BayAstro - Week of 04/03/2023 and Beyond

27 Mar 2023 8:00 AM | Scott Miller (Administrator)

Monday, 04/03/23  4:00 PM
In-person and recorded

Sonoma State University - What Physicists Do
1801 E. Cotati Ave.
Darwin Hall, Room 103
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Modeling Supernovae as a Fireball

I will be talking about my research on supernovae from conducting preliminary research, writing code, data analysis/visualization to synthesizing all of it into a research paper. My hope for the talk is to showcase my journey from Capstone to finished paper with the hope that it might serve as a model and/or inspiration for students who want to get into undergraduate research

Speaker: Jacob Marshall, Sonome State University alumni


Cost:  Free


Monday, 04/03/23
07:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lectures

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118

The Caves of Mars: Preparing for a Mission to a Lava Tube

Biologic and Resource Analog Investigations in Low Light Environments (BRAILLE) is a multi-year, NASA-funded Mars analog project centered around fieldwork in volcanic caves at Lava Beds National Monument in Northern California. We are motivated to search for evidence of life on Mars beneath its surface - and one way to gain access there is through a volcanic cave! 
We have identified many such "lava tubes" in images from Mars orbiters, and by visiting similar environments on Earth with the right technology, we hope to quantify the microbial life living there (and find out what it eats), to characterize mineral features that could be signatures of life, and to gain experience using robots to detect life and to map below-ground regions.
These efforts will help NASA prepare for a future life-detection mission to a Martian lava tube! Our project has evolved to include new autonomous and AI technologies that show much promise for developing future missions to Mars - or the Moon!  This presentation will provide an overview of BRAILLE, showcasing its most significant accomplishments and taking audiences inside these remarkable caves.

Speaker: Jennifer Blank, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science


Cost:  $15 General, $12 Members & Seniors


Tuesday, 04/04/23  2:00 PM


Osher Livelong Learning Institute

A class on Aliens in Science and Science Fiction - Livestream

Few areas of astronomy provoke our imaginations as much as the search for “alien life” among the stars. It is a staple of science fiction stories and films, but recently it has also become a legitimate branch of scientific inquiry. In this non-technical class (designed for people without much science background), we first take a look at our modern view of the universe. We then discuss why astronomers are more optimistic than ever that there must be life beyond the Earth, what experiments we are undertaking to find or communicate with such life, and what we propose to do if we find “them.” We’ll also look at some of the most imaginative science-fiction ideas about what aliens will be like, and what the positive and negative results of getting in touch with aliens might be.

Note that this course runs for 6 weeks at the same time each week April 4 - 9.  We are only listing the first session.

The class costs $60 and you must also pay a $40 membership fee in the CSU East Bay OLLI program. 

To register, click here:

Instructor: Andrew Fraknoi, San Francisco State University, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and Fromm Institute.


Cost:  $100


Friday, 04/07/23  7PM

Telescope Makers Workshop
Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619-245

The Chabot Telescope Maker's workshop reopens! 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! It does take time - depending on how much time you put in on it, and other factors, it could take a few months.. But, it's a fun project, great for kids, and at the end you get a great telescope!

Enter from the main loading dock behind the main building.

Please be prepared with proof of vaccination and a mask. These are
Chabot Rules, which we always must adhere to.

If you have a project, bring it with you so we can assess next steps.
You can also bring any other equipment or literature you may have
questions about.

For more information call or email Richard Ozer at rrichozer1@... or phone (510) 406-1914.


Friday, 04/07/23
09:30 PM - 10:30 PM


Sonoma State University Public Astronomy
1801 East Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Sonoma State University Astronomy Public Viewing Nights

Join members of the Sonoma State Physics - Astronomy department for public astronomy viewing.  See weblink for map to the site.

Event is weather dependent.  Check the weblink prior to attending for last minute cancelations.


Cost:  Free


Friday, 04/07/2023 9PM-11PM for night observing and Saturday 04/08/2023
 10AM-12 Noon for solar observing

Foothill Observatory is open again!
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Foothill Observatory now Open EVERY clear Friday night and Saturday morning

The Foothill College Astronomy Department and Peninsula Astronomical Society (PAS) have reopened public viewing programs at Foothill College Observatory on:

·       Every clear Friday night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. for star gazing

·       Every clear Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon for solar viewing

Since we are still dealing with COVID, we are adopting the following guidelines to enable safe operation of the Observatory for both our public visitors and our PAS operators.  We ask that visitors please agree to complying with these guidelines before visiting the Observatory, and to direct any questions to info@....

1.    Full vaccination against COVID-19 is required to visit the Foothill College campus — This is a College requirement detailed on the Foothill College COVID-19 Behavioral Expectations page. So bring your vaccination certificate if possible.

2.    Mask usage is required anytime visiting the Foothill College campus — This includes the Observatory, per the same college policy linked above in item 1. 

3.    The number of visitors allowed inside the Observatory is reduced — To avoid overcrowding within the limited space, please wait outside the observatory until a PAS telescope operator lets you and your group inside. Once your group is done viewing through the telescope, you will exit the Observatory so that a new group may enter. 




Friday, 04/07/23 and Saturday, 04/08/23
07:30 PM - 10:00 PM--Free telescope viewings are back!

Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619

Free Telescope Viewings

Join Chabot astronomers on the Observatory Deck for a free telescope viewing! Weather permitting, this is a chance to explore stars, planets and more through Chabot’s historic telescopes. Chabot’s three large historic telescopes offer a unique way to experience the awe and wonder of the Universe. Our observatory deck offers breathtaking views 1,500 feet above the Bay. Three observatory domes house the Center’s 8-inch (Leah, 1883) and 20-inch (Rachel, 1916) refracting telescopes, along with a 36-inch reflecting telescope (Nellie, 2003).

Are the skies clear for viewing tonight? Viewing can be impacted by rain, clouds, humidity and other weather conditions. Conditions can be unique to Chabot because of its unique location in Joaquin Miller Park. Before your visit, check out the Weather Station to see the current conditions at Chabot.


Cost:  Free