All posts by Ness Mayker

August 1, 2020 – How to Image a Meteor Shower

This month we welcome CAS member Alex Mullins to give a virtual lecture: “How to Image a Meteor Shower” .

Alex Mullins with his imaging set-up at the John Glenn Astronomy Park. (Image Credit: Deanna Scotti)

Alex is a datacenter design engineer for Dell. He has been an astrophotographer since the summer of 2018 and he runs the Deep Sky Ohio Facebook page which often hosts live telescope observing sessions.

Alex will talk about how to plan, image, and process pictures of meteor showers. This is an especially timely topic, considering we are in the midst of the long-lasting Delta Aquariid shower and coming up on the Perseids, which is often considered to be the best meteor shower of the year.

A recording of this talk can be found on the CAS YouTube page:

July 11, 2020 – How to Capture the Solar System

This month’s talk will be given by CAS Social Media Director, Joe Renzetti.

Joe is a former CAS president, treasurer, secretary and has been an active volunteer with the club for 10 years. In that time, he has become a renowned award winning astrophotographer. His work has been published in Sky & Telescope and various online publications, displayed in local art galleries, COSI, and many social media sites, was a featured imager by astronomy camera manufacturer ZWO, and is a frequent contributor to the images presented in Prime Focus. His talk will be on astrophotography capture and processing techniques specifically for the moon and planets.

A recording of this talk can be found on the CAS YouTube page:

June 13, 2020 – Choosing and Using Binoculars for Astronomy

This month’s talk will be given by CAS Vice President, Willkie Cirker, and CAS Immediate Past President, Mark Peter. The talk will be about how to choose and use binoculars for astronomy.

Willkie Cirker has been an avid amateur astronomer since the start of the Space Age and has been a member of the CAS since 1981. He will talk on the many advantages of choosing binoculars for astronomy, then explain some of the key technical aspects such as design, size, aperture, field of view, eye relief, collimation, and what to look for when purchasing both new and used binoculars.

Mark Peter currently works as a paleontologist for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey. Mark has been an amateur astronomer since 2007, and has served as a former Secretary, Vice President, and President of the Columbus Astronomical Society. He likes to observe using wide-field, low-power instruments as a way to become familiar with the night sky. Topics he will cover include aiming, mounting, and care for binoculars, and also observing programs, books, and other resources for binocular astronomy.

A recording of this meeting can be found at the CAS YouTube page:

May 9, 2020 – Stellar Seismology

Mathieu Vrard received his undergraduate degree at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin (UVSQ) and his graduate degree at Paris Observatory (Observatoire de Paris). He defended his PhD in 2015. After, he spent three years at the Centro de Astrofisica e Ciencias do Espaco (CAUP) at Porto in Portugal. He is currently working as a stellar seismologist at the Ohio State University.

Talk Summary: In the first half of the twentieth century, the base of stellar physics was already well understood but the physicist were quite pessimistic about the knowledge that could ever be acquired on the interior of stars. It is indeed impossible to obtain direct observations on the star’s interiors through their light emission since it comes from their surface. But, of course with time, a better understanding of the physics of the stars brought new observational techniques. In this presentation, I will talk about a technique that was discovered in the second half of the twentieth century and that allows to obtain precise information on the stellar structure with the observation of the waves going through the stars. Waves are indeed propagating into stars and produce tiny variations of the observed stellar parameters (luminosity, radius,…) that can be retrieved. With this, it is possible to have precise information on the waves and, therefore, on the medium they propagate into, here the interior of the stars. I will talk about the basic principles of that method and its origins before showing a few modern of its applications.

A recording of Mathieu’s talk can bee found on the CAS YouTube page:

April 11, 2020 – Women in Astronomy Through the Years

Members of the first all-women graduate class of The Ohio State University’s Department of Astronomy will take us on a journey through time to explore the contributions of women in astronomy.

From The Ohio State University Department of Astronomy’s first all-women graduate class: (from left to right) Anusha Pai, Ness Mayker, Caprice Phillips, Alison Duck. (Image Credit: Kiersten Boley)
  • Anusha Pai of Beaverton, Oregon. Pai graduated from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2019 with an undergraduate degree in physics. At Ohio State, she is working to characterize hot Jupiter atmospheres.
  • Ness Mayker of Columbus, Ohio. Mayker majored in physics and astronomy as an undergraduate at Ohio State. She currently is studying the properties of gas in galaxies in the Department of Astronomy.
  • Caprice Phillips of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Phillips graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019 with an undergraduate degree in astronomy. At Ohio State, she is studying Super-Earth atmospheres.
  • Alison Duck of Salisbury, Maryland. Duck graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with an undergraduate degree in physics and astronomy. At Ohio State, she is studying exoplanet transit modeling.

A recording of this meeting can be found on the CAS YouTube page: