will be open for viewing and members of the Society will bring their own telescopes as well. Parking on campus costs $2.00. The Foothill Observatory is near Parking Lot 4 on campus. For directions, see: http://www.foothill.edu/news/maps.html
    • 2009 Apr 4, 6-10 pm. California Academy of Sciences' "Night Life." Telescopic viewing of the sky is a regular activity, weather-permitting, during the Academy's "Night Life" program (Thursdays, 6-10pm).
    • April 4, Astronomy Family FUN Day, 4 - 11 PM on College of San Mateo (CSM)'s campus, co-sponsored by SMCAS and CSM. It will consist of astro demonstrations, planisphere making, a solar system model, planetarium shows with our one of a kind GOTO CHRONOS Hybrid planetarium. From 8 to 11 PM, there will be "Jazz Under the Stars" with music from KCSM radio on our rooftop observatory. View the moon, Saturn, colorful double stars, and whatever else is cool!
    • Apr 5 -Su- SJAA Auction XXIX - SJAA Open at noon, selling 1:00 to about 4:00. In the hall at Houge Park. NOTE: Sunday, daytime. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 April 6 Mon 7:30 pm - Geoff Marcy, University of California, Berkeley. Benjamin Dean Lecture Series in Astronomy, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; 415-379-8000; deanseries@calacademy.org ; http://www.calacademy.org/events. Science fiction assumes that our Milky Way Galaxy abounds with habitable planets populated by advanced civilizations engaged in interstellar commerce and conflict. Back in our real universe, Earth-like planets and alien life have proved elusive. Has science fiction led us astray? In 2009, astronomers will launch the first searches for Earth-like worlds around other stars, using bizarre, extreme telescopes for the task. These telescopes fundamentally supersede Galileo's historic little scope for the first time. A wild race for signs of inhabited worlds and extraterrestrial life is about to begin. Adults $10, Seniors $8, California Academy of Sciences Members $5.
  • 2009 APR  6 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- WHISPERS IN THE DARK - Dr. Jodi Cooley of Stanford University will tell us how a group of physicists from the U.S. and Canada are searching for dark matter by listening for faint whispers of their interactions in the CDMS detector located in the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd
  • 2009/04/08. Convergent evolution of our own and extra-terrestrial intelligence. John McCarthy, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science Stanford University. Convergent evolution is the phenomenon of two or more species of widely different origins evolving extremely similar features in response to the same environmental opportunity. Our intelligence and that of aliens with whom we might communicate are likely to have converged considerably and to converge further in the future. Much of this future convergence is likely to be artificial, i.e. electronic. Professor McCarthy will discuss some possibilities. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009/04/15. The Dynamic Lunar Environment. Jasper Halekas, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. The lunar environment, serene and unchanging to the naked eye, seethes with plasma and electromagnetic activity. Plasma, photons, micrometeorites and energetic particles constantly bombard the lunar surface, producing a tenuous exosphere and a dynamic wake region, and charging the surface to electrostatic potentials reaching kilovolts, producing surface electric fields large enough to affect lunar ions and dust. Meanwhile, plasma interacts directly with crustal magnetic fields, producing perhaps the smallest magnetospheres in the solar system. Dr. Halekas will talk about how the Moon provides an ideal laboratory to study a variety of fundamental physics processes which are both interesting in their own right, and potentially applicable to Mars and other planets in the solar system.
  • 2009 Apr 17 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Pete Santangeli will speak on imaging for beginners. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Apr 17 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 7:45 pm, 42% moon rises 3:00 am. Star party hours: 9:00 until midnight. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Apr 18 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:46 pm, 33% moon rises 3:28 am. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 April 18 UC Berkeley Astronomy Department IYA Lectures - Cal Day - Chung-Pei Ma The Dark Side of the Universe
    Steve Stahler Why Are There Stars? New Answers to an Old Question - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 APR 20 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- COSMIC COLLIDERS - Dr. Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz of the University of California, Santa Cruz will show how observations of the interplay between black holes, neutron stars and other objects in dense stellar systems allow us to draw firm conclusions about the properties of these extreme forms of matter. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd
  • 2009/04/22. First Things in the Universe. Tom Abel, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology Laboratory, Stanford University. The first structure to form in the Universe can now be predicted from ab initio simulations starting with the known initial conditions of our Universe. What is found is a rich history with massive stars, black holes, UV radiation, and hydrogen molecules among others playing significant roles. Using supercomputer simulations allows us to visually show the origin of the first stars, their demise and impact on their future, which is our past, in the Universe' first billion years. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 Apr 22, 7 pm, Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures: Dr. Margaret Race, one of the leading experts on the contamination danger and the protection of planets - Planetary Protection and Hitchhikers in the Solar System: The Danger of Mingling Microbes. In this timely talk, Dr. Race will give a behind-the-scenes view of "environmental management" planning for solar system missions, and explain the role of the Outer Space Treaty and other related national and international policies. She will also discuss the varied societal issues likely to arise from discoveries about life beyond the Earth -- issues about the meaning of life, its future evolutionary trajectory, and environmental sustainability in the universe. Dr. Race is an ecologist at the SETI Institute who works with NASA and the international space community to develop, refine, and apply planetary protection policies to missions to the planets.
  • 2009 Apr 25 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:52 pm, 2% moon sets 9:07 pm. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
      http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 APR 27 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- THE ACOUSTICS OF BAROQUE BASSOONS - Dr. Bryant Hichwa of Sonoma State University will describe the physical acoustics of 250-year-old bassoons and show that mathematical models based on examination of museum bassoons reveal interesting societal cultural differences. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd

