Bay Astro – Events of Week of 02/20/2017 and Beyond

This Yahoo group publishes announcements of interesting events related to astronomy and aerospace in the San Francisco Bay Area. This can include events such as astronomy and interesting physical science lectures, club meetings, star parties, air shows and other events of interest mostly to amateur astronomers and science enthusiasts. Many thanks to Ken Lum, who created this event listing.
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Tuesday, February 21 2017 – 12:00 pm, PST

SETI Institute Colloquium Series

1065 La Avenida
Microsoft SVC Building One Galileo Auditorium
Mountain View, CA 94043

Origins of Structure in Planetary Systems
Ruth Murray-Clay, UC Santa Cruz

Observations confirm that planet formation is a ubiquitous process that produces a diversity of planetary systems. However, a class of solar system analogs has yet to be identified among the thousands of currently known planets and candidates, the overwhelming majority of which are more easily detectable than direct counterparts of the Sun’s worlds. To understand whether our solar system’s history was unusual and, more generally, to properly characterize the galactic population of extrasolar planets, we must identifyingy how differences in formation environment translate into different planetary system architectures. In this talk, Dr. Murray-Clay will consider our solar system in the context of theoretical advances in planet formation driven by the study of extrasolar planets. Along the way, she will discuss several examples of physical processes operating at different stages of planet formation that imprint observable structures on the dynamical and compositional demographics of planetary systems.

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Tuesday, 02/21/17
04:30 PM – 05:30 PM

Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium
Hewlett Teaching Center
370 Serra Mall, Room 200
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

Exploring the Landscape of Interacting Topological Insulators
Speaker: Rui-Rui Du, Rice University

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 02/21/17
07:30 PM – 10:00 PM

DNA Lounge
375 11th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Astronomy on Tap Bay Area: Inflation!
Much like the universe in its first nanoseconds, Astronomy on Tap Bay Area has undergone inflation to a much larger size.

The astronomical lineup starts with Brian Levine of Astronomy on Tap NYC and the American Museum of Natural History who will perform a “brutal dissection” of the Animaniacs song “Yakko’s Universe”. UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab scientist Michael Medford will follow with a discussion of his search for Planet 9. Finally, Stanford professor Risa Wechsler will share with us the legacy of Vera Rubin, a scientist who broke new ground both in astrophysics and for women in science.

We’ll also feature Astronomy in the News, trivia (with prizes), and free giveaways!

All ages welcome.

And remember, space is always better with beer!

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 02/21/17 7:45 PM

San Francisco Amateur Astronomers
Presidio Officer’s Club
50 Moraga Ave
San Francisco, CA 94129

Mars and the Human Imagination

Mars has long been an object of intense interest in ancient and modern myths. Its ruddy glow inspiring visions of conflict and war, and its surface markings creating a whole genre of popular (mis)representations of Mars as the abode of life in a variety of forms. In this presentation, discover how popular culture has represented, and misrepresented Mars while sparking a special interest most all have in what is actually taking place on the planet most similar to earth in our solar system. NASA missions have returned a plethora of images and information about what Mars is really like. Find out the latest about what is known about the red planet, and what still remains for investigation and discovery on future missions.

Speaker: Brian Kruse, Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Cost: Free

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Thursday, 02/23/17 7:00 PM

USGS Evening Public Lecture Series
345 Middlefield Road
Bldg 3, 2nd Floor Rambo Auditorium
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Geology Up-Close – Big answers from small scale observations

How does a scanning electron microscope (SEM) work?

How does USGS study with the SEM?

– Earthquakes

– Volcanoes

– Mineral and energy resources

– Soil and aquifer processes

Speakers: Leslie Hayden, Diane Moore, USGS Geologists, Kathryn Watt, USGS Research Geologist, Marjorie Schulz, USGS Research Hydrologist, and Lara Stern, USGS Research Geophysicist

Cost: Free

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Thursday, 02/23/17 7:30 PM

Nourse Theater
275 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

The Quest for the Final Theory

Brian Greene is widely recognized for his groundbreaking discoveries in the field of superstring theory. Most notable is the co-discovery of mirror symmetry, which launched a vibrant field of research in physics and mathematics, and topology change, which showed that the fabric of space can tear apart, counter to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Professor Greene is the co-founder and director of Columbia’s Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, a research center seeking string theory’s implications for theories of cosmology. His many books include The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and his most recent, The Hidden Reality. With Emmy award winning journalist Tracy Day, Greene co-founded the The World Science Festival, a week-long celebration of science and discovery that has drawn over one and a half million people since its 2008 debut.

