Meetings

•   NEXT EVENT  •

TBA – Star Parties and unique events other than monthly meetings are posted here.

•   NEXT MEETING   •

Oct 13, 2021 | Wed | 7P-9P

  • ONLINE MEETING via Zoom.
  • Details will be emailed to members prior to the meeting. Become a member

Visual Astronomy


by Patrick Sutton

Bea Mazziotta of Broomall, PA at a telescope during a stargazing event with the Chester County Astronomical Society at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve in Avondale, PA on Sept. 29, 2018. Clouds moved in to cause an early end to the evening. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer


The last decade or so has seen a lot of innovation in our beloved hobby, most of which has centered around imaging hardware and astrophotography. New ultra-sensitive cameras and compact computer based interfaces have been all the rage, causing some to say that the death knell for visual astronomy has come. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. No matter how advanced the tech becomes, it will never be able to match the solace I feel when its just me and my telescope out under the blanket of stars, nor match the anticipation that rises in me every single time I approach an eyepiece and imagine what wonders I will see in it this time!

During this presentation, I hope to be able share my love of visual astronomy with you, and hopefully to instill some of that same love for it in you. We will discuss equipment and techniques that will help you get the most out of your visual experience – covering things like various telescope designs and how they fare for visual use, mount types and their pros and cons for visual use, eyepiece designs, the various filter types and how to use them, the use of Binoviewers and more, if time permits. I also hope to be able to open it up for at least a few  questions towards the end.

*Meeting details for joining live meetings are emailed to members prior to the start of each meeting.

•   PAST MEETINGS   •

Sep 8, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Luminous


An astronomer stumbles upon a strange star, launching a journey of scientific discovery that leads his unlikely team into the international spotlight

Nightsky 45 Astronomy Club September 2021 meeting Image
Nightsky 45 Astronomy Club September 2021 meeting Image


Luminous tells the story of the first astronomer in history to publicly predict the near future explosion of a star – if he’s right, 2022 will see the closest thing to a supernova in the skies of earth in 400 years, and every school kid in the northern hemisphere will know it. But the prediction is high risk. Others in the astronomical community are skeptical, and Professor Larry Molnar’s professional and personal reputations hang in the balance. Luminous, a feature documentary by award-winning filmmaker Sam Smartt (Wagonmasters), follows Larry’s journey to test his unprecedented prediction, knowing that its success or failure will unfold squarely in the international spotlight.

Larry Molnar is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI. He earned his PhD from Harvard University in 1985 and was a postdoctoral at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics from 1985-1988. Before coming to Calvin, Larry taught at the University of Iowa from 1988-1998. In many ways, Larry is an unlikely protagonist for this story. Though brilliant, he is mild-mannered, kind, unassuming, and not a seeker of the limelight. He believes in intellectual curiosity for its own sake, not in accomplishing great things in order to garner attention. For the audience, the central dramatic question of the film is clear— “Is Larry right? Will the star actually explode?” But as a scientist Larry sees it differently: “In a sense, I don’t care whether I’m right or not. What I want to know is the truth.”

Nightsky 45 Astronommy Club September 2021 meeting poster
Nightsky 45 Astronommy Club September 2021 meeting poster


Aug 11, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

The James Webb Telescope

Great Science Will Be Launching Soon


By Thomas Greene

James Webb Telescope in construction.
James Webb Telescope in construction.


Thomas Green is an astrophysicist in the Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center. He conducts observational studies of exoplanets and young stars and develops astronomical technologies and instrumentation.

Dr Green is a co-investigator on the NIRCam and MIRI science instruments of the James Webb space telescope and serves on the JWST Users Committee.
While at NASA Ames he has served as the director of the Ames Center for Exoplanet Studies, Project Scientist of the SOFIA mission, and Chief of the Astrophysics Branch.

Before joining NASA, he worked at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center on NASA astrophysics missions. Prior to that, Dr Green was on the faculty of the University of Hawaii where he was a support astronomer and later Director of the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). He received his PhD in astronomy from the University of arizona.

Dr Green currently co-chairs the US National Academies of Sciences’ Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CCA) and is a NASA representative on the W.M. Keck Observatory Science Steering Committee.

Nightsky 45 Astronomy Club August Meeting Poster
Nightsky 45 Astronomy Club August Meeting Poster

July 14, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Deep Sky Journey

Why do astrophotography?