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May, 2009

  • 2009 May 1, 9-11 pm Sonoma State Univ Observatory Public Viewing Night - The Whirlpool Galaxy, Saturn and the Moon. (707) 664 - 2267; http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/observatory/pvn.html
  • 2009 May 1 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 7:58 pm, 56% moon sets 2:32 am. Star party hours: 9:00 until midnight This is also SJAA's observation of Astronomy Day. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 May 2 8:00pm John Dillon, Randall Museum - “The Autopsy of Heaven: Galileo, Telescopes and the Beginning of Modern Science” - Mt. Tamalpais State Park Astronomy Program - 400 years ago when Galileo announced his telescopic discoveries, the story goes, he threw off the yoke of the ancient Greeks and challenged the authority of the Church – thus opening the way for “modern” Science. John Dillon will take a longer view of the history of science and explore a subtler, more complex, relationship between Galileo, telescopes, Science and the Church. http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843
  • 2009 MAY  4 Monday at 4:00 p.m. WHAT PHYSICISTS DO -- THIRTY-NINE YEARS OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY AT SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY - Dr. Joseph S. Tenn of Sonoma State University will conclude his career with some reflections on his activities and the changes he has seen. Sonoma State University Darwin 103, Coffee at 3:30 p.m. http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd
  • 2009 May 4 Mon 7:30 pm - Jill Tarter, SETI Institute. Benjamin Dean Lecture Series in Astronomy, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; 415-379-8000; deanseries@calacademy.org ; http://www.calacademy.org/events Throughout recorded history, humans have looked at the sky and wondered whether others exist elsewhere. Until the middle of the 20th century, there was little we could do except ask the priests, philosophers, or other wise individuals what we should believe. Today we have new observational tools that allow us to try to do experiments to shed light on the problem. This lecture summarizes the scientific exploration for extraterrestrial intelligence, and highlights the newest telescopes that may just provide an answer. Adults $10, Seniors $8, California Academy of Sciences Members $5.
  • 2009/05/06. Aerosol particle roles in climate change: How coordinated measurements from aircraft, satellites, & Earth surfaces are helping to reduce uncertainties. Philip Russell, NASA Ames Earth Science Division. The 2007 assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that uncertainty in radiative forcing of climate had been reduced compared to the previous assessment, a result of improved understanding of aerosol radiative effects. This talk shows how field experiments by NASA and collaborators, which coordinate measurements from aircraft, satellites, and Earth's surfaces, have contributed to that improved understanding. Dr. Russell will talk about early results from the recent ARCTAS experiment in the Arctic and a look at the future, including next-generation satellites and advanced aircraft such as the Global Hawk. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 May 7 Thur 4pm. The Cosmic Star Formation and Metallicity History of Galaxies - LeConte Hall, UC Berkeley Observing the star formation rate and metallicity since the earliest times in the universe is crucial to understanding galaxy formation and evolution. Current cosmic star formation history studies are plagued by significant discrepancies between star formation rate estimates and different wavelengths. I apply the new generation of stellar population synthesis and photoionization models and show that metallicity is key to resolving the star formation rate discrepancies. Although the cosmic star formation history has been studied extensively, our understanding of the metallicity history of star-forming galaxies is still largely theoretical. I present the results of our large ongoing observational investigation into metallicity history of star-forming galaxies between 0<z<1, and initial results from our new program to use gravitational lensing to probe metallicities in galaxies at z>1. I compare our observed metallicity history with predictions from cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, and discuss the future directions for our star formation and metallicity history research. The goal of this research program is to gain a simultaneous observational understanding of the gas- phase metallicity and star formation history of galaxies between 0<z<3 to confront chemical evolution models.
  • 2009 May 7 Thurs 6PM Nightlife: DJ Mancub, Astronomy, & Dancing to the roof -California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco DJ Mancub, of the world famous Space Cowboys and San Francisco‚s Sleevin Records, provides the music. Capacitor, a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary dance company, performs „Urban Canopy,‰ a piece inspired by the Academy‚s living roof, in the Piazza at 8 pm. Also, expect some programming featuring beautiful astronomy imagery. Every Thursday, the Academy is transformed into a lively venue filled with music, provocative science, mingling, and cocktails, for visitors 21 and older. Activities and performers change week to week.
  • 2009 May 8 Fri 7:30PM Peninsula Astronomical Society mtg. Circumstellar Disks and Extrasolar planets. Dr. Paul Kalas of UC Berkeley. Foothill Community College in Los Altos Hills in Rm 8402, Bldg. 8400 next to Parking Lot#8 near the entrance to the College. The lecture will emphasize Dr. Kalas's work on high resolution imaging and other investigations of circumstellar disks around neighboring stars and their formation and evolution. A very important result from this work was the announcement last year of one of two confirmed direct images of extra solar planets.
  • 2009 May 9 Saturday, 7:30PM East Bay Astromical Society mtg. Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Oishi UC Berkeley - "From Stardust to Planets via Silicon: Computer Experiments and Planet Formation" Place: Physics Lab, 2nd Flr Dellums Building Chabot Space & Science Center 10000 Skyline Blvd Oakland
  • 2009 May 9 Sat 8PM SJAA General Meeting Featuring guest speaker Dr. Christopher Mauche The X-ray Universe in the hall at Houge Park, San Jose http://www.sjaa.net/ for mor information
  • 2009 May 9 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr. Christopher Mauche (LLNL), who will speak on The X-ray Universe. Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 May 13 7:30 PM Sonoma County Astronomical Society. Norm Sperling, Editor, The Journal of Irreproducible Results. Booksigning of Norm's latest book, "This Book Warps Space and Time" - Proctor Terrace School, Santa Rosa. http://www.sonomaskies.org/This_Months_Speaker.html
  • 2009 May 15 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
    2009 May 15 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 8:10 pm, 60% moon rises 1:28 am. Star party hours: 9:00 until midnight http://www.sjaa.net
    2009 May 16 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 8:11 pm, 50% moon rises 1:55 am. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 May 16-17 Sat. 10AM-4PM- USGS - 9th Triennial Open House. Scientists at the USGS Menlo Park campus are leaders in research on earthquakes, water quality, volcanoes, coastal and marine geology, mineral and energy resources, geography, and the San Francisco Bay ecosystem. USGS Evening Public Lecture Series, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park
  • 2009 May 16 Sat. 11AM James Graham: Imaging Extrasolar Planets 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Bldg., UC Berkeley James Graham, Chair of the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department, gives a public lecture on extrasolar planets. Graham was a member of a team of scientists who obtained the first visible-light images of an extrasolar planet with orbital motion around the star Fomalhaut, at a distance of 25 light years from Earth.
  • 2009 May 16 Sat. 2-4 PM Take in both SETI and USGS! Join us at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California for a celebration of science and imagination! An interactive Family Science Faire at the SETI Institute at our Celebrating Science 2009 Family Science Faire, you will have the opportunity to meet SETI Institute scientists and discover what the future holds for SETI and astrobiology. Meet the father of SETI and author of the Drake Equation, Dr. Frank Drake. Visit the gift shop for a Drake Equation t-shirt and ask Dr. Drake himself to sign it! Hear Andrew Fraknoi speak at 2:30 on "Why Falling into a Black Hole would be a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience". Selected as California's Professor of the Year in 2007, Mr. Fraknoi will be available between 2:45-3:30 to autograph his latest book, Disney Learning: Wonderful World of Space. Limited copies will be available in our gift shop. http://archive.seti.org/celebratingscience2009/ 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View. ADMISSION IS FREE! Register here http://archive.seti.org/celebratingscience2009/form2009.php reserve your spot early -- this event is very popular!
  • 2009 May 20 Wed. 7:30PM Lecture: The Autopsy of Heaven San Francisco Amateur Astronomers 199 Museum Way San Francisco Please join the SFAA and the semi-retired Curator of the Randall Museum John Dillion present "The Autopsy of Heaven: Galileo, Telescopes, and the Beginning of Modern Science"
  • 2009 May 20, Wednesday at 7 pm, Dr. Patricia Burchat of Stanford University will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on: The Dark Side of the Universe: Dark Matter and Dark Energy as part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California.
  • 2009 May 20 7 pm. Norm Sperling, Editor, The Journal of Irreproducible Results. Booksigning of Norm's latest book, "This Book Warps Space and Time" - Diesel Book Store, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland.
  • 2009 May 22-25 BayCon in Santa Clara (science fiction)
  • 2009 May 23 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 8:16 pm, 0% moon rises 5:40 am. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009/05/27. NEOs Ho!! The Asteroid Option. Robert Landis, NASA Ames Intelligent Systems Division. In late 2006, NASA's Constellation Program (CxP) sponsored a study to examine the feasibility of sending a piloted Orion spacecraft to a near-Earth Object (NEO). One of the significant advantages of this type of mission is that it strengthens and validates the foundational infrastructure of the United States Space Exploration Policy and his highly complementary to NASA's planned lunar sortie and outpost missions circa 2020. Rob Landis will discuss how human expedition to a NEO would not only underline the broad utility of the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and Ares launch systems, but would also be the first human expedition to an interplanetary body beyond the Earth-Moon system. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 May 29 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 8:21 pm, 41% moon sets 1:05 am. Star party hours: 9:30 until midnight http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 May 28 7:00 PM. Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography.UCSF Professor and NASA-funded researcher, Dr. Nick Kanas provides a fascinating look at the night sky and answers such stellar questions as: How have different cultures made sense of the night sky? What led to the development of the great star and constellation atlases? What has been the impact of the telescope on celestial mapping? Larkspur Library 400 Magnolia Ave Larkspur, CA
  • 2009 May 29. application deadline Project ASTRO--connecting amateur and professional astronomers with teachers and students in 3rd – 9th grade classrooms. All participants are required to attend a 2-day workshop to be held August 7 & 8, 2009, at the San Mateo County Office of Education in Redwood City. APPLY ONLINE by MAY 29th: http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astro/bayarea/volunteer.html CONTACT: Allyson Clark, Project ASTRO Coordinator Email: bayareaastro@astrosociety.org MORE INFORMATION: http://www.astrosociety.org/baprojectastro.html
  • 2009 May 30 8:30pm Kenneth Frank, Astronomical Society of the Pacific - “Your Other Address: Where We Are in the Universe" - Mt. Tamalpais State Park Astronomy Program - Our view of where we live is one which most of us don't think about. OK, Kenneth Frank knows he has a 94920 address on the Tiburon Peninsula, and if he takes out a AAA map or browses Google online he gets a better idea of where he lives. But what else defines where we are situated? In this talk he seeks to inform the audience of where we are on a grander scale and find that sense of place that we call home. http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843