Alexis Madrigal is the Editor-at-large of Fusion.net, a multi-platform media company delivering a mix of news and pop culture, as well as the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. Formerly, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a staff writer at Wired. He is currently working on a podcast about the machinery of global capitalism and the Port of Oakland. Madrigal’s past interviews for City Arts & Lectures include Ta-Nehisi Coates and Richard Misrach with Guillermo Galindo.

Website: http://www.cityarts.net/event/understanding-string-theory/

Cost: $29

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Fri. 2/24/2017 7PM

Telescope Makers Workshop
Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619-2450

Chabot’s TMW is one of only a handful of regularly scheduled telescope making workshops in the U.S., and probably the world; it meets every Friday evening throughout the year, except Memorial Day weekend. It has been in operation since December of 1930, founded by Franklin B. Wright, and is currently run by Eastbay Astronomical Society member Rich Ozer, with help from other EAS members, Dave Barosso, Barry Leska, and others. The price of admission is FREE. All you have to do is show up, buy a mirror blank and a “tool” (typically around $100 – $200 depending on the size of the mirror) and start “pushin’ glass!” We supply you with instruction, the various grits you’ll need to first grind, and then polish and figure your mirror, and all the testing equipment needed. With a small bit of luck, you could wind up with a telescope that costs 1/3 or 1/4 the cost of a store-bought telescope, that is yet optically superior! Itdoes take time – depending on how much time you put in on it, and other factors, it could take a few months or several months. But, it’s a fun project, great for kids, and at the end you get a great telescope!
For more information call or email Richard Ozer at rozer@pacbell.net or phone (510) 406-1914.

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Fri. 2/24/2017 and Sat. 2/25/2017

Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619-2450
(510) 336-7300

EXPLORE THE NIGHT SKIES AT THE CHABOT OBSERVATORIES
for more information: http://www.chabotspace.org/
Free Telescope Viewing
Regular hours are every Friday & Saturday evening, weather permitting: 7:30pm -10:30pm
Come for spectacular night sky viewing the best kept secret in the Bay Area and see the magnificence of our telescopes in action!

Daytime Telescope Viewing On Saturday and Sunday afternoons come view the sun, moon, or Venus through Chabot’s telescopes. Free with General Admission.

12pm – 5pm: Observatories Open (weather permitting)

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Fri. 02/24/2017 9PM

Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Foothill Observatory is open for public viewing every clear Friday evening from 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Visitors can view the wonders of the universe through the observatory’s computer-controlled 16- inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
Views of objects in our solar system may include craters and mountains on the moon, the moons and cloud-bands of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, etc. Deep space objects including star clusters, nebulae, and distant galaxies also provide dramatic demonstrations of the vastness of the cosmos.The choice of targets for any evening’s viewing depends on the season and what objects are currently in the sky.

Admission is free. Parking is $3

Foothill Observatory is located on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. Take Highway 280 to the El Monte Rd exit. The observatory is next to parking lot 4. Parking at the college requires visitor parking permits that are available from the machines in the parking lots for $3.00. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change. Citations are issued.

Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!

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Sat. 02/25/2017 10AM

Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Foothill Colllege Observatory 10AM-12PM if it is clear Solar observing with a Hydrogen alpha solar telescope every clear Saturday morning. This allows spectacular views of solar prominences and unusual surface features on the Sun not otherwise visible with regular white light telescopes.

Admission is free. Parking is $3

Foothill Observatory is located on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. Take Highway 280 to the El Monte Rd exit. The observatory is next to parking lot 4. Parking at the college requires visitor parking permits that are available from the machines in the parking lots for $3.00. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change. Citations are issued.

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Sat. 2/25/2017 Sunset: 6:00 PM

San Mateo Co. Astronomical Soc.
Public Star Parties
Crestview Park
1000 Crestview Drive
San Carlos

SMCAS and the City of San Carlos Parks Department host a public star party at Crestview Park in San Carlos twice a month when there is a new moon. Members set up telescopes and let the public view and share their knowledge of the night sky all for Free. All ages are welcome. If you have kids interested in space or science, bring them here for a real time view of planets, nebula, star clusters, and galaxies.

If you are a Non-member and own a telescope, bring it to share! Experts are available if you need assistance or have questions about buying a telescope.

Telescope setup begins at sunset and observing starts one hour after sunset. In the event of inclement weather (rain, clouds, fog, or high winds) the star party will be cancelled. Because each astronomer makes his or her own decision about bringing their telescope, there is no official cancellation notice.

