BayAstro – Events of Week of 03/08/2021 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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Monday, 03/08/21
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

SLAC Special Seminar

In search for the elusive dark matter with the LZ experiment – Livestream

One of the major questions remaining in modern cosmology as well as particle physics is the nature of dark matter which constitutes the majority of the matter content of the universe. Many observations point to its existence but its exact form has remained elusive. A new particle is a likely explanation with Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, WIMPs, a particular favorite due to the mass scale involved. Direct detection experiments can look for interactions of dark matter and standard model particles and liquid Xenon provides a good medium for detecting WIMP interactions. But detecting this new particle requires incredible sensitivity and control of backgrounds, both achieved by the Lux-Zeplin (LZ) experiment. I will describe LZ, currently being commissioned at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. LZ represents over a decade of development; innovating hardware, data handling, software and analysis. I will first introduce the accomplishments of LZ’z predecessor, LUX, previously located on the same site. I will then focus on the R&D effort involved in bringing LZ to life, much of which took place at SLAC where further work continues. Finally, I will provide an update on the progress of LZ commissioning and a sampling of the science we can expect from it.

Speaker: Tomasz Biesiadzinski, SLAC

See weblink for Zoom information

Website: https://kipac.stanford.edu/events/search-elusive-dark-matter-lz-experiment

Zoom info: https://stanford.zoom.us/j/97495567685?pwd=Zys5cFVFMkxBcFhBak12bDZ4eXlp…

Cost: Free

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Monday, 03/08/21
03:30 PM – 04:30 PM

Colloquium Series at SLAC

Gamma-ray Bursts: Nature’s Most Remarkable Cosmic Explosions – Livestream

First discovered serendipitously in 1967, the phenomena known as gamma-ray bursts – short-lived, extremely bright flashes of high-energy radiation – mystified astronomers for decades. Despite many breakthroughs, key open questions – such as the mechanism responsible for the prompt gamma-ray emission, as well as a detailed characterization of their progenitor systems – remain open. In this talk I’ll review several recent results, including 1) the discovery of very high-energy (TeV) gamma-rays from ground-based Cherenkov detectors; 2) the association of a peculiar short gamma-ray burst with the binary neutron star merger GW170817; and 3) prospects for utilizing these events as probes of the early universe and the epoch of reionization.

Speaker: Brad Cenko, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

See weblink for Zoom information

Website: https://sites.slac.stanford.edu/colloquium/events/gamma-ray-bursts-nature’s-most-remarkable-cosmic-explosions

zoom TBA. Although the Zoom link cannot be found, these are generally recorded and can be found at the the top of the webpage under “Watch Past Events”. Also keep checking the webpage for posting of the Zoom link.

Cost: Free

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Monday, 03/08/21 4:15 PM

UC Berkeley

Making dark matter out of light – Livestream

Dark matter could be a “thermal-ish” relic of freeze-in, where the dark matter is produced by extremely feeble interactions with Standard Model particles dominantly at low temperatures. In this talk, I will discuss how dark matter can be made through freeze-in, accounting for a dominant channel where the dark matter gets produced by the decay of plasmons (photons that have an in-medium mass in the primordial plasma of our Universe). I will also explain how the resulting non-thermal dark matter velocity distribution can impact cosmological evolution, setting the stage for using the dark matter phase space as a handle for indirectly detecting dark matter in the future.

Speaker: Katelin Schutz, Massachusets Institute of Technology

See weblink for Zoom information

Website: https://physics.berkeley.edu/news-events/events/20210308/making-dark-matter-out-of-light

Join Zoom Meeting
https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/94616158934?pwd=THorK0J3T3Rnc00wTFpaUXQ5YXQrUT09

Meeting ID: 946 1615 8934
Passcode: 379819

Cost: Free

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Monday, 03/08/21 5:30 PM

UC Santa Cruz

A fireside chat with two pioneers in science, Sandra M. Faber and Kathryn D. Sullivan – Livestream

We are thrilled to invite you to an inspiring conversation with two of our most prominent trailblazers in science, and who we are proud to say will be distinctly honored in our transformed Science & Engineering Library.

The conversation will explore their incredible careers and the influence UC Santa Cruz has had on their unparalleled success. Among many of their accomplishments, for instance, Sandra co-led the largest project in the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, an undertaking that extended our view of galaxy formation back nearly to the Big Bang, while Kathryn was part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope. The list of their accomplishments, recognitions, and awards is unmatched. What inspired them to pursue these exceptional careers? What is next for them? What are their hopes for our current students?

