BayAstro – Events of Week of 11/09/2020 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 perhaps until the end of the year. 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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Monday, 11/09/20 4:00 PM

What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Dark Matter – Livestream

Speaker: Dr. Emilija Pantic, UC Davis

See weblink for Zoom information.

Website: http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/wpdcurrent.shtml

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 11/10/20
02:00 PM – 03:00 PM

SETI Institute

Fingerprints of Life and Rosetta Stones: Exploring Extreme Environments on Earth to Search for Life on Mars – Livestream

The Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Science Lab missions have demonstrated that early Mars was habitable for (primitive) life as we know it. However, missions now on their way to Mars are shifting their objectives from the characterization of habitable environments to the search for prebiotic chemistry and biosignatures on Mars, an exploration that requires a different approach to understand what to search for, where to search, and how to search. The study of terrestrial extreme environments plays a critical role in the preparation for these missions, and the support of their operations. Study sites in the Atacama Desert, the altiplano, and the Andes represent the closest analogs on Earth to early Martian environments. Through the study of the distribution, abundance, and nature of microorganisms that survive there, and the types and composition of environments they have adapted to, we learn what exploration strategies, technology, instruments, spatial scales, and spectral resolution are needed to detect them on Mars. Ultimately -because of the similarities between early Earth and Mars and due to the exchange of planetary material between the two planets in the early times of the Solar System, while terrestrial extreme environments are helping us prepare the search for life on Mars – finding life on Mars could one day help us understand the origins of life on Earth.

Speaker: Nathalie Cabrol, SETI

Website: https://www.seti.org/event/fingerprints-life-and-rosetta-stones-exploring-extreme-environments-earth-search-life-mars

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 11/11/20
07:00 PM – 08:30 PM

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures

Planet 9 from Outer Space: Searching for a Distant Planet in our Solar System – Livestream

Just when the world was finally getting used to only having eight planets orbiting the Sun, the presence of a new ninth one is slowly coming into view at the edge of the solar system. This planet — Planet Nine — is inferred from of its gravitational effects shaping the disk of small icy bodies beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper belt. Dr. Brown will talk about the history of planetary discovery (and demotion), why we think a new one is on the verge of being found, and the techniques that we are using to try to find this very faint body lurking in the far reaches of our planetary system.

Speaker: Dr. Michael Brown is a Professor of Planetary Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology.

YouTube link below to view. Lecture will be available at this link afterwards also.

Website: https://www.youtube.com/user/SVAstronomyLectures

Cost: Free

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Thursday, 11/12/20 7:30 PM

Bay Area Skeptics

The Debate about Dark Matter: Is the Matter Settled? – Livestream

The observable universe is made of stars and galaxies and gas. However, it is commonly held in the astronomy community that our universe is also made of an invisible substance called dark matter that is five times more common than ordinary matter. However, dark matter has never been observed, and the evidence for its existence is still circumstantial. In this talk, physicist Don Lincoln will give insights into the debate within the scientific community. You will learn about the historical debate, the reasons dark matter is a currently favored theory, and an appreciation for why researchers continue to look into the question.

Speaker: Don Lincoln, Fermilab

See weblink for connection information

Website: http://baskeptics.org/upcomingskeptalk/

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il7NKhNAuT8&ab_channel=BayAreaSkeptics

Cost: Free

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Friday, 11/13/20 12:00 PM

institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
UC Santa Cruz

Saturn’s Enigmatic Dynamo – Livestream
Speaker: Sabine Stanley, Johns Hopkins University

Website: Click to Visit

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 11/14/20
07:00 PM – 08:30 PM

Greater Farallones Marine Sanctuary

Virtual Humpback Whale Soirée – HUMPBACK WHALE SONGS AND THE SEARCH FOR ALIEN INTELLIGENCE – Livestream

The study of animal communication challenges our ideas of intelligence and informs the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Among the most fascinating and sophisticated of vocalizations are the songs and sounds of humpback whales. Laurance Doyle, Ph.D, Research Scientist with SETI Institute will share his studies of humpbacks to understand the communications that exist throughout Planet Earth and beyond.