Crestview Park is located at 1000 Crestview Drive in San Carlos.

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Monday, 02/27/17
04:00 PM – 05:00 PM

Sutardja Dai Hall
Room 250
UC Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720

The Bugs that went to Mars and Terrorized Earth
Since its dramatic landing in Gale crater in August 2012, the Curiosity Rover has been busy exploring the surface of Mars, looking for evidence of past habitable environments. Having completed over 4 years on Mars, and with nearly 17 kms on its odometer, Curiosity has already made historic discoveries, finding evidence of an ancient freshwater streambed, organic molecules and other key ingredients necessary for life. Yet, in spite of its great successes, the mission has not been without a few hiccups. In this talk, we discuss the most significant of these: the Sol-200 anomaly, when the failure of a flash memory chip uncovered three latent software bugs that nearly killed the mission. We describe how the anomaly manifested itself, how recovery was achieved, and lessons learnt from the experience. The work described in this talk was carried out at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Speaker: Rajeev Joshi, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 02/28/17
04:30 PM – 05:30 PM

Hewlett Teaching Center
370 Serra Mall, Room 200
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

Probing the Electron to Test the Most Precise Prediction of the Standard Model and Beyond
Speaker: Gerald Gabrielse, Harvard Univ.

Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 2/28/2017
7:15 PM – 9:15 PM

Mount Diablo Astronomical Society
Lindsay Wildlife Experience,
1931 First Avenue
Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Doors open at 6:45.

Speaker: Dr. Ken Shen UCB

Topic: Supernovae

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Wednesday, 03/01/17
12:45 PM – 02:00 PM

Stanford University Law School
Room 180
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305

Artificial Intelligence: Think Again

Jerry Kaplan, CodeX Fellow and Visiting Lecturer, Computer Science, Stanford University

The common wisdom about Artificial Intelligence is that we are building increasingly intelligent machines that will ultimately surpass human capabilities and possibly even threaten mankind. This narrative is both misguided and counterproductive. Framing AI as a natural expansion of longstanding efforts to automate tasks makes it easier to predict the likely benefits and pitfalls of this important technology.

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 03/01/17
07:00 PM – 08:30 PM

East Bay Science Cafe
Cafe Valparaiso
1403 Solano Ave.
Albany, CA 94706

East Bay Science Cafe: Searching for Dark Matter with Matt Pyle

What is dark matter? For decades, firm astronomical evidence from observations of stars and galaxies has indicated that most of the matter in the universe cannot be seen directly in telescopes. Instead, this matter must be observed indirectly through its gravitational pull on the objects that we can see. This is how the term “dark matter” was coined…But how do we search for something we can’t see? Explore these questions with UC Berkeley astrophysicist Matt Pyle.

Cost: Free

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Friday, 03/03/17 7:30 PM

Hewlett Teaching Center
370 Serra Mall, Room 200
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

What Do We Know About The Big Bang?

Our understanding of the origin, evolution and make-up of the Universe has undergone dramatic and surprising advances over the last decades. Much of the progress has been driven by measurements of the fossil light from the big bang, called the cosmic microwave background radiation, which provides us with a glimpse of the Universe as it was 14 billion years ago. This talk will discuss what we know about the Big Bang and how we learned it. We will also talk about the new questions we are asking about the origin of the Universe and the experiments being pursued to answer them, peering back to the beginning of time.

Speaker: John Carlstrom, Univ. of Chicago

Cost: Free

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Friday, March 3, 2017 7PM

San Mateo Co. Astronomical Soc.
Building 36
College of San Mateo
1700 W. Hillsdale Boulevard
San Mateo, CA 94402

General meeting at 7:00 p.m. ISC Room, room 110
Presentation at 8:00 p.m. Planetarium
Free and open to the public, free parking.

Dr Mehmet Alpaslan, Post Doctoral Research Fellow
NASA Ames Research Center

How galaxies are influenced by the largest structures in the Universe

When viewed at the largest scales, the distribution of galaxies in the Universe resembles a complex, tangled web: an interconnected network of filaments of galaxies that surround vast, empty voids. Simulations and theory have established that filaments – the largest, most densely populated structures in the Universe – have formed in the billions of years after the Big Bang, and serve as conduits for transporting gas into galaxies, which they then turn into stars.