By Linda Thomas-Fowler

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club July Meeting Poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club July Meeting Poster

“As a hobby, astronomy has a broad range of appeal. Some prefer visual astronomy. For those that like to make a record of their path through the sky, photography or sketches are often the tools of choice. Deep Sky imaging is the path that has occupied me for the last few years and while it has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever attempted it has also been one of the most rewarding. I give an overview of how my images have changed over time and what keeps me coming back to get the next image..”

— Linda Thomas-Fowler

Linda is a long time amateur astronomer and started imaging in February 2018. She is a member of the Northern Virgiinia Astronomy Club . She has presented to NOVAC and The Astro Imaging Channel.

June 9, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

The Formation Of Elements From “Time Zero” Through The Birth And Death Of Stars

(We know it’s mostly H+ and He, so what’s the point?)


By James J. McAteer, Jr., BS, MRSC

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club June Meeting Poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club June Meeting Poster

*Meeting details for joining live meetings are emailed to members prior to the start of each meeting.

May 12, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Accurate Orbits from Occultations


By David Dunham

Precise orbit determination is very important for planetary defense against Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), to determine their probability of impact with Earth as far as possible into the future. Now that we have precise stellar data from ESA’s Gaia mission, observations of occultations of stars by NEOs can provide astrometric points at least as accurate as the size of the NEO as seen from the Earth, normally about a milliarcsecond, or less. Well-observed occultations can also give information about the size, shape, and multiplicity of the object.

Dr. Dunham is the Chief Mission Design Engineer at KinetX Aerospace. He got his Ph.D. in celestial mechanics from Yale University in 1971. He played major roles in the trajectory design for pioneering missions, including ISEE-3, the first libration-point mission and first to a comet; SOHO; NEAR orbiting and landing on Eros; and STEREO. He also established the International Occultation Timing Association in 1975, an organization that mainly observed occultations of stars by asteroids to determine their sizes and shapes, and he was the first to obtain coordinated video observations of lunar meteor impact flashes in 1999, and to record an occultation by a small near-Earth asteroid, Apophis, in 2021.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club May Meeting Poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club May Meeting Poster

*Meeting details for joining live meetings are emailed to members prior to the start of each meeting.

February 10, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Annual Equipment Night


A Show and Tell For Astronomers

Bring something of astronomical interest to share with the club. Each member will have 10 minutes to talk about their item.

Meeting Poster
Telescopes
Cameras
Eyepieces
Maps
Photographs
Artifacts
Accessories
Filters
Homemade or Purchased Items

February 10, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

The Future Of Amateur Astronomers In The Willamette Valley


By Mike Conley

Our very own Mike Conley will present an idea to improve the future of amateur astronomers in the Willamette valley.

As we all know each year the cities get more and more crowded with more and more lights. And worse, the cities are getting rid of the old-style lights that could be mitigated with a proper rejection filter. The newer LED street lighting renders the old filters much less effective. So, for city dwellers it would be nice to be able to have a place that is not too far away with decent dark skies and a facility/warming house/restroom. Even better would be an observatory on site with a reasonably capable telescope to promote visual observing, imaging, and public star parties. To do that we would need to find suitable land and more importantly, sufficient funding to make all that possible.

An observatory.
An observatory.

While Mike lived in Minnesota, he was involved in a similar effort and it enabled the Minnesota Astronomical Society to acquire more than 3 different observing sites to serve both the local amateur astronomers as well as the public with star parties and special events.

Nightsky45 Astronomy Club March 2021 meeting poster.
Nightsky45 Astronomy Club March 2021 meeting poster.

February 10, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Mineralogical Results From The CheMin X-ray Diffractometer On The Mars Rover Curiosity


By Dave Blake, Exobiology Branch, NASA Ames Research Centger

Image of Mars Rover Curiosity

CheMin, an X-ray Diffractometer on the Mars rover, Curiosity, has
been analyzing the Martian soils and rocks in playa lake sediments of 3.7-billion-year-old Gale Crater. For the first time, it has been able identify and characterize a habitable environment on another planet. The mineralogy of sediments from this locality was used to derive the maximum concentration of CO2 in the early Mars atmosphere, a surprisingly low value that calls into question the current theory that CO2 greenhouse warming was responsible for the warm and wet environment of early Mars. Additionally, CheMin identified the mineral tridymite (indicative of silica-rich volcanism) in mudstones on Mt. Sharp, the central mound of Gale crater. This discovery challenges the paradigm of Mars as a basaltic planet and will usher in a new chapter of comparative terrestrial planetology. CheMin is now systematically sampling and characterizing the sediments of the ancient lake within the crater to document drying out of Mars in Early Hesperian time, when the planet changed from a warmer wetter world to what it is today.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club Februrary meeting poster.
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club Februrary meeting poster.