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June, 2009

  • 2009 June 1 Mon 7:30 pm - David Des Marais, NASA Ames Research Center. Benjamin Dean Lecture Series in Astronomy, Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118; 415-379-8000; deanseries@calacademy.org ; http://www.calacademy.org/events. Mars is the planet in our solar system whose past climate most closely resembled our own. Recent missions have revealed richly fascinating landscapes and deeply important discoveries. Mars might have supported life sometime in the past, and perhaps supports life even today. Adults $10, Seniors $8, California Academy of Sciences Members $5.
  • 2009/06/03. Field Testing of Utility Robots for Lunar Surface Operations. Terry Fong, Intelligent Robotics Group, NASA Ames Research Center. Since 2004, NASA has been working to return to the Moon. In contrast to the Apollo missions, two key objectives of the current exploration program are to establish surface infrastructure and an outpost. Achieving these objectives will enable long-duration stays and long-distance exploration of the Moon. To do this, robotic systems will be needed to perform tasks which cannot, or should not, be performed by crew alone. In this talk, I summarize our work at NASA Ames to develop "utility robots" for lunar surface operations, present results and lessons learned from field testing, and discuss directions for future research. CSC/SETI Institute Colloquium Series—free and open to the public, and run from noon to 1 pm on Wednesdays at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, California. http://www.seti.org/Page.aspx?pid=592
  • 2009 June 5 7:30 pm. San Mateo County Astronomical Society. Norm Sperling, Editor, The Journal of Irreproducible Results. Booksigning of Norm's latest book, "This Book Warps Space and Time" - College of San Mateo planetarium.
  • 2009 Jun 6 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is our own Rod Norden (SJAA) who will tell us about the Pioneer 10-11 missions Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Jun 12 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Jun 12 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 8:29 pm, 75% moon rise 11:56 am. Star party hours: 9:30 until midnight http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 June 19-20 Yosemite Star Party hosted by Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society (SVAS)
  • 2009 June 20, 11 am, Nathan Smith, Live Fast - Die Young: Monster Stars and their Temper Tantrums - 100 GPB - UC Berkeley Astronomy Dept IYA Public Talk - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 Jun 20 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 8:31 pm, 3 moon rises 4:19 am. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Jun 20 -Sa- Summer begins at 10:45 pm PDT
  • 2009 Jun 26 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 8:32 pm, 26% moon sets 11:35 pm. Star party hours: 9:30 until midnight http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 June 26,27 Yosemite Star Party
  • 2009 June 27 8:30pm Professor Lynn R. Cominsky, Sonoma State University - “Exploring the Extreme Universe with Fermi” - Mt. Tamalpais State Park Astronomy Program - NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly known as GLAST) mission is exploring the most energetic and exotic objects in the cosmos: blazing galaxies, intense stellar explosion and super-massive block holes. Fermi probes the Universe on scales from the infinite to the infinitesimal, and future observations may shed light on the nature of dark matter. http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843
  • 2009 Jun 27 8:00pm Clusters of Stars: Baby stars, ancient stars. Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society public astronomy programs on Mt. Diablo. Take a tour through the telescopes and find out about the lifecycles of stars. More info at http://www.mdas.net/publicprogram/publicprogram.htm or call Mt. Diablo State Park - 925-837-2525

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July, 2009

  • 2009 Jul 9 Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System: Where Bill Gates' Great-Granddaughter Might Go on Her Honeymoon. Astronomer and popular lecturer Andrew Fraknoi. In the Sunnyvale Library program room, 665 West Olive Ave., across from City Hall. A limited number of tickets available free at the Adult Reference Desk. The illustrated tour will include the 4,000 mile lava channel on Venus, the towering Mount Olympus volcano on Mars (three times the height of Mount Everest), the awesome Verona Cliffs on the moon Miranda (which are the tallest "lover's leap" in the solar system), and the mysterious ice-cracks of the moon Europa, under which may be a global ocean. http://www.sunnyvalelibrary.org or call the Reference Desk at (408) 730-7300.
  • 2009 Jul 11 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Norm Sperling, based on his new book, "This Book Warps Space and Time". Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 July 10-11 Yosemite Star Party hosted by Santa Cruz Astronomy Club
  • 2009 Jul 15 (Wed) Bay Area Skeptics: Are We Alone? 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM La Peña's Café Valparaîso
    3105 Shattuck Avenue (3 blks south of Ashby BART) Berkeley, CA USA 94705. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has gone on for almost 50 years, but scientists haven't heard a peep. UC Berkeley SETI pioneer Dan Werthimer will help us explore why this is not surprising, and why continuing the search may lead to the most important discovery in science history.
  • 2009 Jul 17 Fri Dinner, a Movie, and the Universe at Chabot Space Center - 06:00 PM. Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland
  • Sat 7/18
  • 2009 Jul 17 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Jul 17 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 8:27 pm, 19% moon rises 2:03 am. Star party hours: 9:30 until midnight http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Jul 18 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 8:26 pm, 11% moon rises 3:01 am. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 July 17,18 Yosemite Star Party hosted by San Jose Astronomical Association
  • 2009 July 18, 11 am. Roger Hahn - A Troublesome Pioneer: Galileo Galilei - 100 GPB - UC Berkeley Astronomy Dept IYA Public Talk - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 July 18 Sat. Star Party At Crestview Park, San Carlos California. Come out and bring the kids for a mind expanding look at the universe. The City of San Carlos Parks and Recreation Department and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society.... Inclement weather (clouds, excessive wind and showers) will cause the event to be canceled without notice. For more information call Bob Black, (650)592-2166, or send an email to SMCAS@live.com or call Ed Pieret at (650)862-9602. Astronomers arrive to set up at around sunset. Observing starts at about one hour after sunset and continues for two to three hours.
  • 2009 Jul 18 Sat. 40th Anniversary Celebration of our Moon Landing Missions - 11:00 AM Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland
  • 2009 Jul 19 Sun. NASA Ames will celebrate past, present, and future lunar exploration with a public "Moonfest" event. Sponsored by NASA's LCROSS mission and the NASA Lunar Science Institute, Moonfest will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo XI landing, provide updates on the current LCROSS and LRO lunar missions, and look to NASA's future missions to the Moon. This family event will feature presentations by mission experts, exhibits, demonstrations, educational activities, displays of real Moon rocks, model rocket launches, robotics demonstrations, and astronaut appearances. Admission to Moonfest is free and the event runs from noon to 6 PM. Take Highway 101 to the Moffett Blvd/NASA Parkway exit in Mountain View. For more information, see http://moonfest.arc.nasa.gov
  • 2009 July 24-25 Yosemite Star Party hosted by San Francisco Amateur Astronomers
  • 2009 Jul 25 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 8:21 pm, 23% moon sets 10:31 pm. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. AANC Star-B-Q at Fremont Peak State Park http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 July 25 - the 25th annual potluck picnic, super star party and FPOA annual meeting. Keynote speaker: Brian Day, NASA LCROSS Lunar Impactor Mission. The LCROSS mission will impact the lunar South Pole between October 7-11, 2009.
    NASA's Brian Day will present an illustrated talk on the LCROSS mission and its goals. A special LCROSS workshop on how you can contribute to the mission will be held in the observatory meeting room after the regular program ends. RAFFLE! Orion, Scope City, and Celestron are the primary sponsors of the raffle prizes. The winner of the Grand Prize will receive a new Celestron NexStar 6 SE telescope. Many other cool prizes will be awarded.
  • 2009 July 25 8:30pm Dr. Natalie Batalha, San Jose State University - "Kepler’s Hunt for Habitable Planets" - Mt. Tamalpais State Park Astronomy Program - NASA's Kepler Mission has begun its 3.5-year quest for habitable planets like Earth in our galaxy. Dr. Batalha will describe how and where the spacecraft will look for planets we might call home and what to expect in the coming years as we work to understand whether Earth-like planets in our galaxy are common or rare. http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843
    2009 Jul 31 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 8:16 pm, 81% moon sets 2:07 am. Star party hours: 9:00 until midnight http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Jul 25 8:00pm Black Holes: Where are the black holes in our Galaxy? Take home a map to their locations in the sky. Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society public astronomy programs on Mt. Diablo. More info at http://www.mdas.net/publicprogram/publicprogram.htm or call Mt. Diablo State Park - 925-837-2525
  • 2009 Jul 25 Sat. Star Party At Crestview Park, San Carlos California. Come out and bring the kids for a mind expanding look at the universe. The City of San Carlos Parks and Recreation Department and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society.... Inclement weather (clouds, excessive wind and showers) will cause the event to be canceled without notice. For more information call Bob Black, (650)592-2166, or send an email to SMCAS@live.com or call Ed Pieret at (650)862-9602. Astronomers arrive to set up at around sunset. Observing starts at about one hour after sunset and continues for two to three hours.
  • 2009 July 28 Guest Speaker: Dr. Steven Beckwith - The Dawn of Creation - The First Two Billion Years. Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society free public meetings in Concord, CA - see www.mdas.net for directions/times). http://www.mdas.net
  •  2009 July 31-Aug.1 Yosemite Star Party hosted by Central Valley Astronomers, Inc. & Tri-Valley Stargazers

