BayAstro – Events of Week of 05/11/2020 and Beyond

The BayAstro 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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Due to concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 virus, some events have been or may be cancelled. Many venues will be closed to the end of March and some, perhaps, into April. Other events may offer online links and connections. To check on the status of a given event, check their website for updates.
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Tuesday, 05/12/20
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics, CA
Zoom: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/550904854

Liquid noble gas TPC detectors for astrophysics – Livestream
Speaker: Tom Shutt, KIPAC

Website: https://kipac.stanford.edu/events/liquid-noble-gas-tpc-detectors-astrophysics

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 05/12/20
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics
Zoom: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/550904854

Liquid noble gas TPC detectors for astrophysics – Livestream
Speaker: Tom Shutt, KIPAC

Website: https://kipac.stanford.edu/events/liquid-noble-gas-tpc-detectors-astrophysics

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 05/13/20 3:00 PM

Commonwealth Club – Online Event
Register at weblink to obtain connection information.

Alex Filippenko: Astronomer to the Stars – Livestream
Despite all the media attention given to black holes, dark matter and dark energy, astronomy is actually all about the light – the decillions of photons careening around the universe.

Join us virtually for a conversation with Alex Filippenko, a Berkeley astrophysicist who works on deciphering, from all that photonic information live-streaming to Earth, what is really going on out there. Filippenko will also share some of the spectacular images from deep space that our technology has been able to construct from the clues left behind by billions of those wandering photons.

Speaker: Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley; with George Hammond, Author

Website: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2020-05-13/alex-filippenko-astronomer-stars

Cost: Free

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Friday, 05/15/20
08:00 PM – 09:00 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center, CA
See weblink for connection information.

Astrophotography 101: Grab your phone and learn how to take stellar photos! – Livestream
If YOU have ever wanted to try your hand at astrophotography or hone your existing skills, now is your chance to do it from home! All you need is your cell phone! This beginners’ overview class will be led by the President of the East Bay Astronomical Society, Richard Ozer, and will guide you through basic steps of astrophotography.

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/astrophotography-101

Cost: Free

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Friday, 05/15/20
Start Time TBA

Tri-Valley Stargazers, CA
Send request to join to: president@trivalleystargazers.org

Is there a Star Party in Your Future? There Should Be! – Livestream

The severe light pollution levels in the urban and suburban areas in which we live make it nearly impossible to see the Milky Way and greatly limits everything else that we are able to see from our backyards or even nearby parks. Light pollution filters and narrow band imaging helps to cut through much of this background noise, but can not truly produce the experience of viewing the night sky from a Bortle 1 or 2 location. This is why like-minded amateur astronomers gather together at almost monthly star parties held all across the country at remote locations in the four corners of the country (Maine, the Florida Keys, Washington State, Southern California) and all points in between. If you haven’t availed yourself of one of these multi-night events you are missing out on a great opportunity to be blown away at how the night sky was meant to look. Even if you have attended a major star party or two, the talk will still be of interest and should help you in planning next next star party outing.

In this talk I will provide several reasons for you to get out of your comfort zone and attend your first remote site star party. The most obvious is dark skies, but how dark? In addition to dark skies, there are the many other great reasons to attend your first multi-day star party. We’ll talk about those as well. And no star party would be complete without some great daytime adventures. We’ll look at some examples from several different star parties.

If you have never attended one of these multi-day star parties you will have lots of questions. In fact, you may have avoided attending because you are unsure of what to expect. How do I plan my adventure? What should I bring? Where will I sleep? What about food and water? Will there be bathrooms and showers? What else do I need to bring to make sure that I have a good time? While every star party is unique, this talk will go over the common features of any start party to give you a leg up on preparing to have a great time. We will discuss star party etiquette and typical rules you need to follow. We will even dig into specifics for some of the major star parties you might wish to attend in the future.

My objective is to get those of you who have never attended one of these star parties to give it a try. And for those of you who already have, to give you some ideas of different star parties you might want to consider in the future.

Speaker: Curtis Macchioni, Western Digital

This meeting will be held using the video conference utility Zoom. The meeting link will be emailed to members. For non-members if you would like to join the meeting, please send an email to the club presidentasking for the meeting link and telling us a bit about your areas of interest in astronomy.

Website: http://www.trivalleystargazers.org

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 05/16/20 7:30 PM

Friends of Mt. Tam Astronomy Night, CA
See weblink for YouTube information.

Near-Earth Asteroids: Impact Hazard and Space Missions – Online

Near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are small solar system bodies in orbits that come near – or cross – the orbit of Earth. This illustrated talk will explore NEAs as unique physical worlds, as impact hazards to Earth, and as accessible destinations for spacecraft.

Speaker: Michael Busch, SETI Institute

Website: https://wonderfest.org/near-earth-asteroids/

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 05/16/20 7:30 PM

East Bay Astronomical Society

The “Nature” of Sunlight. The path of sunlight from the core of the Sun to the wings of a bird and how to observe it. – Livestream

Stephen Ramsden is a wildlife photographer, solar astronomer, and the founder and director of the highest volume “hands-on” astronomy outreach nonprofit in the world, The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, named in memoriam for a fellow military veteran. He is a noted motivational science lecturer in the United States with lectures and outreach appearances at every major astronomy or science show in the states to his credit. Ramsden’s lectures cover the importance of science education in the community and the physics, features and imaging/observing methods used in modern Solar Astronomy.

The program provides the highly acclaimed websites solarastronomy.org and solarscopereviews.com. CBSAP provides high tech STEM outreach absolutely free of charge to over 250,000 people worldwide annually. CBSAP currently operates in 22 countries providing state of the art narrowband solar observing and imaging to students from primary school to post graduate university level, and to the general public at major public festivals and events across the globe.