David Blake received his PhD in Mineralogy from the University of Michigan. He came to Ames Research Center as an NRC postdoctoral fellow and became a research scientist in the Exobiology Branch. Currently he is the Principal Investigator of the CheMin instrument on Curiosity.

January 13, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

New Scope! Now What?


by Jim Baumgardt

Picture of a telescope.

CONGRATULATIONS! You just received a newly purchased telescope. I will guide you through the steps of getting your scope ready for visual or photographic projects. What accessories will you need that probably didn’t come with the scope? My emphasis will be on the more complex equatorially mounted scopes and how to set up a scope for astrophotography. I will also try to answer your question on this subject.

NightSky 45 Astronomy Club Janurary 2020 Meeting Poster
NightSky 45 Astronomy Club Janurary 2020 Meeting Poster

Jim Baumgardt spent his working career as an Electrical Engineer working in the Silicon Valley area. While working in electronics his interest in astronomy never waned. He spent several years as a docent at Mt. Wilson observatory and as a presenter at public programs in Yosemite National Park. He has built several telescopes, always with an emphasis on astrophotography. He is now retired and spends more time with his astronomy hobby.

NO Meeting In December


We will continue our recent tradition of taking a break from our monthly meetings in December. Happy holidays, as/if it applies, and here’s hoping you can take advantage of the crystal clear viewing nights we have coming up as Winter approaches. Enjoy!

November 11, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

American Association of Variable Star Observers


by Richard Berry

Our very own Richard Berry will be giving a presentation to the club at the usual time (7pm), Wednesday, November 11. His topic: AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) and its value to the amateur astronomer.

He has been involved with the organization for many years, serving on its council and as a VP.

Richard Berry :

Book Author

  • Build Your Own Telescope
  • The Dobsonian Telescope
  • The CCD Camera Cookbook
  • The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing
  • Telescopes, Eyepieces, and Astrographs – Design, Anlysis and Performance of Modern Astronomical Optics

Software Developer

Astronomical Image Processing for Windows (AIP4Win)


Widely used for CCD photometry by members of the AAVSO.

Astronomy Magazine

16+ years of staff contributions:

  • Editor-in-Chief
  • Technical Editor

October 14, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

You Can Almost Touch The Stars


by Tom Field

Even if you wanted to touch a star, they are all impossibly distant. Nevertheless, astronomers have learned an enormous amount with spectroscopy, the science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device.

Until recently, spectroscopy was expensive and complicated for all but a few amateurs. Today, new tools make it accessible to almost all of us. With your current telescope and almost any digital camera, you can study the stars yourself.

This talk will show you what it is 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 you read about the night sky.

Night Sky 45 October 14th Meeting Poster

Tom Field . . .

  • A contributing editor for Sky & Telescope for the past 7 years. The author of the RSpec software (www.rspec-astro.com) which received the S&T “Hot Product” award in 2011.
  • Has spoken to hundreds of clubs and conferences, including NEAF, the NEAF Imaging Conference, PATS, the Winter Star Party, the Advanced Imaging Conference, SCAE, and others.
  • A contributing editor for Sky & Telescope for the past 7 years. The author of the RSpec software (www.rspec-astro.com) which received the S&T “Hot Product” award in 2011. Has spoken to hundreds of clubs and conferences, including NEAF, the NEAF Imaging Conference, PATS, the Winter Star Party, the Advanced Imaging Conference, SCAE, and others.

Tom’s enthusiastic style is lively and engaging and he promises to open the door for you to this fascinating field!

September 9, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Grinding and Polishing Telescope Mirrors


by Bill Weller

This presentation will look at the facilities, tools, and techniques of grinding and polishing telescope mirrors. We will also examine how to measure “ridiculously” precise surfaces with “ridiculously” crude instruments.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club September 2020 meeting poster

Dr. Weller received an Honors BSc in Physics (1971) and his PhD in Earth and Space Science (1984) from York University in Toronto. Following a brief stay at the David Dunlap Observatory in Toronto he moved to the Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory in La Serena Chile. There for 8 years he was responsible for the optical and mechanical performance of the telescopes, as well as conducting research on Planetary Nebulae, the late stages of stellar evolution. Following two years as Optical Scientist at the Gemini 8 Meter Telescopes, he moved to Vancouver Island where he taught Introductory Astronomy and Laboratory Physics at Malaspina University College. Since retiring from Malaspina University College he spends his time sailing, building canoes and telescopes, mushroom hunting, and volunteering with the Nanaimo Astronomy Society, and the Nanaimo Power and Sail Squadron.


