Category Archives: Uncategorized

January 12th, 2020:Eclipse Fever and Corona Virus

Bill Kramer is a former CAS President who is still probably the tallest standing president of the CAS ever, he is an avid eclipse chaser having seen 17 out of 18 total solar eclipses chased. He retired from his own consulting business in 2008 and moved to a warmer latitude. He currently resides in both Orlando Florida and Negril Jamaica. He has a 20cm reflector in Negril and relatively dark sky allowing him to enjoy star hopping. In Orlando he uses an 80mm LUNT Hydrogen-alpha to observe the Sun.

Bill is going to discuss the recent eclipse, some observations from friends that took a YOLO approach to it and went. Take a comical look at the various options people considered (some realistic and others no-so) to get to this eclipse. Then turn to future eclipses and what it will require to see them. I want to focus on the annular eclipse in 2023 and total in 2024 as they cross the USA. The 2024 actually goes over Ohio (early April though) so some talk about that is in order.

Join us virtually for Bill’s talk: “Eclipse Fever and Corona Virus” on January 12th at 8pm.

This meeting will be hosted on Zoom and broadcast live through the Columbus Astronomical Society Facebook page. The talk will be recorded and later uploaded to YouTube.

December 12, 2020: CAS Holiday Party

Dear CAS Members,

Bring your instruments to our virtual winter party, where we will have our yearly elections, an award/acknowledgement ceremony (official awards will be presented as soon as we have an effective and widely distributed COVID vaccine). We will also continue our tradition of Astronomy Jeopardy hosted by Brad Hoehne who has advertised it as follows: “As has been our tradition for the past 18 years, you will be subjected to a blistering game of high-intensity questioning (or is it answering) on an assortment matters astronomical. The game will take place on Twitch, which has a faster response time than Facebook live (don’t worry, it’s very easy to use) and will be re-streamed through our Zoom meeting.”  

Join us Saturday, December 12th at 6pm on Zoom for our 2020 Holiday Party. (Contestants and scorekeepers should try to arrive early to get set up on Twitch.)

Beautifully photoshopped image from Brad Hoehne portrays a scene of how the award ceremony could have been, if it hadn’t been virtual.

November 14th – Elvis on Mars!: A Journey Through Our Weird and Wonderful Perceptions of the Red(ish) Planet

Since 1984, Tom Burns has been a Professor in the Department of English at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he teaches writing courses. Now, semi-retired, he still teaches a couple of courses a year.

Starting in 1993, he was Director of OWU’s Perkins Observatory, where he split his time between administrative duties and an average of 150 public programs every year. He retired from his post at Perkins on July 31, 2018. He continues to volunteer at the John Glenn Astronomy Park.

He has written a weekly column on astronomy for various newspapers for 32 years. He has developed lifelong interests in stargazing, eastern and western philosophy, the art of friendly persuasion, the mythology of the sky, movies made before 1958, and long-distance hiking.

On the latter point, during a dull stretch of trail, he recently calculated that he has walked over 43,000 miles. Only 7,000 or so to go before he has walked the equivalent of two Earth circumnavigations.

His daughter Krishni is teaching in the Classics Department at the
University of Illinois. His son Orion shares his interests in movies. He
has been married to his long-suffering wife Sue, a retired law librarian, for 46 years. Over the years, he has shared with his family four dogs, eight, no, nine cats, three ferrets, two gerbils, a guinea pig, two
hamsters, and two bunnies as pets.

His long-term goal is to get more sleep.

Join us for Tom’s talk: “Elvis on Mars!: A Journey Through Our Weird and Wonderful Perceptions of the Red(ish) Planet.” on November 14th at 8pm. Tom warns, “no one will be spared, not even that Johannes Kepler guy!”

This meeting will be hosted on Zoom and broadcast live through the Columbus Astronomical Society Facebook page.

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

October 10th, 2020 – Messier Bingo

Join us this Saturday, October 10th at 8pm on zoom for Messier Bingo! We will be featuring images taken by our own CAS members: Isaac Cruz, Ness Mayker, Alex Mullins, Mark Noltimier, & Joe Renzetti. Come look at pretty pictures, win prizes, and learn something new about some of your favorite observing targets.  

Please RSVP if you plan to attend, I would like to email out the bingo cards before the meeting begins, so that folks don’t have to wait for me to send emails once we get the meeting started.

This meeting will be hosted on Zoom (link is below) and broadcast live through the Columbus Astronomical Society Facebook page.

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

September 12, 2020 – Mars: The Red Planet

We welcome CAS member Adaline Cooper to give our upcoming virtual lecture. Adaline is a freshman undergraduate student at the Ohio State University doing a combined Master’s in Chinese Language and Literature, with an undergraduate major in Astronomy, Physics, and Chinese. Her Chinese is self-taught and she is planning to conduct her master’s Astronomy research overseas in a Chinese speaking country. She is interested in studying Radio Astronomy and Optics. In her free time, Adaline is learning how to play guitar.

Please join us for our next meeting, “Mars: The Red Planet” on September 12th at 8pm. Adaline will talk about Martian moons, observation techniques and interesting astronomical and geological phenomena.

This meeting will be hosted on Zoom and broadcast live through the Columbus Astronomical Society Facebook page.

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

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: