BayAstro – Events of Week of 01/04/2021 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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Thursday, 01/07/21
06:30 PM – 07:30 PM

UC Riverside

Robotic Space Exploration at NASA/JPL – Livestream

In this lecture, we’ll trace the history of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from the time it was started by amateur and academic rocket enthusiasts to becoming a research center for the US Army’s missile development program, to helping launch the United States’ first satellite and becoming NASA’s key center for robotic exploration of the solar system and beyond.

Speaker: Varoujan Gorjian, NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab

Register at weblink to receive connection information.

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-public-astronomy-lecture-robotic-space-exploration-at-nasajpl-registration-132350113753

Cost: Free

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Friday, 01/08/21
11:30 AM – 01:00 PM

Astronomical Society of Edinburgh

The Fastest Eye on the Sky: The Vera Rubin Observatory // Sky in January – Livestream

What is the Universe made of? In modern cosmology only 4% of the universe is deeply understood, while the other 96%, Dark Energy and Dark Matter, remains a mystery. The Vera Rubin Observatory, currently under construction, will observe billions of galaxies, billions of stars in our own galaxy the Milky Way, as well as millions of objects closer to home in the solar system. Every night over a ten year survey, the Rubin Observatory will observe much of the night sky, so that every portion of the sky will be imaged nearly a thousand times. In this talk I will describe the Rubin observatory and especially its camera, the world’s largest digital imager now under construction at SLAC, and this remarkable set of observations, and how we will be able to “see” the dark portion of our universe in unprecedented detail.
Speaker: Aaron Roodman, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford Univ.

YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/c/AstronomicalSocietyOfEdinburgh

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fastest-eye-on-the-sky-the-vera-rubin-observatory-sky-in-january-tickets-128332753721?aff=erelpanelorg&keep_tld=1

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 01/09/21
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.

Other Dates For This Event:
• Saturday, 01/09/21
• Saturday, 01/16/21
• Saturday, 01/23/21
• Saturday, 01/30/21

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/free-telescope-viewings/2021-01-02/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCarFXs-04xmdHW_PVc7LWRg

Cost: Free

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Monday, 01/11/21
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

How do astronomers model gravity? – Livestream

Newton’s simple formulation of gravity perfectly describes our solar system. However, at galaxy-size scales, understanding the subtler effects of gravity is best accomplished through computer simulations. I’ll describe the state-of-the-art simulations that model gravity and the historical work in the field, along with some novelties astronomers uncovered along the way.
Speaker: Michael Peterson

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Website: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-astronomy-talk-how-do-astronomers-model-gravity-tickets-126204028647

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 01/12/21 and for eight weeks
02:00 PM – 03:40 PM

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Dominican Univ.

Aliens in Outer Space: The Science & the Fiction – A Short Course

A Non-credit Short Course with Andrew Fraknoi

Spend eight weeks getting off this planet to think about the possibility of intelligent life among the stars.

When a Silicon Valley billionaire recently gave $100 million to UC Berkeley to step up the search for evidence of extra-terrestrials, the experimental search for messages or signals from civilizations out there moved into high gear. The course will discuss past and current experiments, how we might communicate with aliens, and what we propose to do if we find them. It will also look at some of the most imaginative science fiction ideas about what aliens will be like and what the results of getting in touch with aliens might be. No background in science will be expected or assumed; the course will be in everyday language.

Astronomer and educator Andrew Fraknoi leads this non-technical short course for adults over 50 on the scientific search for aliens out there. He’ll take a careful look at the factors that make astronomers more optimistic than ever that there we may have counterparts on other worlds (including the discovery of more than 4,000 planets so far orbiting other stars.)

Andrew Fraknoi retired recently as the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College. He was the California Professor of the Year in 2007 (selected by the Carnegie Endowment for Higher Education.) Fraknoi is the lead author of Astronomy, a popular introductory textbook, published in a free electronic edition by the non-profit OpenStax project. He keeps a website cataloging science fiction stories based on good astronomy, and three of his science fiction stories have been published in recent years. Asteroid 4859 has been named Asteroid Fraknoi by the International Astronomical Union in recognition of his contributions to the public understanding of science. Relevant to the course, he has been on the Board of Trustees of the SETI Institute since it was founded.

The OLLI program has offered Bay Area adults fun learning opportunities for over 15 years. Now, their classes are on Zoom, so you don’t need to travel to Marin to enjoy them.

People who have never taken a course from OLLI Dominican can take this course for a total of $80 (25 reg fee plus 55 for the course). Due to recent changes in the registration proceedures it is recommended that you follow these directions to register and received the first time course discount offered by OLLI Dominican if it is your first time…

Don’t register on line. Call 415-458-3763 and leave your name and phone number. Calum Mackechnie, the Program’s Associate Director, will call back within two business days and register you over the phone. NOTE: If you have taken courses here before you can easily register on line at the website.

Website: https://www.dominican.edu/academics/adult-and-continuing-education/osher-lifelong-learning-institute-olli

Cost: $80

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Friday, 01/15/21 7:30 PM

Tri-Valley Stargazers

Galactic Archaeology – Livestream

The goal of Galactic Archeology is to reveal how galaxies are built by looking at the current visible evidence and inferring the past. This requires knowledge of some of the most difficult aspects of Astronomy: determining ages, distances for individual stars. Using the APOGEE survey and augmenting with the GAIA survey we are able to determine chemical composition, space velocities, distances and ages for hundreds of thousands of giant stars across all components of the Milky Way. I will focus on the APOGEE results for the halo and the disk and show how these spectra may reveal the origin stories for the Milky Way stellar components.

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Shtrone

See weblink for information to receive connection information.

Website: https://www.trivalleystargazers.org

If you would like to join the meeting, please send an email to the club president at: president@trivalleystargazers.org

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 01/16/21
09:00 PM – 10:30 PM

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, 01/16/21
• Saturday, 01/23/21
• Saturday, 01/30/21
• Saturday, 02/06/21

Website: https://chabotspace.org/calendar/free-telescope-viewings/2021-01-02/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCarFXs-04xmdHW_PVc7LWRg

Cost: Free

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