Stephen has been published in Astronomy magazine, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy Now, National Geographic, NASA websites and periodicals, countless internet sites including Spaceweather.com, Space.com, NASA.gov, Natgeo.com, and many others. Mr. Ramsden holds professional titles in Astrophysics, Nuclear Propulsion, Aviation Safety, Heliophysics, Air Traffic Control, Meteorology, and Advanced STEM Education.

Website: http://eastbayastro.org/events/

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 05/16/20
09:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center

Free Telescope Viewing – Livestream

Join our resident astronomers on Facebook Live every Saturday evening live from Chabot’s Observation deck! Each week, our astronomers will guide us through spectacular night sky viewing through Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope. Weather permitting we will be able to view objects live through the telescopes and our astronomers will be available for an open forum for all of your most pressing astronomy questions.

Listening to feedback from our community, the full recordings of all live events will also be released on YouTube. Watch them on the Chabot Space & Science Center YouTube channel within one week of when the event happens on Facebook Live.

See weblink for Facebook link.

Other Dates For This Event:
• Saturday, 05/16/20
• Saturday, 05/23/20
• Saturday, 05/30/20

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/free-telescope-viewings/2020-05-16/

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 05/19/20
11:00 PM – 12:00 PM

Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics
Zoom: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/550904854

Planning for SnowMass: Superconducting and quantum sensors for astrophysical and cosmological applications – Livestream

Speaker: Kent Irwin, KIPAC

See weblink for Zoom information

Website: https://kipac.stanford.edu/events/planning-snowmass-superconducting-and-quantum-sensors-astrophysical-and-cosmological

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 05/20/20
07:00 PM – 08:00 PM

SETI Institute
Register on weblink below

Finding Life on Europa: Do we have the chemistry? – Livestream

Decades ago, science fiction offered a hypothetical scenario: What if alien life were thriving in an ocean beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa? Recent observations of Europa from Earth-based telescopes, and reanalysis of spacecraft data, have increased the confidence for Europa’s ocean.

NASA, together with other space agencies, is looking for a way to explore Europa and hopefully identify the presence of life after solving technological challenges like landing on a chaotic and cryogenic surface, drilling into its crust and analyzing samples directly. If there is an ocean of liquid water beneath the relatively thin ice shell of Europa, is life there as well?

The possible detection of a thin plume of water in 2019 being ejected from Europa’s surface has re-energized the community, which is now looking for a new way to answer these questions. Could a spacecraft travel through this plume, sample and analyze it, and confirm the existence of life in this ocean? What kind of biomarkers should we look for? What would they tell us about this extraterrestrial life?

To answer these questions, we asked two scientists to join us for this virtual SETI Talks.

• Dr. Jill Mikucki, professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, is a microbiologist and Antarctic researcher who studies ecosystems under the ice. With her research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, she has demonstrated that microbes can grow below ice in the absence of sunlight, a process that could potentially take place on Europa.
• Dr. Cynthia Phillips is a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Additionally, she serves as project staff scientist for the Europa Clipper Mission, a NASA mission to be launched in the 2020s that will conduct a detailed survey of Europa, look for ingredients for life on the crust and search for locations of warmer ice and perhaps recent eruptions of water. She is also working on mission concepts that would study Europa from the surface and eventually explore its subsurface ocean.
These two scientists will discuss how their research combined could result in one of the most exciting discoveries in planetary science: The discovery of life elsewhere in our solar system.

Once again, we are planning to hold this month’s SETI Talks online. Registration is required in order to receive the link and password; however, capacity is limited. Access will be on a first come first serve basis. Once the virtual room reaches capacity, we will not be able to accommodate more people. We apologize for this inconvenience, but have experienced large numbers of registrations for people who are unable to participate at the last minute, leaving others unable to register. As always, SETI Talks will be recorded and available to everyone after it takes place.

Website: https://www.seti.org/event/finding-life-europa-do-we-have-chemistry

Cost: Free

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Thursday, 05/21/20 7:00 PM

California Academy of Sciences

NightSchool: A Virtual Tour of the Universe

Enjoy an update on the universe as we bring the planetarium dome into your home with Ryan Wyatt, Senior Director of the Morrison Planetarium.

Website: https://www.calacademy.org/nightlife/nightschool-a-virtual-tour-of-the-universe

Cost: Free

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Friday, 05/22/20
08:00 PM – 09:00 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center

The Sky this Month – Livestream

Join Chabot’s astronomers, with Gerald McKeegan & Don Saito on Facebook Live for a short tour of May’s nighttime sky. Learn to recognize many of this month’s constellations and bright stars, and even learn a little about celestial navigation!

See weblink for connection information.

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/the-sky-this-month-2

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 05/23/20
09:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center

Free Telescope Viewing – Livestream

Join our resident astronomers on Facebook Live every Saturday evening live from Chabot’s Observation deck! Each week, our astronomers will guide us through spectacular night sky viewing through Nellie, Chabot‘s most powerful telescope. Weather permitting we will be able to view objects live through the telescopes and our astronomers will be available for an open forum for all of your most pressing astronomy questions.

Listening to feedback from our community, the full recordings of all live events will also be released on YouTube. Watch them on the Chabot Space & Science Center YouTube channel within one week of when the event happens on Facebook Live.

See weblink for Facebook link.

Other Dates For This Event:
• Saturday, 05/16/20
• Saturday, 05/23/20
• Saturday, 05/30/20

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/free-telescope-viewings/2020-05-16/

Cost: Free

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