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August, 2009

  • 2009 Aug 1 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Speaker is Rob Sigler (Lockheed, retired), to tell us about Glass-Liquid Apochromats. Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Aug 3. 7:30--9:00 pm. Benjamin Dean Lecture - Astrobiology, Planetary Protection, and Hitchikers in the Solar System
    Margaret Race, SETI Institute. at Morrison Planetarium. This talk will provide a behind-the-scence view of how experts from many different disciplines contribute to searches for extraterrestrial life--and also explain how the Outer space Treaty and planetary protection policies urge "responsible exploration' when visiting other planets. The breadth and depth of pre-planning may surprise you. Reservations: Advance ticketing is recommended. Buy tickets online or call 800-794-7576 for reservations. Tickets may be purchased at the door, but there is no guarantee of availability. Adults $10, Seniors $8, Members $5.
  • 2009 Aug 14 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Aug 14 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 8:00 pm, 33% moon rise 12:47 am. Star party hours: 9:00 until midnight http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 August 14,15 Yosemite Star Party hosted by Mount Diablo Astronomical Society
  • 2009 Aug 15 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:59 pm, 22% moon rises 1:49 am. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Aug 15 11:00am Astronomy and Evolution: From the Death of the Dinosaurs to the Stardust in your Bones. UC Berkeley's Astronomy Department is hosting a monthly lecture series to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy. This month's talk takes place from 11am until 12 noon on August 15 in the Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100 on the UC Berkeley campus. Doors open thirty minutes before the talk and admission is free. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first observations of the sky, as well as Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of "On the Origin of Species", two speakers will discuss how the Universe evolves with time, as well as the impact of astronomical events on the evolution of life on Earth: David R. Lindberg, Professor of Integrative Biology, and Steve Croft, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Astronomy at UC Berkeley.
  • 2009 Aug 15 7:30pm Rocks and Ice in the Solar System: Comets, meteors, and asteroids: how are they different, how are they related? We'll be cooking up a comet and giving you the recipe! Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society public astronomy programs on Mt. Diablo. More info at http://www.mdas.net/publicprogram/publicprogram.htm or call Mt. Diablo State Park - 925-837-2525
  • 2009 August 21,22 Yosemite Star Party hosted by Peninsula Astronomical Society
  • 2009 Aug 22 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:50 pm, 11% moon sets 8:58 pm. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Aug 22 8:30 pm Dr. Anthonly Colaprete, NASA-Ames Research Center - “Prospecting for Water on the Moon” - Mt. Tamalpais State Park Astronomy Program - In 2009, NASA will purposely crash two spacecraft into one of the Moon’s polar regions. The impacts should raise huge plumes of material, visible even to smaller telescopes on Earth. Astronomers will search for evidence of water in the plumes to get a better sense of how much frozen water may lay hidden in the deep, shadowed craters of the Moon’s North and South poles. http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843
  • 2009 Aug 28 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 7:42 pm, 68% moon sets 1:53 am. Star party hours: 8:30 until 11:30 pm http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 August 28,29 Yosemite Star Party hosted by Sonoma County Astronomical Society (S.C.A.S.)
  • 2009 Aug 29 Sat. Peninsula Astronomical Society Star-B-Que at Hidden Villa at 6PM The PAS and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society will be holding its annual joint Star-B-Que at the Hidden Villa Farm and Wilderness Preserve in Los Altos Hills at 6PM ...pot luck picnic with members of both clubs bringing a sample of their favorite home made(or bought) dishes for everyone to share. Please bring drinks(non-alchoholic) as well. We will also have Bar-B-Qued hamburgers, sausages, and chicken provided for by the club. Please let me know by Email at lum40@comcast.net or by phone at (650) 508-1879 if you are coming, how many people you are bringing and what dishes you plan to bring so I may know how much BBQ meat to bring. After dinner, Dave Rodriques of the East Bay Astronomical Society, who plays the "Astrowizard" at the California Academy of Sciences/ Morrison Planetarium and Chabot Space and Science Center, will treat us and the public to one of his rowsing astronomical presentations followed by a public Star Party, so bring your telescopes and binoculars as well. Hidden Villa is located at 26870 Moody Rd. in Los Altos Hills and may be reached by driving west on El Monte Rd. past Foothill College up to the intersection with Moody Rd. on the left of a fork. Take Moody Rd. about 2 miles until you see the Hidden Villa sign on the left side of the road next to an entrance leading to a wood bridge and subsequently a ranch house(Visitor Center) where you can park. Below is a map of the vicinity. The Star-B-Que will be held at the Visitor Center where there is a kitchen for cooking.
  • 2009 AUG 31 Monday at 4:00 p.m. IMAGING A PLANET AROUND FOMALHAUT USING THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE - What Physicists Do. Dr. Paul Kalas of University of California, Berkeley tells us how to spot an extrasolar planet from Earth. Darwin 103. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609. (707) 664-2119 Coffee at 3:30 p.m. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
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September, 2009

  • 2009 Sep 2. Wed, 12 noon. SETI Institute Colloquium Series - Kepler's First Peek. Natalie Batalha, Physics Department, San Jose State UniversityThe Kepler Mission is designed to find Earth-sized exoplanets by staring at the same star field for the entire mission and continuously and simultaneously monitoring the brightnesses of more than 100,000 stars for the life of the mission÷3.5 or more years. In this way, it will determine the fraction of stars that have habitable planets - a key part of the Drake Equation. Kepler was launched on March 6th on a Delta II rocket. Dr. Batalha will talk about the first stunning results from Kepler showing the phases of the atmosphere of a known gas giant planet with incredible accuracy. Where: 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View, The SETI Institute, Arecibo Rm.
  • 2009 Sep 4-5 Fri-Sat. Dinner, a Movie, and the Universe at Chabot Space Center 06:00 PM. Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland Join us for Chabot's unique evening social rendezvous. Start your night off with dinner and drinks, then cozy up in the planetarium as you're whisked to the edge of the universe and cap off the evening with telescope viewing featuring breathtaking views of the cosmos. Dinner: Buy advance tickets to ensure your dinner reservation. Purchase dinner separately at the cafe ($15).Purchase your advanced tickets online or call the Box Office at (510) 336-7373.
  • 2009 Sep 5 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Slide and Equipment night. Latest images, latest equipment, being made by our members. Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 September 5 (Saturday), 7:30pm EAS Lecture Meeting: Alexie Leauthaud & Reiko Nakajima. Talk Title: Gravitational Lensing: A Tool For Understanding Dark Matter And Dark Energy. Physics Lab, 2nd Floor, Dellums Building, Chabot Space & Science Center
  • 2009 Sep 9. Wed, 12 noon. SETI Institute Colloquium Series - Pavilion Lake - Diving Deep to get us to the Moon and Mars. Darlene Lim, SETI Institute and NASA Ames Space Science Division. The Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) is an international, multi- disciplinary, science and exploration effort to explain the origin of freshwater microbialites [link] in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Fossil microbialites represent some of the earliest remnants of life on ancient Earth, and were common from ~2.5 billion to 540 million years ago. Today, microbialites are found in what have been deemed Îextremeâ environments. However, the microbialites in Pavilion Lake have provided a new environment for the scientific community to study that demonstrates that large, and uniquely shaped structures can also occur in non-extreme environments that also supports a complex and thriving ecosystem. *The PLRP activities integrate real science and exploration field activities in a hostile environment, hence the challenges associated with the research are analogous to those we will encounter on the Moon and Mars. As such, the field program is also providing scientific, operational and technical learning relevant to future human planetary exploration. Where: The SETI Institute, Arecibo Rm. 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Sep 11 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Sep 11 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 7:21 pm, 48% moon rise 11:39 pm. Star party hours: 8:30 until 11:30 pm http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Sep 11 Fri. Peninsula Astronomical Society Meeting 7:30PM Exploring the Invisible Universe: The Past and Future of Radio Astronomy Speaker: Peter Williams University of California, Berkeley. Foothill Community College 12345 Moody Rd. Los Altos Hills Rm 8402, Bldg. 8400 next to Parking Lot#8 near the entrance to the College. Visible-light astronomy has been practiced for millennia. Astronomical observations of radio waves are, in comparison, still a novelty. Over its short lifespan, however, the field of radio astronomy has still managed to produce some of the most impressive results of modern science, including the discovery of extrasolar molecules and the detection of cosmic microwave background radiation, the key piece of evidence for the Big Bang. In this talk I'll discuss the basics of radio astronomy, what can be seen in the radio sky, and the different ways in which astronomy is done at optical and radio frequencies. I'll also talk about what we can expect from radio astronomy in the near and not-so- near future: an exciting convergence of recent technological advances promises do as much for radio astronomy as the invention of the CCD has done for visible-light astronomy. Special focus will be put on the Allen Telescope Array, a new telescope jointly operated by UC Berkeley and the SETI Institute, which exemplifies some of these advances.
  • 2009 Sep 12 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:19 pm, 36% moon rise 12:44 am. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Sep 12 (Sat) -Annual meeting of the Astronomical Association of Northern California, http://aancstars2009.org, Westin SFO, Millbrae, California. Register for and attend this portion of the combined AANC and ASP meeting or register for all 5 days. http://aancstars2009.org/signup.shtml, Press Release: http://aancstars2009.org/downloads/AANC_Fall_Astro_Presser.pdf
  • 2009 Sep 12, 7pm. Music of the Spheres Concert at Lick Observatory http://www.ucolick.org/public/music.html Daniel Roest & Alex de Grassi; Speaker: Geoff Marcy , UCB Talk: "Detecting Other Earths" Great Guitars! 2009. Fingerstyle icon Alex de Grassi joins classical guitarist Daniel Roest . De Grassi's fame spans the globe. His playing interweaves melody, counter-melody, bass, harmony, rhythm, and cross- rhythms, creating a canvas of sound rarely heard in a solo guitar performance. He has released sixteen albums albums since "Turning: Turning Back" helped launch Windham Hill's success in 1978. His tenth recording, "The Water Garden," garnered both Grammy and Indie Award nominations. He is the subject of a PBS concert/interview television show, "Alex de Grassi: The Artist's Profile."
  • 2009 Sep 12 - 16. The 120th Anniversary Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific: Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future. Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, Millbrae, California. Sat-Sun September 12-13: hands-on workshops for K-14 and informal science educators and Sunday afternoon talks on the search for life beyond Earth presented by leading scientists from the SETI Institute. Submit abstracts for 90-minute sessions, 10-minute oral papers, or poster papers. Sunday eve, September 13: opening reception. See http://www.astrosociety.org/events/meeting.html
  • 2009 Sep 14 Mon. Benjamin Dean Lecture - The Voyager Journey to Interstellar Space. Ed Stone, California Institute of Technology and Voyager Project Scientist. Launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, the two Voyager spacecraft revealed the remarkable diversity of these giant planetary systems. Now eight and ten billion miles from Earth, the Voyagers are exploring the outermost layer of the bubble created by Sun as they continue their journey to interstellar space that lies beyond. Reservations: Ticket prices: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Academy members $6. Seating is limited. To purchase tickets in advance, go online or call 800-794-7576. Monday, 09/14/09 07:30 PM - 08:30 PM