Speakers: Sandra Faber, UC Santa Cruz emerita; Kathryn Sullivan, Astronaut; Beth Shapiro, UC Santa Cruz, Moderator

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Website: https://calendar.ucsc.edu/event/a_fireside_chat_with_two_pioneers_in_science_sandra_m_faber_and_kathryn_d_sullivan#.YDMnLy2cbEY

Cost: Free

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Tuesday, 03/09/21 3:30 PM

UC Santa Cruz

The Fate of Water on Mars: Tracing Water-rock Interactions Through Modelling, Satellites, and Rovers – Livestream

Speaker: Eva Scheller, Cal Tech

See weblink for Zoom information

Website: https://eps.ucsc.edu/news-events/whole-earth-seminars/winter-2021.html

Zoom Where
https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/91237759104?pwd=NXM3NlRiUDlncU5UKzFHZ01saEZyUT09

Description
https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/91237759104?pwd=NXM3NlRiUDlncU5UKzFHZ01saEZyUT09
Passcode = 708953

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 03/10/21
07:00 PM – 08:30 PM

Silicon Valley Astronomy Series

Lick Observatory During Pandemics: 1918 and 2020 – Livestream

Lick Observatory, the first continuously inhabited mountain-top observatory in the world, has been doing ground-breaking research since its opening in 1888. 30 years after Lick Observatory established itself as a leader in astronomical research, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit the United States. 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 we are experiencing another devastating pandemic – COVID-19. Shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns have limited Lick Observatory operations. Additionally, the SCU wildfire disrupted operations and almost destroyed the observatory, creating additional challenges for staff and researchers. Dr. Gates will describe how they have dealt with the challenges and adapted to continue as much research and data acquisition as possible, particularly in the areas of supernovae, exoplanet, and SETI research, as well as commissioning new telescopes and instruments.

Speaker: Dr. Elinor Gates is a staff astronomer at Lick Observatory

YouTube link to watch the lecture. It will be recorded and available later at this same link.

Contact: Andrew Fraknoi
Email: fraknoiandrew@fhda.edu
Phone: 4154845350

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

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-J3Rig6mrJhGECH-yVMwSg

Cost: Free

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Thursday, 03/11/21 3:00 PM

Commonwealth Club – Online Event

Liftoff: Inside the Historic Flights that Launched Elon Musk’s SpaceX – Livestream

Hear the dramatic inside story of the first four historic flights that launched SpaceX – and Elon Musk – from a shaky startup into the world’s leading-edge rocket company.

In 2006, SpaceX – a brand-new venture with fewer than 200 employees – rolled its first, single-engine rocket onto a launch pad at Kwajalein Atoll. After a groundbreaking launch from the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Falcon 1 rocket designed by Elon Musk’s engineers rose into the air for approximately 30 seconds. Then its engine flamed out, and the rocket crashed back into the ocean.

In 2007, SpaceX undertook a second launch. This time, the rocket rose far into space, but just before reaching orbit it spun out of control. Confident of success in 2008, Musk and his team launched their third rocket with several paying customers. The first stage executed perfectly, but instead of falling away, it thudded into the second stage. Another failure. Elon Musk had only budgeted for three attempts when he founded SpaceX.

Out of money and with a single Falcon 1 rocket left in its factory, SpaceX decided to try one last, dramatic launch. Over eight weeks, engineers worked furiously to prepare this final rocket. The fate of Musk’s venture mirrored the trajectory of this slender, single-engine rocket aimed toward the skies. If it crashed and burned, so would SpaceX. In September 2008, SpaceX’s last chance for success lifted off . . . and accelerated like a dream, soaring into orbit flawlessly.

That success would launch a miraculous decade for the company, in which SpaceX grew from building a single-engine rocket to one with a staggering 27 engines; created two different spacecraft; and mastered reusable-rocket descents using mobile drone ships on the open seas. It marked a level of production and achievement that has not been seen since the space race of the 1960s.

But these achievements would not have been possible without SpaceX’s first four flight tests. Drawing on unparalleled access and exclusive interviews with dozens of former and current employees – engineers, designers, mechanics and executives, including Elon Musk – Eric Berger tells the complete story of this foundational generation that transformed SpaceX into the world’s leading space company.

Speaker: Eric Berger, Author; Alison van Diggelen, host, Journalist

Website: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2021-03-11/liftoff-inside-historic-flights-launched-elon-musks-spacex

Cost: $10 General, Free for Members

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Friday, 03/12/21 12:00 PM

UC Santa Cruz

Lakes, evaporites, and sand: Investigations into the sedimentary cycle on Saturn’s moon Titan – Livestream

Saturn’s moon Titan hosts the only active hydrological cycle outside of Earth’s and, thus, an associated sedimentary cycle where surface materials are modified and redistributed with the ebb and flow of liquid hydrocarbons. In this talk, we’ll discuss some recent efforts to understand the history of Titan’s lakes and seas, their associated organic deposits, and how these processes manifest across the surface, especially as might be observable by NASA’s next New Frontiers Mission, Titan.

