Category Archives: Meeting Announcements

Nov 9th – Starspots – Surface Blemishes Revealing a Deeper Beauty

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.

Oct 12th – Taking the Temperatures of Hot Gas in Stellar Nurseries

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.

September 14th, 2019 – Telescope Basics

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.

We hope to see you there!!

August 9th, 2019 – CAS picnic

CAS Members enjoy the annual picnic!

Please join us for out annual picnic out

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!

July 13, 2019 – 3D Printing and Astronomy

A 3D print of a section of the Moon featuring the “Straight Wall”

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.

Jason Hissong at the John Glenn Astronomy Park

8pm at Perkins Observatory. Refreshments will be available. We hope to see you there!

June 6th, 2019 – Swapmeet!

It is that time of year again where we have our annual swap meet!

Bring cash to buy and and your astronomy-related gear to sell or swap. We will provide tables to set up outside, or inside in the event of rain. Setup begins at 5 pm, and the swap meet begins at 6 pm. Around 7:30 to 8 pm we will order pizzas. If by some miracle we have clear skies, we will observe, too!


Start looking through your gear now!Hope to see you Saturday afternoon!

May 11th, 2019 – Astronomers as Citizen Scientists

Society Member Isaac Cruz

Please join us to hear long time CAS member, Isaac Cruz present on “Astronomers as Citizen Scientists.” Astronomy is the only amateur endeavor that provide a surprising number of opportunities for an individual to contribute to science.  In this lecture we will learn about a variety of ways Amateur Astronomers can contribute to science.

Isaac Cruz’s Bio:
Retired Electrical Engineer
Past President of CAS
Leads the CAS imaging group CASIS
Lectured at CAS, OSU, Otterbein University, and the 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, extra-galactic supernova search in cooperation with OSU.

Coffee and Donuts provided!

April 13th, A Glass Act: Refractors

The Late Ron Ravneberg, CAS member and Telescope Maker observes with his refractor.

Join us as long time observer and CAS member, Phil Creed, presents on the basics of the refractor telescope, pros/cons of refractors, a bit of the history of refractors and modern trends in commercial refractors.  He will cover the dreaded chromatic aberration and get in-depth on many bits of refractor lore and a few “refractor myths”.

Coffee and Donuts provided!

March 9th, 2019 – Sex, Death, Random Violence, and Wee-wee: The Real Story of the Sky.

Join us for our next meeting as Tom Burns, former director of Perkins Observatory, discusses a peripatetic (i.e., “rambling”) tour of the ancient myths connected with the stars and planets from various cultures. We’ll look at our very human concerns as they are reflected in the starry vault. Come for the stories. Come to get a startlingly different view of the night sky.  Come for the weirdly inspirational content. Come for the free donuts.

Not-so-brief bio: Professor (yes, that’s right, believe it or not) Tom Burns has been a member of the CAS for a very, very long time. He is a two-time winner of the Bud Stewart Award and was deeply honored to receive the Jane Gann Lifetime Achievement Award a few years back. Currently, he is the club Secretary. 

He directed Perkins Observatory for a quarter of a century. He has participated in thousands of public astronomy programs over the decades. He has been writing a weekly column on stargazing, first for the Columbus Dispatch and now for the Delaware Gazette, for 32 years. 

He is old and tired, but he still manages to teach a couple of classes at Ohio Wesleyan University every year. His semi-retired teaching load includes a class in Popular Science Writing, in which there is occasionally even a reference to the science of astronomy.

FEBRUARY 9th, 2019 – “COMETS” by James St. John, Geologist and Instructor at Ohio State University’s Newark Campus

“COMETS” by James St. John, Geologist and Instructor at Ohio State University’s Newark Campus.  James has previously presented to the CAS on meteorites and meteor impact sites. This month, James will provide an overview of what is known about comets. Please join us February 9th, 2019 at 8 pm as James surveys historical comets and shares the latest insights provided by spacecraft missions into these visitors to the inner solar system. Refreshments provided.