Upcoming SFAA Lectures
The following are the dates, topics and speakers for the 2020 SFAA Lectures:
“Going Deep: The NGC and IC Project”
Steve Gottlieb, an Amateur – Professional Collaboration
Steve Gottlieb has been an active observer in the Bay Area for over 40 years. For the past 25 years he has been involved with a group of amateur and professionals who have re-examined
the original source material for the for the NGC & IC, and have produced a corrected Catalog that is now incorporated in many software programs. Steve is a contributing editor to Sky&Telescope Magazine.
“New Horizons: NASA’s Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission, and the Arrokoth Encounter”
Jeffrey Moore, Research Scientist, NASA Ames
Dr.Moore discuss the New Horizon’s flight above Pluto, and its encounter with the cold, classic Kuiper Belt Object, “Arrokoth”, on January 1st, 2019, and was the first time a spacecraft observed one of the free-orbiting small denizens of the Kuiper Belt. This discovery will help us observe the most primordial building blocks in our world and the worlds around us.
“Probing Fundamental Physics with Strong Gravitational Lensing”
Simon Birrer, KIPAC, Stanford
Many useful results for cosmological research have come from this phenomena. Dr Birrer will shed more light on how astronomers are utilizing strong Gravitational Lensing to probe the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the dominant yet unknown components of our Universe,
“Why Do Galaxies Die? How Silicon Valley’s “Spectral Revolution” will Solve a 100 Year Old Mystery”
Kevin Bundy, Assistant Professor, UC Santa Cruz
Over one hundred years ago, Edwin Hubble noticed two distinct classes of galaxies; youthful Spirals with ongoing star formation, and “red and dead” smooth, faded and barren Ellipticals.
The MaNGA Survey, which is mapping 10,000 nearby galaxies, will help us understand how all types of galaxies formed in the early universe. We are on the verge of a “spectral revolution”, enabled by nanotechnology and photonics that will transform astronomical instruments.
“Astronomical History and Discovery with the Antique Telescope Society”
Ken Lum, Astronomical Observer and Member of ATS
Ken Lum will speak to us on the antique telescopes and other astronomical instruments and documents he and the members of the Antique Telescope Society have traveled to see and study.
“Sparkle in the Dark: The Outlandish Quest for Dark Matter”
Maria Elena Monzani, Kavli Institute, SLAC National Accelerator Lab
The nature and origin of dark matter are among the most compelling of mysteries of modern science. For over 30 years physicists have been trying to detect dark matter particles, with little success. The next stage in the search is the LZ detector. It consists of 10 tons of liquified xenon gas, stored in a refrigerated titanium cylinder a mile underground, in a former gold mine.
“Did Comets Jump Start Life on Earth?”
Matthew Kroonblawd, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
Recent observations confirming the presence of protein-forming amino acid glycine in comets lend support to cometary impact as a possible source for delivering simple amino acids to early Earth. Quantum-based molecular dynamics (QMD) are a useful modeling tool. Our studies help determine a feasible chemical pathway toward chemicals needed for life on Earth.
“The Formation and Evolution of Binary Stars”
Aaron T. Lee, Professor, Physics and Astronomy, St Mary’s College of California
With nearly 50% of the stars we see in the sky being a part of binary systems, binarity and multiplicity of stars is a common phenomenon in the Milky Way Galaxy. With this percentage measured even higher in star-forming regions, the formation of binaries appear to be part of the star-formation process. This talk will discuss the formation of stars, and will help us better understand binary star systems, and that current observations of stars and galaxies rely on our research on stellar binarity.