August 12th, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Guiding with PHD2


by Duncan Thomas

Duncan is going to cover the basics of PHD2, explain some of the new guiding algorithms, and cover some do’s and don’ts that will hopefully take away some of the mystery of automated guiding and improve your experience with PHD2.

NightSky45 Astronomy Club August meeting poster.

Duncan Thomas spent is 30+ year career working for several Federal Government agencies including DOD, FAA, and NASA, with the last 10 years serving as a member of the Senior Level staff of the Secretary of the Navy in the Pentagon, advising on major system development cost and schedule risks. His BS in Applied Mathematics is from UCLA. Since retiring in 2019, he and his wife Dianne enjoy spending more time together, camping, sightseeing, playing board-games, and watching movies. He also continues to play baseball in adult leagues in Oregon and Florida. Duncan currently provides consulting services to the DOD and to High Point Scientific.

Duncan has been excited about space since getting his first Sears Refractor at age 8. Moreover he spent much of his career interacting with the space industry, estimating satellite and launch vehicle development costs for the Air Force and NASA.

He has been actively pursuing astrophotography for the better part of the past five years. Principal gear includes a StellarDrive Celestron AVX, and a Sky-Watcher NEQ6, and (soon) a Celestron CGX. Scopes include 60mm Apertura, 80mm Sky-Watcher, and Celestron EdgeHD11. Cameras are a modified Canon T3i, ZWO ASI183MM, and (soon) QHY168C.


July 8th, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Using ImagesPlus (and other software) for Deep Sky and Planetary Photos


By Mike Conley

Mike has been an avid amateur astronomer ever since his first views of Jupiter through a small telescope in 1970. From that beginning he has built his own telescopes and has drawn celestial objects before the digital era of astrophotography became popular.

For nearly a decade he has been using a Canon 60D camera with a C11 SCT telescope and 81mm refractor to capture deep sky objects from his West Salem backyard and used ImagesPlus software, which is free, to process them. He will show just how he uses IP version 6 to create the images that he posts on NS45 Facebook page.


June 10th, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Unlock The Best From Your Images


By Richard Berry

Image before processing.

– Before

Image after processing.

After –

Richard Berry

Our presenter for June is member Richard Berry, long-time astro-imager. Richard will demonstrate basic image processing methods that you can use to bring out everything locked away in your images.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club June meeting poster

May 13th, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Authentic Astronomical Measurements for Amateurs


By Joe Minato

Joe Describes how to take some of the high school students who struggle with science oriented courses and lead them through making authentic measurements such as the size and mass of the Earth, the size of the Sun and its rotational period. Additionally, the most dedicated and successful students finish their work at the Pine Mountain Observatory High School Astronomy Camp where they measure orbital parameters of exoplanets, the age of and distance to globular clusters, and more.

While classically trained in astronomy, physics and math (S.B., MIT, 1984), Joe is a lifelong natural historian with a broad background and endless enthusiasm for exploring the wonders of the natural world from subatomic physics to cosmology, from the geologic history of the Earth to biological evolution, and wherever else his curiosity takes him.

Astronomy Student

Joe has taught in a wide variety of settings, urban and rural, public and private, and to a wide variety of students, gifted scholars to troubled youth, small children to veteran educators. He presently teaches Earth science, astronomy, physics, and chemistry at Wilson High School in Portland.

Joe Minato
Joe Minato

May 05 2020 meeting poster.
May 05 2020 meeting poster

March 11th, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Using The Atik Infinity Camera
By Mike Conley

Have you wanted to capture images of the celestial objects that show detail far better than what you could ever hope to see with the naked eye? Mike will explain how to use the club’s new super-sensitive Atik Infinity camera and take amazing astro-photographs with only a modest telescope.

Mike has been an avid amateur astronomer ever since his first views of Jupiter through a small telescope in 1970. Since that time, he has built telescopes and has drawn celestial objects before astrophotography became popular.

More recently he joined in the CATE (Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse) and the TOM
(Transit of Mercury) projects. The later involved working with high school students in measuring the astronomical unit (AU) using geometry and images of the transit of Mercury (with the goal of exciting them about science related careers).

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club March 2020 meeting poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club March 2020 meeting poster

For the last few years he has been using a Canon 60D with a C11 and 81mm refactor to capture deep sky objects from his West Salem backyard.