Thanks to advances in telescope instrumentation the current generation of galaxy surveys is finally able to observe the night sky in sufficient detail to accurately map the Cosmic Web for the first time, and begin to understand the role it plays in influencing the evolutionary fate of galaxies. In this talk, Dr. Alpaslan will review advances in mapping out the filamentary network of the Universe using data from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, as well as discuss some recent advances in understanding how the galaxies that live in dense filament differ from those that exist alone in isolated voids.

Dr Alpaslan is a postdoctoral research fellow within the NASA Postdoctoral Program, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center. His research focuses primarily on detecting and classifying large scale structures in the Universe (filaments, voids, and clusters) and understanding the role that these, and other environments, play in galaxy evolution and formation. He is also deeply interested in galaxy redshift surveys, astrostatistics, big data astronomy, and is a member of the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey.

Mehmet received his PhD at the University of St Andrews and the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the University of Western Australia, working with Simon Driver and Aaron Robotham. He obtained his PhD in the summer of 2014, and began his appointment at NASA Ames in July 2014.

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Fri. 3/3/2017 7PM

Telescope Makers Workshop
Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619-2450

Chabot’s TMW is one of only a handful of regularly scheduled telescope making workshops in the U.S., and probably the world; it meets every Friday evening throughout the year, except Memorial Day weekend. It has been in operation since December of 1930, founded by Franklin B. Wright, and is currently run by Eastbay Astronomical Society member Rich Ozer, with help from other EAS members, Dave Barosso, Barry Leska, and others. The price of admission is FREE. All you have to do is show up, buy a mirror blank and a “tool” (typically around $100 – $200 depending on the size of the mirror) and start “pushin’ glass!” We supply you with instruction, the various grits you’ll need to first grind, and then polish and figure your mirror, and all the testing equipment needed. With a small bit of luck, you could wind up with a telescope that costs 1/3 or 1/4 the cost of a store-bought telescope, that is yet optically superior! Itdoes take time – depending on how much time you put in on it, and other factors, it could take a few months or several months. But, it’s a fun project, great for kids, and at the end you get a great telescope!
For more information call or email Richard Ozer at rozer@pacbell.net or phone (510) 406-1914.

==================================

Fri. 3/3/2017 and Sat. 3/4/2017

Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619-2450
(510) 336-7300

EXPLORE THE NIGHT SKIES AT THE CHABOT OBSERVATORIES
for more information: http://www.chabotspace.org/
Free Telescope Viewing
Regular hours are every Friday & Saturday evening, weather permitting: 7:30pm -10:30pm
Come for spectacular night sky viewing the best kept secret in the Bay Area and see the magnificence of our telescopes in action!

Daytime Telescope Viewing On Saturday and Sunday afternoons come view the sun, moon, or Venus through Chabot’s telescopes. Free with General Admission.

12pm – 5pm: Observatories Open (weather permitting)

==================================

Fri. 03/3/2017 9PM

Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Foothill Observatory is open for public viewing every clear Friday evening from 9:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. Visitors can view the wonders of the universe through the observatory’s computer-controlled 16- inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
Views of objects in our solar system may include craters and mountains on the moon, the moons and cloud-bands of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, etc. Deep space objects including star clusters, nebulae, and distant galaxies also provide dramatic demonstrations of the vastness of the cosmos.The choice of targets for any evening’s viewing depends on the season and what objects are currently in the sky.

Admission is free. Parking is $3

Foothill Observatory is located on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. Take Highway 280 to the El Monte Rd exit. The observatory is next to parking lot 4. Parking at the college requires visitor parking permits that are available from the machines in the parking lots for $3.00. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change. Citations are issued.

Come to Foothill Observatory and join us in the exploration of our Universe!

==================================

Sat. 03/4/2017 10AM

Foothill College

12345 El Monte Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Foothill Colllege Observatory 10AM-12PM if it is clear Solar observing with a Hydrogen alpha solar telescope every clear Saturday morning. This allows spectacular views of solar prominences and unusual surface features on the Sun not otherwise visible with regular white light telescopes.

Admission is free. Parking is $3

Foothill Observatory is located on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. Take Highway 280 to the El Monte Rd exit. The observatory is next to parking lot 4. Parking at the college requires visitor parking permits that are available from the machines in the parking lots for $3.00. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change. Citations are issued.

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Sunday, 03/05/17 5:45 PM

East Bay Astronomical Society
Astronomy Hall
Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94619

Search for a second genesis of life in the Ocean Worlds in the outer Solar System
Speaker: Dr. Chris McKay, NASA Ames

Annual Awards Dinner, reservations at weblink: http://www.eastbayastro.org

Cost: $35

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