I am pleased to announce that we are adopting an online presence for our meetings until this period of “social distancing” has ended. We will be hosting our March meeting using Facebook live. Join us on the CAS Facebook Page Saturday, March 14th at 8pm for our March meeting. “A History of M: How the Messier Catalog Came to Be” led by our very own Brad Hoehne. The other good news is that if you miss the meeting, the video will still be around on the Facebook page to watch at your leisure! It is disappointing that we are unable to come together face-to-face over donuts and Diet Coke, but I am thankful that we are still able to connect with each other and continue our mission to share our enthusiasm for all things astronomy.
Due to the recent recommendations for social distancing as a proactive way to “flatten the curve” on COVID-19 (https://www.flattenthecurve.com/) we are canceling the March meeting. Our original speaker, Brad Hoehne, is looking into several different options to make his Messier talk available to everyone. We will send more information as it becomes available. We are looking into using online video chat as a means to keep in touch during this time. We might consider experimenting with this platform to hold online meetings in place of physically meeting at Perkins until it is no longer recommended to practice social distancing. We will keep everyone updated with any new developments.
Exoplanets, planets that orbit a star other than our own Sun. In tonight’s presentation we will talk about the history of the detection of these planets, the tools that have been used to detect them and how we, as amateur astronomers can use our own instruments to detect them. Please join us as long time member, officer, astrophotographer, citizen scientist, and electrical engineer, Isaac Cruz presents on this exciting topic!
Isaac Cruz’s Bio: Retired Electrical Engineer Past President of CAS Leads the CAS imaging group CASIS Lectured at CAS, OSU, Otterbein University, Metropolitan University at Puerto Rico Passionate astrophotographer. Work published in various magazines and books. Citizen Scientist, with published research and exploration work done on variable stars, eclipsing binaries, exoplanets and lately, extragalactic supernova search in cooperation with OSU.
Did you know that there was a space race in the mid-19th Century? Why was Uranus not behaving like it should as it orbited the sun? The hunt was on for another planet! Math, Gravity, and Rivalry interweave into the story on how Neptune got discovered.
Join long-time member, past-president, astrophotographer, telescope maker, and amateur science history buff, Jason Hissong, as he tells the intriguing tale of how Neptune was discovered.
The CAS Annual Holiday Party and Awards Ceremony is set for Saturday, December 14th. Setup begins at 4 pm, and dinner at 6 pm. Members are asked to bring a dish to share, and the musically inclined are encouraged to bring their instruments. We will enjoy a festive feast, elect new officers and board members for 2020, acknowledge service to the Society, and the pièce de résistance: a round of Astro-Jeopardy, with our host Brad “Trebek” Hoehne (to whom resistance is futile).
Please join us as Don Stevens, long-time member and Director of Perkins Observatory, delivers a talk on Starspots – Surface Blemishes Revealing a Deeper Beauty. Coffee and donuts will be provided. We hope to see you there!
For centuries astronomers had only one star that they could resolve its surface and study it in great detail – the Sun. Other stars were simply too far away to be seen as anything more than points of light. There were limits to what we could understand about the nature of the stars as a result. This led to the assumption that the Sun was unique among the stars. As technology improved and innovative techniques to study the light from stars were developed, more could be learned. Indeed, in the last couple of decades, imaging technology and data analysis techniques have improved to the point where astronomers can resolve the surfaces of other stars. This has advanced our understanding of both the sun and other stars. In this talk, the focus will be on one feature of the Sun and sun-like stars – spots. Also discussed, how we can see these spots on the surfaces of other stars and what we can learn from observing them.
Please join us on October 12th at 8pm to hear CAS member and first-year graduate student at The Ohio State University, Ness Mayker, discuss her latest research! An abstract of her research:
The CHemical Abundances Of Spirals (CHAOS) project has measured the abundances of elements across spiral galaxies by studying the light from star-forming regions captured by the Large Binocular Telescope. By measuring the proportions of the elements found across galaxies, astronomers can learn about how galaxies evolve.
Measuring elemental abundances relies on knowing the temperature of the region where each element is found. These temperatures are called ion temperatures. Star-forming regions can be large, dynamic places containing a wide range of temperatures. Ion temperatures follow specific correlations amongst themselves and within the region, but sometimes there are exceptions. Because there is no “right” temperature for the nebula, it is helpful to have multiple temperature measurements to better study the region and to understand the exceptions.
Recently, I have explored an alternative method of estimating nebular temperatures, using the “Balmer jump” – a spectral feature commonly found in star-forming regions that is sensitive to the region’s average temperature. My work focuses on understanding how this average temperature relates to the ion temperatures within the nebula.
In this talk I will explain how spectroscopy provides a window into the inner workings of these star-forming regions, thereby facilitating a better understanding of galaxy evolution. I will also share the results of my quest to find the “best” nebular thermometer.
More about Ness:
Ness Mayker is a first-year graduate student at The Ohio State University. Ness completed her undergraduate studies at OSU receiving a B.S. in both Physics and Astronomy. Ness has been working with Danielle Berg and Richard Pogge on the CHemical Abundances Of Spirals (CHAOS) project which measures elemental abundance gradients across nearby spiral galaxies. Ness is also working with Adam Leroy and Laura Lopez alongside the PHANGS-ALMA collaboration (Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) to understand the conditions under which supernovae explode and how they affect the star formation rate of their host galaxies. Additionally, Ness is working with James Johnson developing models of galactic chemical enrichment for VICE (Versatile Integrator for Chemical Evolution).
Outside of OSU’s astronomy department Ness is usually spending time with her two kids, Draylen and Amelia. Before Ness discovered her love for astronomy, she was a fiber artist. Ness loves to garden, walk in nature, and ride her bicycle. Ness has a 20lb tortoise named Spica and she names the many community cats in her care after objects in the asteroid belt.
At our September meeting, we are offering a program on Telescope Basics. Experienced members will give mini-presentations on telescope collimation, finder and polar alignment, magnification and field of view, and useful accessories. Aimed at newbie amateur astronomers, even veteran observers may learn a trick or two. For an autumn treat, we’ll order pizzas after the program, and hopefully enjoy clear skies to practice what we have learned.
Nothing feels more like summer than a good picnic and fireworks. We hope to have both at our annual August picnic meeting. The picnic will feature BBQ and sides from City Barbeque. Members are also encouraged to bring a dish to share- vegetable dishes for our vegetarians, traditional and nontraditional sides and desserts are all desired. Hopefully we will have clear skies, but if not we will take shelter inside Perkins Observatory to enjoy our feast. We will begin to set up at 4 pm and begin eating by 6 pm. We will also attempt to take our annual group photograph, so start practicing your smiles now!
If you are wondering about the promise of fireworks, those will come later, after dark. Our picnic will fall near the beginning of the annual Perseids meteor shower. Although a bright Moon will wash out many of the meteors, the brightest will still be impressive. So bring a camp chair, bug spray, some food to share, and an appetite. Hope to see you at the picnic!
Long time Society member, Jason Hissong, will be presenting on 3D Printing and Astronomy. From Astrophotography accessories, to telescope making, 3D printing has become a great way to make custom parts for Astronomy. Jason will be covering the various aspects of 3D Printing, and how many take advantage of this technology for Amateur Astronomy purposes.
8pm at Perkins Observatory. Refreshments will be available. We hope to see you there!