  • 2009 SEP 14 Monday at 4:00 p.m. CONDENSED MATTER LIGHT SCATTERING - What Physicists Do. Dr. Thomas Peter Devereaux of Stanford University is the head of the X-ray Science and Techniques Group at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, which focuses on the scientific foundation related to the energy challenge facing our society. He will discuss using the tools of computational physics to understand quantum materials. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Sep 16. Wed noon. SETI Institute Colloquium Series - HST Imaging of Fomalhaut: Direct detection of an exosolar planet and Kuiper Belt around a nearby star. Paul Kalas, SETI Institute and University of California, Berkeley. Advances in high-contrast imaging have produced a new sample of spatially resolved debris disks with morphologies attributed to the dynamical effects of planets. I will briefly review several cases, including our recent non-detection of Beta Pictoris b using Keck adaptive optics at L-prime. Then I will focus on the case for a planetary system around the nearby A star Fomalhaut. Optical coronagraphic observations using the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard HST shows a vast dusty debris belt offset from the star and cleanly sculpted at its inside border. Follow-up HST images have further revealed a co-moving point source with apparent orbital motion 18 AU interior to the dust belt. I will discuss both the observational and theoretical evidence that the point source is a planet with < 3 Jupiter masses, making Fomalhaut b the lowest mass planet candidate detected via direct imaging. I will give alternate explanations and discuss future plans for the detailed mapping of Fomalhaut's planetary system. Where: The SETI Institute, Arecibo Rm., 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Sep 18, 8-10 pm Sonoma State Univ Observatory Public Viewing Night - A tour of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. (707) 664 - 2267; http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/observatory/pvn.html
  • 2009 Sep 19 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 7:09 pm, 2% moon sets 7:25 pm. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 September 19 11am - UC Berkeley Astronomy Department IYA Lecture - Nathan Smith: "Live Fast - Die Young: Monster Stars and their Temper Tantrums" - in Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100- UC Berkeley Astronomy Dept IYA Public Talk - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya.
  • 2009 Sep 19 8: 30pm Wil van Breugel, Ph.D, University of California Merced - “Astrobiology: What is Life & Where is It? - Mt. Tamalpais State Park Astronomy Program - Astrobiology combines astronomy, biology, physics and chemistry to investigate the origin and evolution of life in extreme environments, including early Earth, and guides the search for alien life on other planets in our Solar System and beyond. Dr. vanBreugel will discuss how our perception and understanding of life has evolved, and the close connection of life to the cosmos. http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843
  • 2009 SEP 21 Monday at 4:00 p.m. CULTIVATING SCIENTIST AND ENGINEER EDUCATORS - What Physicists Do. Dr. Anne Metevier of the Center for Adaptive Optics at UC Santa Cruz will describe her work training early-career scientists and engineers to teach more effectively by using methods that promote inquiry and an equitable college classroom environment. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Sep 22 -Tu- Autumn begins at 2:19 pm PDT
  • 2009 September 22 Guest Speaker: Dr. Máté Ádámkovics, UC Berkeley. The Cassini Mission and the latest about Saturn's moon, Titan. Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society free public meetings in Concord, CA. http://www.mdas.net
  • 2009 Sep 23 Wed Noon. Where is Mars' Ice? Constraints from impact craters and lobate debris aprons on a mid-latitude reservoir. Reid Parsons, Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, UC Santa Cruz - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Sep 25 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 7:00 pm, 49% moon sets 11:40 pm. Star party hours: 8:00 until 11:00 pm http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Fri. 9/25 and Sat. 9/26 Dinner, a Movie, and the Universe at Chabot Space Center 06:00 PM Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland Join us for Chabot's unique evening social rendezvous. Start your night off with dinner and drinks, then cozy up in the planetarium as you're whisked to the edge of the universe and cap off the evening with telescope viewing featuring breathtaking views of the cosmos. Dinner: Buy advance tickets to ensure your dinner reservation. Purchase dinner separately at the cafe ($15). ADVANCED TICKETS A Movie and the Universe: Admission to Chabot includes all access to our interactive exhibitions, a film in the MegaDome theater AND a show in the Digital Planetarium. Purchase your advanced tickets online or call the Box Office at (510) 336-7373.
  • 2009 Sep 26 6:30pm Planets & Moons: View Jupiter and its moons in the telescopes. Make a scale model of the Solar System to take home. Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society public astronomy programs on Mt. Diablo. More info at http://www.mdas.net/publicprogram/publicprogram.htm or call Mt. Diablo State Park - 925-837-2525
  • 2009Saturday, 09/26/09 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM Tien MegaDome Theatre Chabot Space and Science Center 10000 Skyline Blvd Oakland, CA USA 94619 Andrew Chaikin on LCROSS Enjoy FREE General Admission for you and a guest
  • 2009 Sunday, 09/27/09 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM Exploratorium 3601 Lyon Street San Francisco, CA USA 94123 Email: visit@exploratorium.edu Phone: (415) 561-0360 Website: http://www.exploratorium.edu/ To the Moon: A Look at NASA's Upcoming Lunar Impact Mission and the History of Moon Exploration A Talk with Space Historian Andrew Chaikin Take a trip to our nearest neighbor in space with renowned science journalist and space historian Andrew Chaikin. Relive the achievements of Apollo lunar astronauts and learn about the ambitious LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission, which will send a rocket crashing into the moon's permanently shadowed regions to kick up huge plumes of debris in the hopes of uncovering deposits of ice. Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, Chaikin's talk will introduce the past, present, and future of lunar exploration and include a visual tour of the moon's surface from Apollo landing sites to the LCROSS impact point. In addition, Exploratorium educators will give an entertaining and interactive overview of moon science. All free with Exploratorium admission.
  • 2009 SEP 28 Monday at 4:00 p.m. PEEKING AT THE YOUNGEST STARS - What Physicists Do. Dr. Tom Greene of NASA's Ames Research Center will describe what infrared spectroscopic observations are telling us about very young sun-like stars while they are still accreting their last bits of mass and before their planetary systems have formed. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009Tuesday, September 29 7:00 pm Orinda Library 26 Orinda Way, Orinda, Free to the general public. A Fireside Chat with George Hammond previewing Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. Join author/performer George Hammond for a Fireside Chat previewing the upcoming Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler: Redefining Our Place in the Universe, Humanities West's two-day program of lectures, discussions, music and dance presentations celebrating the International Year of Astronomy in honor of the 400th anniversary of modern astronomy and Galileo's first use of the telescope in 1609.
  • 2009 Tues. 9/29 Stanford Linear Accelerator Center SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory 2575 Sand Hill Road Menlo Park 7:30 PM, Panofsky Auditorium (overflow seating available in Kavli Auditorium) Journey to the Center of the Earth: Exploring High Pressure Wendy Mao, Photon Science, SLAC/Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford. Abstract: The deeper we go into the Earth, the higher the pressure. At the pressures found within the center of our planet, minerals do not simply compress. Pressure dramatically alters all materials properties, in the process creating numerous novel phases not found on the surface. This lecture will describe how we simulate the conditions found in planetary interiors in the lab, what kinds of new behavior we find, and how these observations can explain what is going on within the Earth. High pressure explorations also lead to discoveries of novel materials with potential for practical applications in our low-pressure, environment.
  • 2009 Sep 30 Wed Noon. Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections Observed with STEREO. Markus Aschwanden - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View