February 12th, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Presented by Ken Ash

Ken Ash will describe how life may have started and evolved on Earch while undergoing 5 major mass extinctions and dozens of lesser ones during the past 4.5 billion years.

Nightsky 45 Astronomy Club February 12th Meeting Poster: The Greatest Story Every Told

Ken Ash retired after a career as a research chemist at Wah Chang in Albany. His MS in Chemistry was from Oregon State and BS in Chemistry was from University of Idaho. Since retirement he has relentlessly pursued a bucket list which included climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, biking in South America, and Trekking in Nepal. Ken thinks about big ideas, enjoys research and is a great communicator.


January 8th, 2020 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

The Planets
Composed by Gustav Holst

Explained by Bruce McIntosh

Gustav Holst wrote the The Planets score (1914 about mythological characters for which the planets of our solar system are named. Some years later, however, he realized that it was the newly discovered facts about the vastness of space that he was trying to express musically. A close friend of his said:

“it was an example of the power which music has to express concepts beyond the comprehension of the rational mind.”

Bruce McIntosh will explain how the composer used his many skills at orchestration to convey this idea. The composition will be played while the planetary slide show accompanies the music.

Picture of Gustav Holst
Professor Emeritus

Bruce McIntosh

Cello and Music Theory. M.M. From the University of Texas in Austin; B.A Oberlin Conservatory; former member of Trio Northwest; studied cello with George Finckel, John Frazer, George Neikrug; addition studies with Nathaniel Rosen in Nova Scotia and John Hsu at Cornell University; studied conducting with Harold Farberman; formerly Artist-in-Residence at Franconia College in New Hampshire, past Principal Cellist of the Portland Opera Orchestra.


December 11th, 2019 | Wednesday | 7P-9P
The IKE Box, 299 Cottage St NE, Salem, OR 97301map it
*** Please note: the Story Hall room is upstairs, and is not ADA accessible.

NightSky45 will have a December Meeting after all!

Topic: Einstein’s Greatest Challenge


The speaker will be our own Richard Berry, past-President of NS45, author, and avid astrophotographer.

In 1905, Albert Einstein, a young patent clerk and part-time theoretical physicist, announced a theory called Special Relativity, a new way of looking at space, time, and space-time. He then began work on a more comprehensive theory that embraced all of physics called General Relativity. The new theory, put forth in 1915, explained an observation that had puzzled astronomers: the orbit of the planet Mercury “precesses” in space. However, explaining something already known does not count as confirmation. But it also predicted something that had never been observed: that during a solar eclipse, the stars behind the Sun would be very slightly displaced from their normal locations by the Sun’s warping of space-time, a.k.a., the force of gravity.
Even before his 1915 paper appeared, the race among astronomers was on! The chance to confirm or contradict this new thing called “General Relativity” was the prize that drove astronomers, in 1919, to sail to distant ports in search of sharp photographs that would show — not not show — the predicted shift.
The talk focuses on the efforts of astronomers, in the dark days immediately following the Great War, to make those critical observations in distant tropical countries, and the quirky personalities and pacifist politics involved.
We hope to see you all there at the IKE Box, 299 Cottage Street, in Salem!

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club December meeting poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club December meeting poster


Are We Alone In The Cosmos?
Rethinking the Drake Equation

November 6th, 2019 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Our November speaker is Bernie Taylor. In his presentation, he will take us back in time and discuss how we began as a species and pose the question: “Are We Alone in the Cosmos? Rethinking the Drake Equation.” Carl Sagan, in his widely watched “Cosmos” series (1980) popularized the idea of other life in the universe in his discussion of the Drake equation. If you are not old enough to have seen it, I am enclosing a link which you may enjoy: Carl Sagan Cosmos Drake Equation – nick

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club November meeting poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club November meeting poster

Bernie Taylor returns to explore how animals time themselves via solar-lunar cues and the knowledge of this behavior by coastal/inland hunter-gatherers. Taylor will delve into these practices, their relationship to the unique biologically-times characteristics of humans and pose if the Drake Equation can determine the probability of other earth-like and intelligent life in the cosmos

As an independent naturalist and author, Bernie Taylor explores the mythological connections and biological knowledge among prehistoric, indigenous and ancient peoples. His works in these areas include: Biological Time (2004) and Before Orion: Finding the Face of the Hero (2017).