Website: https://farallones.org/events/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FarallonesAssoc/live

Cost: Free

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Saturday, November 14, 2020 ,

SMCAS General meeting at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom videoconference.
Zoom login info will be sent via SMCASNews@groups.io and SMCAS@groups.io at:

https://groups.io/g/SMCASnews/topics

San Mateo Co. Astronomical Society

Here Come the Suns: The statistics and habitability of planets in binary star systems

Speaker: Dr. Lea Hirsch

Post Doctoral Research Fellow, KIPAC, Stanford University

Most planet searches focus on single stars, like the sun. But half of all sun-like stars actually live in binary or multiple stellar systems, whose planet-hosting capability may be quite different. Although planets in binary systems are common in pop culture (think Tattoine in Stark Wars, or Gallifrey from Doctor Who), we know far less about them empirically than their counterparts in single star systems. In binary systems, planets can occupy either circum-stellar or circum-binary orbits, but many orbital configurations are thought to be unstable due to the effects of the binary companion. Binaries are also thought to affect the proto-planetary disks of their companions, affecting their ability to form planets at all.

In this talk, I will describe the current state of our theoretical and observational knowledge of the occurrence rates and statistics of planets in binary star systems. I’ll also discuss efforts to simulate the habitability of planets in binaries, which may pass in and out of the so-called habitable zone in their trajectories around one or both of the stars in their system.

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Saturday, 11/14/20
09:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center

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.

We will go live the Chabot Space & Science Center Facebook page 10-15 minutes before the event. You can find the live video stream on our Facebook page and in the Facebook event discussion. To receive a notification when we go live, “like” Chabot Space & Science Center on Facebook and RSVP that you’re going to this event.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/314470296245037/?event_time_id=347804269578306

Other Dates For This Event:
• Saturday, 11/14/20
• Saturday, 11/21/20
• Saturday, 11/28/20
• Saturday, 12/05/20

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/free-telescope-viewings/2020-10-03

Cost: Free

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Monday, 11/16/20 4:00 PM

What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Astronomy Geneology Project – Livestream

Speaker: Dr. Joe Tenn, Emeritus of Sonoma State University

See weblink for Zoom information.

Website: http://phys-astro.sonoma.edu/wpd/wpdcurrent.shtml

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 11/17/20
07:00 PM – 08:00 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2X7JkA1110&feature=youtu.be

Thanksgiving on Mars: Exploration & Human Missions Beyond Earth Orbit – Livestream

Humankind has always dreamt of traveling to new places and exploring new frontiers. When the Pilgrims’ arrived in the New World on wooden sailing ships in the 1600’s, they celebrated the first Thanksgiving with Native Americans and began settling into life in their new home.

Over time, the exploration and settlement on of our continent continued – initially on foot or by covered wagons, later by Transcontinental Railroad, and more recently by airplanes and jets, each time going further and faster using new technology. Even today, some dream of using rockets to take us to the Moon or Mars, perhaps to establish yet another frontier settlement.

But before we can celebrate Thanksgiving on a new planet, we’ll need more than just rocket scientists, engineers and daredevils. Designing human missions to other planets involves taking a broad perspective. Join us for a far-out and forward-looking adventure beyond Earth. And maybe some of you can get involved in the effort ahead. it will take all kinds of experts and lots of teamwork in the coming decades.

Speaker: Dr. Margaret Race, NASA and SETI

See weblink for Facebook connection.

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/thanksgiving-on-mars-exploration-human-missions-beyond-earth-orbit

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 11/18/20
07:00 PM – 08:00 PM

SETI Institute

Life on Venus? Or much ado about nothing? – Livestream

For decades, we thought of Venus as a completely uninhabitable planet because of the hellish environment on its surface. Yet, several scientists have championed the idea that life could exist in the thick cloud decks that shroud the planet.

Several weeks ago, a team of astronomers reported the detection of phosphine on Venus. If this stinky, toxic, perhaps biogenic gas does exist on Venus as reported, we stand to learn something profound. If clever chemists succeed in identifying a nonbiological source that produces phosphine, we will learn about the limitations of using atmospheric biosignatures to infer life. If they fail, this discovery increases our already high motivation to go to Venus and study its atmosphere in situ with 21st-century instruments.

To discuss this amazing discovery and its consequences for the search for life beyond Earth, we invited two astronomers: Clara Sousa-Silva, co-author of the study about phosphine on Venus and David Grinspoon, astrobiologist and member of the SETI Institute’s Science Advisory Board, and is part of the Breakthrough Initiative and co-investigator on multiple proposed missions to search for primitive life in the clouds of Venus.

The speakers will discuss whether or not phosphine detected on the planet next door is a signature of alien biology and how we might one day send a space probe to find out.

Website: https://www.seti.org/event/seti-talks-life-venus-or-much-ado-about-nothing

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 11/18/20 7:00 PM

Science on Tap: A New Tool to Map Entire Galaxies – Livestream

All the popular images of galaxies, while beautiful, do not provide the information that astronomers need to measure the galaxies’ inherent properties, like the dynamics and composition of their stars and gases. Using the latest technological advances, Dr. McGurk is building a new, custom-designed instrument for Carnegie Observatories’ Magellan Telescopes that will peer into the Universe with extreme detail – making it possible to efficiently make 3D maps of galaxies, nebulae, and more.

