MAS is back!
We’re still observing public health advisories to avoid any face to face meetings so for our April meeting, MAS is going virtual!
Friday, April 10 our own Jeff Shokler will present “Wonders of the Universe: Exploring the Night Sky Through Astrophotography.” During his presentation he will share images captured of a wide variety of astronomical objects including the Moon, planets, lunar and solar eclipses, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and much more. Over the course of the presentation he will take the audience on a journey from objects close to home to those found in some of the most distant reaches and earliest time periods of the universe...
Category Featured Events
MAS is back!
CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS
Analysis of terrestrial zircons yields radiometric ages nearly as old as the Earth, but these ages (4 – 4.4 billion years old) have been challenged. Questions around Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) radiometric dating geochronology have been in play for over 100 years, and were first resolved in 2014 for a 4.374 billion year old zircon. These new results based on oxygen isotopes show that most of the Hadean Eon (ca. 4 – 4.4 billion years ago) was not “hell-like” as commonly believed and implied by the name. The earliest Earth was indeed hot, violent and inhospitable, but by 4.3 billion years ago its surface had cooled and the steam atmosphere condensed to form habitable oceans...Read More
Landscape Astrophotography – Diane Ramthun
Diane Ramthun is a Wisconsin-based photographer who enjoys doing night sky landscapes. Her talk will focus primarily on viewing and photographing the dark skies over Lake Superior.
Diane: Years ago, while sailing into the remote reaches of Lake Superior, I saw the brilliant stars and Milky Way in the dark night skies for the first time. I wanted to capture what I saw and so began my interest in night sky photography. Capturing the connection of light between sky and earth has been my objective. At night over Lake Superior, the stars, Milky Way and planetary bodies cast vibrant and glowing reflections on the waters...Read More
Tales and Tails of Star Clusters – Kyle Cudworth
Star clusters have been critical to our studies of stars and of our galaxy, as well as other areas of astrophysics. Besides their scientific importance, many are also beautiful to look at through a telescope of any size. I will discuss various topics involving star clusters, with a number of examples from my research through the past 45 years
I will make some remarks on the current status of Yerkes Observatory, but the majority of my time will be spent discussing my research on star clusters.
About the Speaker:
Kyle Cudworth, former director of Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI, and Prof. Emeritus, The University of Chicago.
Cudworth’s interest in astronomy dates to learning a bit about constellations as a Boy Scout, and...Read More
Astrobiology: OHLALA Project (Origins of Life, Artificial Life, & Astrobiology)
Description: OoLALA was created to bring together scientists and engineers who are working to solve some of the deepest mysteries associated with life’s origins and distribution in the universe, as well as inspire others to join the effort. In this presentation, I will talk about the launch of this new initiative and discuss examples of OoLALA research being conducted right here in Madison, including my own on the chemical origins of life on Earth.
About the Speaker: Lena Vincent obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular & Cell Biology from California State University, Long Beach and was then awarded a research fellowship by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine at City of Hope Cancer...Read More
The first billion years on Earth and Mars: A geologist’s perspective – Clark M. Johnson
Despite the likelihood of early habitability on both Earth and Mars, the geologic evolution of these two planets, and the rock record they preserve, is quite different. Plate tectonics on Earth played a central role in evolution of our biosphere, and yet has destroyed much of the early Earth rock record, creating great challenges for finding evidence for early life on Earth. Mars did not have Earth-style plate tectonics, but the evidence is clear that Mars was habitable very early in its history. Preservation of the early Mars geologic record is excellent, raising the possibility that it might contain evidence for the earliest life in the Solar System...Read More
The Donald Park star party is a family friendly event at a lovely county park. This is a chance to see the stars and planets through many different telescopes and binoculars – bring your blanket or lawn chair and sit back later in the evening for a night of watching meteors.
Presentation for guests on meteor showers and planets by the Madison Astronomical Society before the stars come out. Sunset is about 8:08 pm, observing planets can begin about that time with fainter objects as it gets darker. Temps usually fall a bit after sunset so dress accordingly.
Donald Park of Dane County
1945 State Road 92, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
Chasing Shadows: Planning for and Imaging ISS Transits of the Sun and Moon – Jeffrey E. Shokler
How do you catch something travelling at 17,500 mph as it moves between you and a target that might be 92 million miles away (or maybe only 240,000 miles away)? Longtime MAS member and astrophotographer Jeffrey Shokler will show us how to plan for International Space Station transits of the Sun and Moon, and also about his recent experiences capturing images of those events. You’ll learn about on-line planning tools, strategies for the week before, day before, and day of in terms of positioning and set-up. Jeff will also share the approaches he has taken to both capturing and processing the transit data in order to create finished images of ISS transits.
About the Speaker:
Observing Our Solar System – Martin Mika
The talk will outline the basics of our solar system: history, characteristics of the planets, how they move, and how to observe them with amateur telescopes. I will then also discuss some imaging techniques and touch on citizen science projects that can be undertaken by amateurs, with a few examples from some of the top planetary imagers around the world.
About the Speaker:
Martin Mika is a long time observer and astrophotographer and is the Observatory Director for the MAS.
The Milky Way and Its Dark Nebulae – Walter Piorkowski
This talk covers how the Milky Way is portrayed in charts and atlases, how to plan for and observe dark nebula and how these objects are cataloged. I will also show a selection of my 2×3 degree fields of the DN and discuss the “low extinction” windows in the Milky Way.
About the Speaker:
Walter Piorkowski is an amateur telescope and instrument maker. He is the former President and member of the board (14 years) of the Chicago Astronomical Society and Alder Planetarium (Chicago), Evening Courses instructor 1972 – 1980. He was Technical Support Adviser to Oberlin College’s CUREA program at Mt. Wilson observatory. Walter also was an Astro-Physics Mount Assembly Supervisor for 28 years.