Astronomy in Poetry – with Eleanor Berry

October 2nd, 2019 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Astronomy has engaged poets over the centuries, so not surprisingly, it has entered their poetry in various ways. They have written poems
* about astronomical phenomena as understood by contemporary astronomers.
* involving the practice of astronomy, the activities of astronomers.
* about personal or communal experiences of astronomical phenomena.
* using astronomical phenomena metaphorically.
* where astronomical phenomena are part of the setting.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club October meeting poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club October meeting poster

Through readings of the poems, the speaker will show how the
resources of poetry can enable astronomy to enter deeply into the reader’s imaginative lives.

Eleanor Berry is a former teacher of writing and literature at Willamette University, Marquette University, and other colleges. She has served as president of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and of the Oregon Poetry Association. Currently, she chairs the Mid-Valley Poetry Society. Her poems and essays have been widely published in journals and anthologies. She has three collections of poetry: Green November, No Constant Hues, and Only So Far.


Research Projects for Astronomy Camps

September 4, 2019 | Wednesday | 7P-9P

Developing interesting and meaningful Astronomy Research Projects for students at Astronomy Camps can be a challenge. The students may have minimal experience, weather conditions are always an unknown, and short summer nights limit available observing time. Our speaker, Sean Curry, will discuss some projects that have worked well, and some that haven’t, oever the last few years at the Pine Mountain Observatory summer Astronomy Camp.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club September meeting poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club September meeting poster

Sean is an almost-retired engineer who supports a large multi-university research project, and who likes to dabble in various maker projects. He is a member of the Southern Oregon Skywatchers, and observes and images from outside Talent OR. in the beautiful Rogue Valley.


August 7, 2019

Seeing the Cosmic Cirrus

The night sky is not so dark after all. Far from city lights, skilled observers find faint wisps of light, light reflected from skeins of interstellar dust outside the galactic disk. This is the “Cosmic Cirrus” or “integrated flux nebula”.

Our speaker, Mel Bartels, will describe his through-the-eyepiece observations and show his sketches of this “faintest of the faint” deep-sky phenomenon. Mel Bartels is a well-known observer and telescope maker from Cottage Grove.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club August meeting poster
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club August meeting poster

July 3, 2019

Hubble Trouble

What does it mean that measurements of the Hubble constant don’t agree?

Presentation by Ricky Oropeza and Dr. Rick Watkins

NightSky45 July Meeting Poster: Hubble Trouble
NightSky45 July Meeting Poster: Hubble Trouble

The Hubble constant measures the current rate at which the Universe is expanding. Recently it has become apparent that measurements of the Hubble constant made with different data are inconsistent; a situation which could lead to the discovery of new physics. After giving an overview of the Big Bang theory, we will discuss the different ways of measuring the Hubble constant and what it might mean that they don’t agree.

Ricky Oropeza is a senior physics major at Willamette University who grew up in Salem. Rick Watkins is a cosmologist who has been a professor at Willamette since 1999. This summer they are carrying out research analyzing data on the motions of galaxies.


June 5, 2019
A Telescope Maker’s Dream Job: Writing for Sky & Telescope

Nightsky45 Astronomy Club May meeting poster: Becoming Human by Bernie Taylor

Speaker: Jerry Oltion, “Telescope Workshop” columnist

Jerry Oltion has worn many hats over the course of his life, from garbage truck driver to radio deejay to corporate secretary, but the two things that define him best are his lifelong love of writing and his lifelong love of what he calls “tinkercraft.” He loves making stuff up, be it in science fiction stories or in solid objects made of wood and metal and glass. When he discovered amateur telescope making, and then began writing about it, he realized he had found his true calling. Jerry is the most prolific fiction writer in the history of Analog/Astounding magazine, where he publishes most of his short stories. He’s nowhere close to being the most prolific builder of telescopes, but he’s gaining on it.

May 1, 2019
Becoming Human

Nightsky 45 Astronomy Club May Meeting Poster: Becoming Human by Bernie Taylor

Naturalist and author Bernie Taylor presents an origin of modern astronomy in European Paleolithic caves from 34,000 years ago that connects with global myths of hunter-gatherers and the ancients in the Mediterranean region.

As an independent naturalist and author, Bernie Taylor explores the mythological connections and biological knowledge among prehistoric, indigenous and ancient peoples. His works in these areas include Biological time (2004) and Before Orion: Finding the Face of the Hero (2017).

April 3, 2019
Annual Show and Tell

In April we open NightSky 45 to hands-on demos of basic astronomy- and telescope-related themes.