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October, 2009

  • 2009 Oct 2 10-12noon and Oct 3 (Sat) 1:30-4pm. Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler: Redefining our Place in the Universe. Humanities West two-day program of lectures, discussions, music, and dance presentations celebrating the International Year of Astronomy in honor of the 400th anniversary of Galileo‚s first use of the telescope in 1609. Alexander Zwissler (Executive Director, Chabot Space & Science Center) moderates Friday night. Presenters include Roger Hahn (UC Berkeley), Kip Cranna (SF Opera), Kathryn Roszak‚s Danse Lumiere (SF), Bethany Cobb (UC Berkeley), Paula Findlen (Stanford University), Geoff Marcy (UC Berkeley), George Hammond (SF attorney and author), and Alex Filippenko (UC Berkeley). Herbst Theatre 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco TICKETS: $20 - $100 Tickets are available through City Box Office at 415/392-4400 or online at www.cityboxoffice.com Group tickets: info@humanitieswest.org
  • 2009 Oct 3 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr. To B. Announced. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Oct 3 Saturday 11:30 AM - 04:30 PM. Lawrence Hall of Science 1 Centennial Drive Berkeley, CA USA 94720 Discover Red Planet Mars!: Planetarium Grand Opening Program Join us for the grand opening of the NEW Holt Planetarium at the Lawrence Hall of Science! To celebrate our move to a larger space with a new digital fulldome projector, we are running drop-in interactive programs to help you discover the Red PlanetÑMars! The Red Planet has always held mysteries for us, even from the most ancient of times. To unravel some of these secrets, you can learn how to spot Mars in the night sky. You may study Mars through a telescope, teasing out the subtle details of the planet's surface. Ponder what sort of creature might survive in Mars's harsh environment. Learn how space probes have updatedÑand changedÑwhat we know about our planetary neighbor. With missions operating on and around Mars right now (and more to come), there is a lot to discover! Check out the new Planetarium, where your participation is all part of the program! Doors are open 11:30a.m.-1:30 p.m. & 2:30-4:30 p.m. on October 3-4.
  • 2009 OCT 5 Monday at 4:00 p.m. THE RICH PHYSICS OF NUCLEAR MUON CAPTURE - What Physicists Do. Dr. Tom Banks of the University of California, Berkeley will describe recent efforts by the MuCap Collaboration to precisely measure the rate of nuclear muon capture in hydrogen, and how the process of muon capture--which involves electromagnetism, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction--is a unique confluence of a diverse range of physics. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Oct 7 Wed Noon. Detecting Organics using Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Nathan Bramall, NASA Ames Space Science Division - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Oct 7, 7pm, Public Lecture, Hubble Breakthrough: The First Photos of a Planet Orbiting Another Star. Prof. Paul Kalas, University of California, Berkeley. Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California. Free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $2. Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information and driving directions. Paul Kalas was the leader of the team who managed the long-sought feat of actually taking a photograph of a planet orbiting another star....He will describe how they achieved the breakthrough using the Hubble Space Telescope and discuss the wide range of planets out there that astronomers are discovering.
  • 2009 Oct 9 4:30 am. LCROSS lunar impact.
  • 2009 Oct 9. At the Exploratorium. Shoot the Moon! Phyllis Wattis Webcast Studio or watch live online at: http://www.explo.tv 1pm, PDT* Is water ice present or absent in a crater near the moon’s polar region? Join the Exploratorium for a live webcast of the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite) mission on Friday, October 9 at 1pm. LCROSS is a NASA mission investigating the presence of water ice. The Exploratorium Web team will cover the mission, the explosion on the moon, and the plume of matter that will shoot 40 feet into the air from the moon’s surface, visible from Earth! Watch live online at http://www.explo.tv or at the Exploratorium. *Time and date subject to change; please check www.explo.tv for the latest information. This event is included in the price of admission to the Exploratorium. NASA’s LCROSS mission is seeking a definitive answer. Join Exploratorium staff for a special Webcast featuring live coverage of LCROSS crashing into the moon! We’ll watch the explosion and investigate how this intentional crash could reveal the existence of water ice. http://press.exploratorium.edu/shoot-the-moon-october-2009
  • 2009 Oct 7 Wed Noon. Detecting Organics using Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Nathan Bramall, NASA Ames Space Science Division - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Oct 9 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Oct 9 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 6:39 pm, 62% moon rise 10:37 pm. Star party hours: 7:30 until 10:30 pm http://www.sjaa.net
    2009 Oct 10 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 6:37 pm, 51% moon rise 11:56 pm. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Oct 11 at 2pm Grand Opening of "Out of this World: The Landscapes of Our Solar System" a new art exhibition at the Hearst Gallery and "The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System: Where Bill Gates' Great-Granddaughter Might Go on Her Honeymoon" A Free Public Talk by Astronomer Andrew Fraknoi at the LeFevre Theater both at St. Mary's College of California in Moraga. reception 3:30 to 5). For information and directions, see: http://www.hearstartgallery.org Parking is free. campus map - The exhibit features the paintings of some of the best known artists, depicting scenes of alien worlds. There will also be computer simulations, a scale model of the Mars Rover, films, Hubble, Mars Rover, and Cassini planetary images, and more. The curators of this special show are Carrie Brewster, the Gallery Director, and Ronald Olowin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at St. Mary's. To kick off the exhibit, which continues through Dec. 13, astronomer and popular lecturer Andrew Fraknoi will explore the most intriguing future tourist destinations in our cosmic neighborhood in an illustrated talk for the public.
  • 2009 OCT 12 Monday at 4:00 p.m. FIRST RESULTS FROM THE KEPLER MISSION TO FIND EARTH-SIZED EXOPLANETS - What Physicists Do. Dr. Gibor Basri, Professor of Astronomy and Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion at the University of California at Berkeley, will discuss the latest from NASA's new exoplanet-hunting Kepler space telescope. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Oct 14 Wed Noon. Fermi-LAT Observing the Universe with high-energy gamma-ray eyes. Dr. Stefan Funk, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Stanford University - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Oct 17 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 6:28 pm, 0% moon rises 7:57 am. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 October 17 11am - UC Berkeley Astronomy Department IYA Lecture - Imke de Pater - Fascinating Objects in our Solar System - in Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100 UC Berkeley - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 OCT 19 Monday at 4:00 p.m. FORMATION AND EVOLUTION OF MASSIVE GALAXIES - What Physicists Do. Dr. Mariska Kriek of Princeton University will discuss the formation and evolution of massive galaxies. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Oct 21 Wed Noon. Special Panel: LCROSS Mission - the first results of the impact. Tony Colaprete, Jennifer Heldmann and Diane Wooden - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Oct 23 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 6:20 pm, 33% moon sets 10:26 pm. Star party hours: 7:30 until 10:30 pm http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 October 23rd 8-11pm. Evening Star Party at Foothill College: Free and Open to the Public. Foothill College and the Peninsula Astronomical Society is holding a "star party" with telescopes at the Foothill College Observatory in Los Altos Hills, provided the sky is clear. The Observatory's 16-inch telescope will be open for viewing and members of the Society will bring their own large telescopes as well. Among the objects we will be able to see in the telescopes Oct. 23rd is the giant planet Jupiter, whose moons Galileo discovered -- thus demonstrating that not everything had to go around the Earth, as many people believed. The Foothill event is free, but parking on campus costs $2.00. Foothill College is located just off Freeway 280, going west on the El Monte Road exit. Los Altos Hills is between Palo Alto and Mountain View. The Foothill Observatory is near Parking Lot 4 on campus. For a map, see: http://www.foothill.edu/news/maps.html
    Hints for Participants:
    1. Dress warm and bring a small flashlight (one per family)
    2. Parking Lot 4 is closest to the observatory, but may fill up quickly
    3. You can park in lot 3 and walk forward (keeping to the sidewalk) to the observatory
    4. Or you may park in lot 5, and walk back to the observatory
    5. Children should be especially careful of the traffic on the one-way ring road that surrounds the campus
    6. Be prepared for a short wait if there are crowds
  • Galilean Nights:
  • 2008 Oct 24 Fall Astronomy Day
  • 2009 Oct 24 7:30pm Professor Michael Dine, University of California Santa Cruz - “The Dawn of the LHC Era: The Convergence of Particle Physics and Astrophysics” - Mt. Tamalpais State Park Astronomy Program - Over the past year, the Large Hadron Collider, an extraordinary scientific instrument, has begun to operate in Geneva. It offers the possibility of answering some of the great questions we confront in understanding the universe, including the identity of the dark matter and the asymmetry between matter and antimatter. http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843
  • 2009 Oct 24 6:00pm Discovering New Worlds: Where are astronomers looking for habitable planets outside of the Solar System? How will NASA's Kepler Mission find them? Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society public astronomy programs on Mt. Diablo. More info at http://www.mdas.net/publicprogram/publicprogram.htm or call Mt. Diablo State Park - 925-837-2525
  • 2009 OCT 26 Monday at 4:00 p.m. SOFIA - THE STRATOSPHERIC OBSERVATORY FOR INFRARED ASTRONOMY - What Physicists Do. Dr. Dana Backman, the director of education and public outreach for SOFIA, will give us a status report NASA’s new airborne observatory, a 2.5-meter telescope mounted in a Boeing 747. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Oct 26, 7-8:30 pm. Dark Secrets: What Science Tells us About the Hidden Universe
    A free panel discussion open to the public. Part of Berkeley Lab’s "Science at the Theater" Series. Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley, CA
    http://www.lbl.gov/Community/. KTVU Channel 2 health and science editor John Fowler will moderate a panel of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists Saul Perlmutter (heads the Supernova Cosmology Project), David Schlegel (Berkeley Lab astrophysicist and the principal investigator of Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey), Alexie Leauthaud (Chamberlain Fellow at Berkeley Lab).
  • 2009 Oct 28 Wed Noon. The Inner Structure of a Floating Water Bridge. Elmar Fuchs, Wetsus - Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, The Netherlands - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View

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November, 2009

  • 2009 Nov 1 -Su- SJAA 2 am. DST ends. Set clocks back 1 hour. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 NOV 2 Monday at 4:00 p.m. THE MILKY WAY’S HIDDEN PAST - What Physicists Do. Dr. Constance Rockosi of the University of California, Santa Cruz will talk about what we've discovered about our Galaxy's hidden past and how we can use that past to connect observations of the early universe with the galaxies we see today. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Nov 4 Wed Noon. The search for intelligent life in the Universe, and why it will fail. Ben Zuckermann, Physics and Astronomy Department, UCLA - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Nov 6 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 5:05 pm, 77% moon rises 8:38 pm. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Nov 6 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Nov 7 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 5:04 pm, 66% moon rises 9:50 pm. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 NOV 9 Monday at 4:00 p.m. EXTREME PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES - What Physicists Do. Dr. Jonathan Fortney of the University of California, Santa Cruz will show how our understanding of planetary atmospheres is being revolutionized by observations of the super-heated class of Jupiter-like planets that orbit very close to their parent stars. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Nov 10 Wed Noon. Water, Molecular Oxygen and Ice in Star-Forming Molecular Clouds. David Hollenbach, SETI Institute - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Nov 11, Wednesday, at 7 pm. LIFE AT THE EDGE: Life in Extreme Environments on Earth and the Search for Life in the Universe. Dr. Lynn Rothschild, NASA Ames Research Ctr. - 11th Annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California. Free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $2. Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information and driving directions. Past Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are now available in MP3 format at http://www.astrosociety.org/education/podcast/index.html
  • 2009 Nov 14 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 4:58 pm, 2% moon rises 5:48 am. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 NOV 16 Monday at 4:00 p.m. THE MILKY WAY’S HIDDEN PAST- What Physicists Do. Dr. Constance Rockosi of the University of California, Santa Cruz will talk about what we've discovered about our Galaxy's hidden past and how we can use that past to connect observations of the early universe with the galaxies we see today. phys.astro@sonoma.edu http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/
  • 2009 Nov 20 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 4:54 pm, 17% moon sets 8:13 pm. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 November 21 11am - UC Berkeley Astronomy Department IYA Lecture - Maryam Modjaz - Cosmic Fireworks: The Explosive Deaths of Massive Stars - in Genetics and Plant Biology Building, Room 100, UC Berkeley - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 Nov 25 Wed Noon. Deep Space Flight and Communications: SETI, KLT and Astronautics in a 2009 book. Claudio Maccone, Co-Vice Chair of the SETI Permanent Study Group, International Academy of Astronautics - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Nov 28 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr. To B. Announced. Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Nov 29 -Su- SJAA Will there be a Fall Swap? Where? http://www.sjaa.net

