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.
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.
07:00 PM – 09:30 PM
Virtual Movie Night: ‘Mercury 13’
The SETI Institute will show Mercury 13 for our July 9 movie night. There will also be live interviews with Gena Nora Jessen – one of the original 13 – and David Sington, director of the 2018 film.
Mercury 13 tells the remarkable story of astronauts who had the right stuff, but the wrong gender. In 1958, NASA – America’s newly constituted space agency – started the Mercury Program to put humans into orbit, the first step down the yellow brick road to landing astronauts on the Moon.
Seven male test pilots were eventually stuffed into the tiny confines of the Mercury capsules. But 13 women were also invited to try out. Their test performance was equal – and sometimes better than – that of the men, but the space agency wasn’t about to send women into space.
In this highly rated film, the excitement and disappointments of the Mercury 13 is told using both historical and contemporary footage.
Register at weblink to obtain connection information
Thursday, 07/09/20 7:00 PM
California Academy of Sciences
see YouTube and Facebook links below
Virtual NightLife, Vol. 6 – Livestream
Virtual NightLife is going to space! Join us for Vol. 6, when we’ll be mixing cosmos with the cosmos. The countdown begins now. Streaming live on YouTube and Facebook.
09:00 PM – 11:00 PM
San Jose Astronomical Society
Register at weblink for connection information
Armchair Star Party (Online)
Join San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA) astronomers in our second Armchair (virtual) Star Party. We will take you on a guided tour of the current night sky and introduce you to the tools of astronomy. SJAA members will share live views (weather permitting) as well as long exposure photos of heavenly objects from their homes. You will have an opportunity to submit questions and receive answers during this live session. This event is free, everyone is invited. Just click on the link given when you register. The link will be live just prior to event start time.
We will be using Stellarium ( https://stellarium.org ) during this presentation. It is a free planetarium software that runs on multiple computer platforms. You can download the software to familiarize yourself with it. Note that this software or prior knowledge of it is not needed for this presentation.
Saturday, 07/11/20 7:00 PM
East Bay Astronomical Society
Lick Observatory during the 1918 and 2020 Pandemics – Livestream
Lick Observatory has been doing ground-breaking research since its opening in 1888. 30 years after Lick Observatory established itself as a world leader in astronomical research, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit the United States. Pandemics create challenging times for any organization, so how was Lick Observatory affected by the Spanish Flu in 1918? Research, while hampered by the conditions at the time, continued with the dedicated efforts of William Wallace Campbell, Heber Curtis, and other notable astronomers of the day. Dr. Gates will highlight the hot topics of research being done in 1918 and how the observatory persevered through the difficult conditions at the time.
Today in 2020 we are experiencing another devastating pandemic, COVID-19. Shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns have limited Lick Observatory operations. Dr. Gates will describe how we have adapted to the current conditions to continue as much research and data acquisition as possible, particularly in the areas of supernovae, exoplanet, and SETI research. Dr. Gates will also show how research has evolved since 1918, and how in some respects it has not changed.
Speaker: Elinor Gates, Lick observatory
Bonus speaker: Sujay Nair, who is in 11th grade at the Stanford Online High School, was a presenter at the 235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) 2020 CubeSat Workshop, was published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Journal of Double Star Observations, and by the 236th AAS for his work on Transit Analysis of Exoplanets. He will speak at 7:00.
Sujay will introduce us to the idea of updating the mid-transit times of exoplanets with the group “Exoplanet Watch”. Exoplanet Watch is a citizen science NASA group with the goal of observing many exoplanets with small telescopes hoping to ensure the efficient use of large Telescopes (JWST,ARIEL,etc), discover new exoplanets, search for blended exoplanet pairs, monitor stellar variability, and confirm the discovery of new Exoplanets.
See weblink for Facebook Live link
08:00 PM – 09:30 PM
San Jose Astronomical Society
Launching to Mars in 2020, a Primer on the NASA Perseverance Rover’s Mission to Return Samples and Search for Life on Mars – Livestream
NASA is launching the Perseverance Rover to Mars in July 2020. This Rover will be the first in a three-step, $10 billion process to return samples from one of the most interesting places on Mars and provide our best chance of finding evidence of past life on the red planet. SETI Institute scientist, J.R. Skok, has been working on the Perseverance Rover Landing Site selection process since 2012 and will share the story about how NASA committed to a Sample Return Mission to Mars and how the scientific community decided where on the planet we should search for life. This talk will give you the deep background for the mission and help set the stage for understanding NASA’s efforts on Mars for the next few decades.
Speaker: John Skok, SETI
Register at weblink for connection information.
09:45 PM – 11:00 PM
Chabot Space and Science Center
See weblink for connection information.
Virtual 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.
Other Dates For This Event:
• Saturday, 07/11/20
• Saturday, 07/18/20
• Saturday, 07/25/20
• Saturday, 08/01/20