If you are just getting into astronomy, bring your question for the more advanced members. In past years this has been a success with lively discussions.  If you have some more advanced techniques that you want to share or you just want to show off your favorite scope, please bring it and tell us about it.

One item that is already on the agenda is a demo of the Atik Infinity camera that the club recently acquired and which will be available for use by members.

All of our members can help make this a successful experience for other members and for those who are just getting into astronomy. 

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club April 3, 2019 meeting poster

March 6, 2019
Seeing the Cosmic Cirrus

The night sky is not so dark after all. Far from city lights, skilled observers find faint wisps of light, light reflected from skeins of interstellar dust outside the galactic disk. This is the “cosmic cirrus” or “integrated flux nebula.” Our speaker, Mel Bartels, will describe his through-the-eyepiece observations and show his sketches of this “faintest of the faint” deep-sky phenomenon. Mel Bartels is a well-known observer and telescope maker from Cottage Grove.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club March 6, 2019 meeting poster

 

February 6, 2019
The Exploration of Mars

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club February 6, 2019 meeting poster

The Exploration of Mars with Michael Seibert

Using the book and film The Martin as a lens, Mike Seibert will discuss the current golden age of robotic Mars exploration as well as the challenges of mounting a human expedition to the red planet. Highlights of the presentation will be tales of challenges faced by the Mars exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity as their mission surpassed the expected 90 days by roving Mars for over 14 years.

Mike Seibert is a former Mars Rover Driver and Flight Director for the Opportunity Mars Rover. He spent 12 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the operations team for the twin Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers. Mike now works as a systems engineer in Boulder, Colorado helping to develop robotic arms for spacecraft to be used for activities ranging from satellite refueling to planetary exploration. In addition, Mike is a graduate student at the Colorado School of Mines pursuing a Ph.D in Space Resources.

January 2, 2019
Nightsky 45 Members Night

–Comet Wirtanen: Mike Conley
–18 Years of Imaging: Nick Liepins
–Visiting Lowell: Richard Berry
–Art in Astronomy: Mark Seibold
–Ultima Thule: Alan Stern

NightSky 45 Astronomy Club January 2, 2019 meeting poster

December
No meeting

November 7, 2018
Spacefest IX: My Summer Vacation
Speaker: Stephanie Barth

Spacefest is THE celebration of space for enthusiasts of every type! This summer Stephanie attended Spacefest. She will describe first-hand stories from Apollo astronauts and flight controllers:

–The wives and daughters of Gene Cernan and Alan Bean
–The upcoming movie, “Searching for Skylab”
–The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres
–What are “Space Hipsters”?
–What is it like to have lunch and dinner with astronauts?
–Hearing first-hand accounts of space exploration by Apollo astronauts and flight controllers.
–What do astronauts and the family of Neil Armstrong think of
the new movie, “First Man”?
–and much more!

Stephanie Barth became interested in astronomy and the space program in the 1970s. She has built a telescope with her family and has taught numerous astronomy classes to children around the Salem area. She’s a member of Space Hipsters since 2016 and of NightSky 45 since 2001.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 11/7/2018 Meeting Poster: Spacefest IX: My Summer Vacation.
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 11/7/2018 Meeting Poster: Spacefest IX: My Summer Vacation.

 

October 3rd, 2018
Growing Up With The Astronauts

James will bring a few NASA artifacts from his fathers collection: a plug extracted from the Apollo 11 command module heat shield, and a hyper-velocity impact demonstration piece. He will discuss our museum’s mission and share stories of the people who made manned missions to the moon successful.

JPLMuseum.org is located in the Historic Gardner House Cafe’ at 633 North Third Ave. Stayton, Oregon.

Hours of operation are Tuesday thru Saturday from 8:00 AM to 3:00PM. Phone 503 602 9128.

For more information, seehttps://www.jplmuseum.org/

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 10/3/2018 Meeting Poster: Growing Up With The Astronauts

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 10/3/2018 Meeting Poster: Growing Up With The Astronauts

September 5th, 2018
Leaking Galaxies
Our speaker: Dr. Katherine Kornei

Gas and dust escape from many galaxies in so-called “galactic winds.” Data from ground and space-based telescopes reveal which galaxies are leaking.

Dr. Kornei is an astrophysicist, science journalist, educator and works at OMSI as a Program & Exhibit Developer.
For her PhD, she studied star formation and galaxy evolution.
As a science writer, her work has been published in:

  • Science
  • Discover
  • Astronomy
  • Scientific American
  • Sky & Telescope
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 9/5/2018 Meeting Poster: Leaking Galaxies
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 9/5/2018 Meeting Poster: Leaking Galaxies

 

August 8th, 2018
After Imaging
Our speaker: Tom Carrico.

