Event: 16 January 2019 “An Evening with the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers”

16 January 2019, Wednesday, 7:00 PM to 9 PM, Randall Museum

“An Evening with the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers”

Join us in our 67th year for a special evening with SFAA. Hear a talk on the early years of San Francisco Amateur Astronomers from founding member, Lewis Epstein.  Also, Steve Gottlieb will speak about his 20 years writing observing articles for Sky & Telescope Magazine, and his 35 year NGC/IC project.

“Vanishing Memories”

Lew Epstein – SFAA Founding Member

Lewis Epstein will carry us back to glimpse the people and events and the attitudes 67 years ago at the beginning of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers. You will hear about Betty Neal, Skipper Wallace, Edward Taylor, Stanley Oliver, Herman Fast, Al Daggett, and the godmothers —  Penny Salanave, Mary Engle, Edwina Cherrington, and finally, “Telescope” John Dobson. He will touch upon the old SFAA telescope shop and library, a star party in 1952, a Western Amateur Astronomer’s meeting at U.C. Berkeley, Moon Watch, and Sputnik One.

Brief Bio:

Lewis Carroll Epstein was a founding member of the SFAA and served on the Board of Directors for over a decade.  He has been an SFAA member since 1952.

Lewis worked on the Saturn “moon” rocket and in 1964 made the first plans for a 200 inch telescope to be orbited by a Saturn booster, and plans for telescopes to be set up on the moon; and a lens-less Schmidt telescope for wide-angle surveys in the hard ultraviolet or far infrared light.  The Schmidt Prototype, along with Lew, graced a front cover of Sky and Telescope.

He received his PhD in physics from Tulane University and taught Physics and Astronomy for over 40 years at such places as the Air Force Academy, UC Berkeley, San Diego and Davis, San Francisco State University, and Louisiana State University at New Orleans. Lewis Epstein has written two well-received books: Relativity Visualized and Thinking Physics along with many articles in The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics.

“Going Deep”

Steve Gottlieb

Steve Gottlieb is a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope for 20 years, and has written numerous deep sky observing articles for the column “Going Deep”.  Steve has observed the past 40 years from local sites in northern California to the outback of Australia.  His observations formed the basis of many articles on galaxy groups, planetary nebulae, interacting galaxies, extragalactic globulars, rich galaxy clusters and more.  Some of these topics with be highlighted in his talk.

Steve recently completed a 35-year project to observe the entire NGC (roughly 7500 objects), a project that also resulted in numerous historical corrections of the NGC as a member of the NGC/IC Project. His favorite deep sky objects are featured in Orion’s “Deep Map 600” atlas and his website Adventures in Deep Space (astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/) is a popular source of observing challenges for advanced amateurs.


Come and meet the people who help make SFAA such a great organization, and plan to join us for the exciting activities planned for 2019.

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