Speaker: Rosalie McGurk, Carneigie Observatories

RSVP at weblink to receive connection information

Website: https://wiseucsc.wixsite.com/wise/science-on-tap

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 11/18/20 7:30 PM

San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

12 Years of Cosmic Fireworks with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope – Livestream

A single gamma ray carries millions of times the energy of a single photon of visible light. This means that gamma rays are produced only in the most convulsive environments in the universe; pulsars spinning inside magnetic fields, stars in binary systems devouring their partners and black holes at the centers of galaxies swallowing gas clouds more massive than our sun. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was launched on June 11, 2008, to measure these extreme astronomical events. In this lecture, SLAC scientist, Eric Charles will describe how we observe astronomical gamma-rays and why we must go to space to see them. Then he will discuss how 12 years of observations from the Fermi Telescope have changed our understanding of the most violent objects in the universe.

Speaker: Eric Charles, Stanford Linear Accelerator

See weblink for connection information

Website: https://www.sfaa-astronomy.org/live-streamed-lectures/

Cost: Free

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Friday, 11/20/20 12:00 PM

institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
UC Santa Cruz

The radiation belts of Jupiter and their interplay with Io and Europa – Livestream

The radiation belts of Jupiter are populated by energetic charged particles (electrons, ions) trapped by the gigantic magnetic field of the planet. The distribution and fluxes of these particles are sculpted by their interaction with the inner magnetosphere environment, including the environments induced by the volcanic moon Io and the icy Europa: surfaces, exospheres, extended neutral torii, cold plasma and electromagnetic waves. Conversely, the radiation belts of Jupiter are important to understand the weathering of Europa’s surface and the possible preservation of biosignatures. This seminar will give an overview on recent advances regarding the interlink between the Jovian radiation belts and the Io-Europa system. To do so, simulations conducted with a global physics-based model of the radiation belts will be contrasted with in-situ particle measurements by Pioneer 10-11, Voyager 1, Galileo and Juno. Remaining secrets that can be unlocked by a mission dedicated to the radiation belts of Jupiter will be presented, as their relevance to space physics and planetary science.

Speaker: Quentin Nenon, UC Berkeley

Website: https://eps.ucsc.edu/news-events/igpp-seminar/fall-2020.html

Cost: Free

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Friday, 11/20/20
07:00 PM – 08:00 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxR_R93-1hI&feature=youtu.be

How the Visions of Sci-Fi Led the Way to Space – Livestream

Long before a rocket carried the first person into space, people journeyed to the Moon, Mars, and other worlds on flights of fancy�”imaginative voyages of fictional storytelling. Beyond entertaining us, science fiction tales have sometimes foreshadowed real events of space exploration and may even serve to shape future voyages.

Speaker: Benjamin Burress, Chabot

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/how-the-visions-of-sci-fi-led-the-way-to-space

Cost: Free

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Friday, 11/20/20 7:00 PM

Tri-Valley Stargazers

You Can Almost Touch the Stars – Livestream

Even if you wanted to touch a star, they’re all impossibly distant. Despite these great distances, astronomers have learned an enormous amount about stars. How? The most common method to study the stars is called spectroscopy, which is the science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device.

Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs. Today, though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us. You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture … or a big budget! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple web cam or even a DSLR without a telescope) you can now easily study the stars yourself. Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the red shift of a quasar right from your own backyard?!

This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. Even if you are an armchair astronomer, understanding this field will enhance your understanding of the things your read and the night sky. We’ll do a live Q&A after Tom’s 45-minute presentation.

Speaker: Tom Field, Sky and Telescope Magazine

See weblink to obtain Zoom information.

Website: https://www.trivalleystargazers.org
RSVP at: president@trivalleystargazers.org

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 11/21/20
09:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Chabot Space and Science Center

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.

We will go live the Chabot Space & Science Center Facebook page 10-15 minutes before the event. You can find the live video stream on our Facebook page and in the Facebook event discussion. To receive a notification when we go live, “like” Chabot Space & Science Center on Facebook and RSVP that you’re going to this event.

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChabotSpace

Other Dates For This Event:
• Saturday, 11/21/20
• Saturday, 11/28/20
• Saturday, 12/05/20
• Saturday, 12/12/20

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/free-telescope-viewings/2020-10-03

Cost: Free

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