Tom will describe what to do AFTER IMAGING, when you have a disk full of images. He will discuss how he processes astrophotos using, as he says, far too many pieces of software. Tom will cover how to capture data and calibration frames, selecting images to keep, various methods of processing, and a few tips and tricks along the way. Tom will emphasize imaging with monochrome cameras and color filters, but will spend a little time with processing DSLR images.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 6/6/2018 Meeting Poster: After Imaging
Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club 8/8/2018 Meeting Poster: Astronomical Sketching

August 4th 9:00pm
Star Party

9:00pm Midnight
 Hosted by Silver Falls State Park
The observing area will be the meadow west of the creek at the South Falls day use area.

It is suggested that we set up between 7:00-8:

July 14  8:00pm (apprx)
NightSky45 Star Party


Location: Union Hill Grange +44.8751 N, -122.7427 W.

  1. From the fertilizer plant at the corner of Hwy 214 (Silver Falls Hwy) and Cascade Highway…
  2. Continue on Hwy 214 1.8 miles E to a conspicuous zig-zag in the road…
    Take Victor Point Rd SE 0.5 miles N to Grange Rd SE…
  3. Follow Grange Rd SE 0.6 miles E to the small gravel road on the north side.

Map/Directions

We can set up along this road – There is no traffic on this road.

Bring your telescope, binoculars, camera, whatever!  And, of course, we would be happy to help anyone set up and use a new or unfamiliar telescope.

Sunset is at 8:45 pm. Arrive while there is still enough light to set up.

Please note: There are no “facilities” at this site.

June 6th, 2018
Astronomical Sketching

Our Speaker: Howard Banich

Howard Banich made his first astronomical sketch in 1973. He will describe his process from the first rough sketches to the smoothly finished drawings published in Sky & Telescope.

May 2nd, 2018
Broken Starlight – Adventures With A Spectroscope

Our Speaker: Richard Berry

Spectroscopy has told humanity more about the true nature of stars and planets than all other tools of the astronomer combined. Our speaker this month, Richard Berry, tells a few tales about AstroSpectroscopy what we learn by “breaking” starlight into a spectrum.

April 4th, 2018
Annual Equipment Night

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club April Meeting Poster

March 7, 2018
Tales of the Wilson High School Astronomy Club
Our Speaker: Joe Minato

Joe Minato was born to be a science teacher. He grew up in beautiful Rockwood, Oregon, youngest of six children. He had a childhood of wonder and discovery, a gift he wishes for every child. He earned a BS in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MTE in science education. He is a recipient of the prestigious Polaroid Award for Outstanding Teaching at MIT.

While classically trained in physics and math, Joe is a lifelong natural historian with a broad background and endless enthusiasm for exploring the wonders of the natural world from subatomic physics to cosmology, from the geologic history of the Earth to biological evolution, and wherever else his curiosity takes him.
Joe has taught in a wide variety of settings, urban and rural, public and private, and to a wide variety of students, gifted scholars to troubled youth, small children to veteran educators. His favorite students are whomever he is teaching right now. His favorite lesson is whatever lesson he is doing right now.

Night Sky 45 Astronomy Club March 7 2018 Meeting Poster

Remote Astronomy

NightSky45 Astronomy Club of Salem Oregon February 7th 2018 Meeting Poster
NightSky45 Astronomy Club January Meeting Poster image.

When Galaxies Collide

~ Note: No December meeting ~

How Bright? How Old? How Far?

NightSky45 Astronomy Club October 4th 2017 Meeting Poster: Why Mars?

Why Mars?

The Great Solar Eclipse 2017

Time:

10 : 17 : 21 AM

Location:

Monday August 21, 2017 Salem, Or (earlier the farther West from Salem you are)
Western Oregon Solar Eclipse Viewing Detail
A one-page information sheet. Print and pass on to your non-astronomer friends.For printing on one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.

 Solar Eclipse Workshop

NightSky 45 Astronomy Club 8/2 Meeting Poster

Eclipse Photography – Techniques and Equipment

NightSky45 Astronomy Club July 5, 2017 meeting poster
Eclipse Photography:
Techniques and Equipment

 

Heliophisycs and the Study of the Sun

NightSky45 Astronomy Club Meeting poster for May 3rd 2017