Speaker: Shannon Mackenzie, Johns Hopkins University

See weblink for connection information

Website: https://eps.ucsc.edu/news-events/igpp-seminar/winter-2021.html

Zoom Meeting 93026775152
Passcode 826619

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 03/13/21
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, 03/13/21
• Saturday, 03/20/21
• Saturday, 03/27/21
• Saturday, 04/03/21

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, 03/15/21 4:00 PM

What Physicists Do @ Sonoma State University

Instrumentation in Astronomy: Building Cameras to Take Pictures of Extra-Solar Planets – Livestream

Speaker: Dr. Isabel Lipartito, Lockheed Martin Focalplane

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

Via Zoom: https://SonomaState.zoom.us/j/87073719017

Cost: Free

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Monday, 03/15/21 8:00 PM

Wonderfest

Wonderfest: Woman in Motion + Searching for Solar System Life – Livestream

Hailing frequencies open! Woman in Motion (2019) tells the inspiring story of Nichelle Nichols, recipient of NASA’s Public Service Award and portrayer of Lt. Uhura, Communications Officer for the glorious starship Enterprise (2019 + 2.5 centuries). Movie Nation’s Roger Moore says that this compelling documentary “underscores Nichols’ undeniable contribution to broadening NASA’s horizons and drumming up interest in STEM education among minority students all over America.” Moore also describes the film as “warm, sentimental, and delightful … transcending its natural ‘Star Trek’ fan appeal.” Alongside the movie, in a livestream video that starts at 8pm PST, we’ll enjoy the insights of another woman in motion: planetary scientist Erin Redwing will describe her own “search for new (solar system) life” through research at the University of California.

See weblink for instructions to access the documentary prior to the talk

Website: https://wonderfest.org/woman-in-motion/

TICKETS:
https://watch.eventive.org/cameocinema/play/6037e40ebfa5cb003eece478

Cost: $10

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Tuesday, 03/16/21 5:00 PM

UC Berkeley

Basic Science Lights the Way: Shedding Light on Black Holes – Livestream

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics rewarded decades of research – some done at Berkeley – into the theory and detection of black holes. Learn what we know and still don’t know about these mysterious supermassive objects, including the one in the middle of our galaxy.

This talk features Chung-Pie Ma, Raffaella Margutti, and Michael Medford, moderated by Jessica Lu.

Website: https://physics.berkeley.edu/news-events/events/20210316/basic-science-lights-the-way-shedding-light-on-black-holes

Registration: https://basicscience2021.berkeley.edu

https://ucbevents.wufoo.com/forms/wn3l2yk0wv4au6/

Cost: Free

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Wednesday, 03/17/21
07:30 PM – 09:00 PM

San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

Celebrating Stephen Hawking: How Black Holes are Not Quite Black – Livestream

Scientists and science enthusiasts are still mourning the passing of Stephen Hawking, one of the great minds and spirits of our time. In this introductory talk, Andrew Fraknoi will briefly summarize Hawking’s life, and talk about the importance of his scientific work. He’ll focus particularly on Hawking’s work merging the world of the big and heavy (described by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity) with the world of the small and light (described by quantum mechanics). Then he’ll describe how this merger led to the idea of mini black holes, “Hawking Radiation,” and the bizarre notion that black holes don’t have to be fully black. No background in science or math will be required, but be prepared to have your mind boggled.

Speaker: Andrew Fraknoi retired as the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College in 2017. He currently teaches non-credit astronomy classes through the University of San Francisco Fromm Institute and San Francisco State’s OLLI program.

YouTube link or Facebook. Zoom link available at weblink below.

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

SFAA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuBJGp_iJYZ11q_ayA-q3A

SFAA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/152754481404310

Cost: Free

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Thursday, 03/18/21
12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

Science @ Cal

Midday Science Cafe – Leveraging the Quantum Realm: How Small Physics Solves Big Problems – Livestream

What does the world look like on the smallest scales? In this Midday Science Cafe, you’ll hear from two scientists conducting experiments in the quantum world to quickly tackle problems on a real-world scale — problems that would otherwise take centuries to solve! We’ll hear from Dr. Sara Mouradian who will introduce what makes the quantum world different from the world we live in and how researchers build quantum technologies by trapping atoms and controlling them with lasers. Dr. Kasra Nowrouzi will discuss the approach at the Advanced Quantum Testbed at Berkeley Lab, where researchers design and build quantum computer systems to function in environments colder than outer space.

Register at weblink to receive connection information

Website: https://events.berkeley.edu/index.php/calendar/sn/SciatCal.html?event_ID=138307&date=2021-03-18

Register: https://lbnl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1u8TrbFkQ-2_GY-CPrLaIw

Cost: Free

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Friday, 03/19/21 7:30 PM

Tri-Valley Stargazers Astronomy Club

The Detection and Confirmation of Gravitational Waves – Livestream

Predicted in 1915 by Albert Einstein, gravitational waves are tiny oscillations in the actual fabric of space and time. It took a collaboration of scientists and universities more than fifty years to develop the technology to reliably isolate these faintest of signals from the cosmic background. Known as the LIGO project, in 2015 both existing LIGO observatories nearly simultaneously detected the gravitational waves emitted from the merging of two black holes more than a billion years ago. Join us to learn the inside scoop on just how this amazing feat was accomplished and how it led to its three main collaborators being awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Speaker: Ted Blank, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador

See weblink for instructions to access Zoom

Website: https://www.trivalleystargazers.org

Email for Zoom link: president@trivalleystargazers.org

Cost: Free

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Saturday, 03/20/21
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, 03/20/21
• Saturday, 03/27/21
• Saturday, 04/03/21
• Saturday, 04/10/21

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYhT4FkaSeA

Cost: Free

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