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December, 2009

  • 2009 Dec 2 Wed Noon. Titan's Ontario Lacus: Smoothness constraints from Cassini RADAR. Lauren Wye, Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University - http://www.seti.org/colloquium - at the SETI Institute, 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View
  • 2009 Dec 7. Benjamin Dean Lecture - At Saturn, Speaker: Dr. Carolyn Porco, Director of CICLOPS, Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO. For seven years, the Cassini spacecraft and its Huygens probe traveled invisible interplanetary roads to the place we call Saturn. Their successful entry into orbit, the mythic landing of Huygens on the cold, dark equatorial plains of Titan, and Cassini's subsequent explorations of the Saturnian environment are already the stuff of legend. What they have shown us, and the images they have collected, have revolutionized our views of this very alien planetary system and the planetary processes responsible for its configuration. Reservations: Ticket prices: Adults $12, Seniors $10, Academy members $6. Seating is limited. To purchase tickets in advance, call 800-794-7576 or Buy online at: http://bit.ly/5B94u8
  • 2009 Dec 9 Wed 12 Noon SETI Institute Colloquium Series 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View - Arecibo Rm. The search for intelligent life in the Universe: some great challenges for SETI. Finding Planets Around Nearby Stars: The Lick-Carnegie Extrasolar Planet Search Program. Steven S. Vogt, UCO/Lick Observatory, UC Santa Cruz. There are currently over 350 known extrasolar planets, the vast majority discovered through detection of periodic barycentric reflex motion of the planet's host star via high-precision Doppler radial velocity measurements. The Lick-Carnegie Extrasolar Planet Search Program is one such precision Doppler-based planet survey. It is currently monitoring over 1330 nearby F,G,K, and M stars for planets at 2-3 m/sec precision, and has contributed over 70% of the presently- known exoplanets. These extrasolar planetary systems display an unexpected diversity of orbital period, size, and eccentricity, and the emerging database is providing new insight into the origins and evolution of planetary systems. This talk will give a brief review of our program, reviewing details of the detection method, recent results, and future directions. The talk will also highlight the 2.4- meter Automated Planet Finder, nearing completion at Lick Observatory.
  • 2009 Dec 10 Thurs 4PM Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center Lockheed Martin ATC Auditorium in Building 202, 3251 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304. The Palo Alto Colloquia: ROSETTA, IN-SITU MISSION TO AN ACTIVE COMET Dr. Stephan Ulamec, Project Manager for the Rosetta Lander, Philae. Rosetta is a Cornerstone Mission of the ESA Horizon 2000 Programme. It is going to rendezvous with comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a 10 years cruise and to study both its nucleus and coma through an orbiting spacecraft and a landed platform. The latter, named Philae, after the island where the obelisk was found which helped together with the stone of Rosetta to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs, has been designed to land softly on the comet nucleus and is equipped with 10 scientific instruments to perform in-situ studies of the cometary material. http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=31445
  • 2009 Dec 10 7:30PM Geek Out: Why We Must Colonize Space - 12/10/2009 07:00 PM Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley It's been four decades since humankind took its first tentative steps in the realms beyond Earth, as bulky-suited astronauts stomped their boots in the lunar dust. But despite florid pronouncements and grandiose expectations, we still haven't gone very far into space.
  • 2009 Dec 11 Fri. Peninsula Astronomical Society meeting 7:30PM. Foothill Community College Peninsula Astronomical Society Meeting 7:30PM Foothill Community College 12345 Moody Rd. Los Altos Hills Rm 8402, Bldg. 8400 next to Parking Lot#8 near the entrance to the College. Computer Graphics: From Hollywood, NASA, and Beyond with Chris Ford of Pixar Animation. Astronomy and the art of astronomical visualization have always been closely linked. The traditional paintings of artists such as Chesley Bonestell, Don Dixon, or Ron Miller are well known and have educated and inspired millions. Witness the birth of the galaxy, navigate through Saturn's rings and take a trip on the Mars rover. Join us for this visually-rich multimedia exploration through the universe as Mr. Ford describes how the evolution of computer graphic techniques has allowed us to experience spectacular celestial settings with data-driven accuracy.
  • 2009 Dec 11 -Fr- SJAA Houge Park star party. Sset 4:50 pm, 16% moon rises 3:39 am. Star party hours: 7:00 until 10:00 pm http://www.sjaa.net
    2009 Dec 11 -Fr- SJAA Astronomy Class at Houge Park. 7:30 pm. Topic to be announced. http://www.sjaa.net
    2009 Dec 12 -Sa- SJAA Dark-Sky weekend. Sset 4:51 pm, 9% moon rises 4:43 am. Henry Coe Park's "Astronomy" lot has been reserved. http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 Dec 12 Sat. 2:00PM. Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA. Blast! - 12/12/2009 02:00 PM. Exploratorium, San Francisco. In celebration of the International Year of Astronomy we will screen Blast! (2009, 53 min.) by Emmy winner Paul Devlin. Blast! follows the story of the filmmaker's brother, Mark Devlin, who leads a tenacious team of scientists in launching a revolutionary new telescope under a NASA high-altitude balloon. BLAST (the Balloon-borne, Large- Aperture, Submillimeter Telescope) was created to capture images of light from the cosmos that can help us understand the formation of stars, planets, and galaxies. The adventure takes scientists from Sweden, Canada, and the Arctic to Antarctica, where catastrophic failure forces the team to start all over again on the desolate ice. Blast! also examines the dedicated life of the scientists involved. Their professional obsessions, personal and family sacrifices, and philosophical questioning all give emotional resonance to suspenseful scientific pursuit.
  • 2009 Dec 12 Sat. Star Parties At Crestview Park, San Carlos. Sunset 4:51PM. Come out and bring the kids for a mind expanding look at the universe. The City of San Carlos Parks and Recreation Department and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society has open Star Parties twice a month. These events are held in Crestview Park, San Carlos California. For more information call Bob Black, (650)592-2166, or send an email to SMCAS@live.com or call Ed Pieret at (650)862-9602.
  • 2009 Dec 14 Mon. 4:15pm. Extrasolar Planetary Systems. Bruce Macintosh, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Location: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA. Panofsky Auditorium. Event is open to the public. More than 300 extrasolar planets are now known. Almost all have been detected indirectly through radial velocity measurements or eclipses of their parent star. Direct detection spatially resolving the planet from the star opens up new areas of exoplanet phase space and new avenues for planet characterization. Macintosh will discuss the challenges in detecting such faint signals a mature Jupiter-like planet is a billion times fainter than its parent star and approaches to overcoming them. The promise of this approach was recently demonstrated with images of a planet orbiting Fomalhaut (Kalas et al 2008) and a three-planet system orbiting the young A star HR8799 (Marois et al 2008). Macintosh will discuss the latter in detail, and will summarize future prospects in this field, including advanced ground-based instrumentation and the path towards detection and characterization of Earthlike planets. Bruce Macintosh is currently a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, working in astronomical adaptive optics, and an associate director for the National Science Foundation Center for Adaptive Optics. He is principal investigator for the Gemini Planet Imager, a next- generation instrument for the 8 meter Gemini South telescope designed to directly detect and spectroscopically characterize Jovian planets orbiting nearby stars.
  • 2009 Dec 16 Wed. Noon. SETI Institute Colloquium Series 515 N. Whisman Road, Mountain View. Exploring Alternative SETI Search Algorithms with the ATA. Gerry Harp , SETI Institute. As a novel, many-element interferometer, the ATA supports radically different observing modes than any single-dish, yet performs very well in single-dish mode using beamformers. The cutting edge technology of ATA allows simultaneous data processing in 3 different modes: spectral imaging, ultra-high resolution single-point observing, and high speed data capture. The latter mode allows the application of any algorithm you can imagine on time-series data. In this talk Dr. Harp describe several new or "almost new" SETI algorithms that have been explored or implemented on the ATA. Recent results from prototype SETI observations are shown. These new algorithms are contrasted with standard SETI analysis and Dr. Harp will show how they may augment the search on next generation of SETI analyzers.
  • 2009 Dec 19 -Sa- SJAA General Meeting. Our speaker is Dr. To B. Announced. Board meeting at 6:30; General Meeting at 8:00 http://www.sjaa.net
  • 2009 December 19 11am - UC Berkeley Astronomy Department IYA Lecture - Dick Plambeck - UC Berkeley - http://astro.berkeley.edu/iya
  • 2009 Dec 21 -Mo- Winter begins at 9:47 am PST

 


Additions should be sent to Alan Gould

 


 

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