Category Featured Events

MAS February Meeting

How do bacteriophages interact with their host bacteria in space?
A Presentation by Vatsan Raman, UW Biochemistry

February MAS monthly meeting

Bacteriophages, or ‘phages’, are bacterial viruses that are the most abundant organism on Earth. While phage research has progressed considerably terrestrially, how phages and bacteria interact in microgravity is largely unknown. Microgravity presents enormous challenge for microorganisms, which are greatly affected by gravity to mediate cell-cell and cell-phage interactions. To elucidate these interactions, we explore how T7 bacteriophage interacts with E. coli BL21 in microgravity onboard the International Space Station (ISS)...

Read More

MAS January Meeting

Two Talks on Astrophotography

January MAS meeting - two talks on astrophotography

The January MAS meeting will feature a focus on astrophotography with presentations by two experienced practitioners:

Randy Trank on “Lucky Imaging and the Moon”

“Lucky Imaging” is a phrase used for certain types of astrophotography so I’ll explain that and show an example by processing a lunar photo.

Randy’s background:
Randy became interested in astronomy under the dark skies of Lake Ripley when he was 12 with an Edmund Scientific scope. He loved the Apollo missions. Randy has dabbled in astrophotography for 50 years, avoiding the moon. He is now returning to his lunar roots and wishing he hadn’t avoided the moon for so long! Randy is a member of the Rockford Amateur Astronomers.

Tim Wilson on “Data collection, Organization, and...

Read More

MAS December Meeting

Holiday Party and Telescope Clinic

December 2022 MAS Meeting - Holiday Party and Telescope Clinic

The return of the Madison Astronomical Society’s annual Holiday Party and Telescope Clinic.

Do you have a telescope that’s giving you problems? Has it been gathering dust in your closet instead of giving great views of the moon and planets? Are you stuck and can’t get to the next step? Our experts can help you diagnose the issues and get it figured out. Bring your telescope to this meeting and we’ll take a look at it with you.

Also, feel free to bring a holiday snack to share with the group. Cookies, brownies or other finger foods preferred.

There will be a short presentation by John Wunderlin, co-founder of the Iowa County Astronomers:

Title: So You Want To Buy a Telescope?

John will share his thoughts on telescope gear after almost...

Read More

MAS November Meeting

The Chemistry of the Universe

Susanna Widicus Weaver, The Chemistry of the Universe

Summary: Molecules make up the world around us and serve as the building blocks to life as we know it on Earth. The questions remain as to how these molecules form and are incorporated into planets, and whether life might form elsewhere in the universe. Astrochemists study the chemistry of space and the evolution of molecules as stars and planets form. In this talk, I will overview my astrochemistry research program that incorporates laboratory spectroscopy, observational astronomy, and astrochemical modeling to decipher the chemistry that might lead to life in the universe.

Susanna Widicus Weaver, Vozza Professor of Chemistry and Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin is an expert in prebiotic astrochemistry...

Read More

Moon Over Monona Terrace

In-person!

Moon Over Monona Terrace Event
Moon Over Monona Terrace

Friday, October 7th, 7:00-9:30pm

FREE and Open to the Public

For more information, and to get your FREE tickets, visit: https://www.mononaterrace.com/event-group/moonmononaterrace/

FREE ticket required for admission. Tickets are required for all attendees; subject to venue capacity and are issued on a first come first serve basis. There is a limit of 8 tickets per patron.

Explore the surface of the Moon and other celestial objects through telescopes provided by MAS members.

Young and old alike are invited to view the Moon and other celestial objects, such as Jupiter and Saturn, through a multitude of different telescopes provided by the Madison Astronomical Society (MAS)...

Read More

MAS October Meeting

The Birth of the Madison Astronomical Society

History of MAS October 2022 Monthly Meeting

A presentation by John Rummel. In the mid-1930s, as the Great Depression continued to ravage the nation, group of Madison men and women came together around their common interest in astronomy and formed a club. Remarkably, almost 90 years later, today’s MAS still bears a striking resemblance to the original group as it took its first steps. This presentation will introduce a few of those founders and share a few of the stories that have come to light after lying forgotten for decades.

This meeting of the Madison Astronomical Society will be presented both live in-person at Space Place and online via YouYube. To watch online, visit our YouTube channel.

Read More

MAS September Meeting

There’s an App for That? Astronomy Software for the Amateur Astronomer

September MAS Presentation by Jeffrey Shokler

Is it going to be clear tonight? What’s the moon’s phase and what will I be able to see along the terminator? How bad is the smoke going to impact transparency for imaging tomorrow? Which moon of Jupiter just snuck out from behind the limb of the planet? How should I best orient my camera field of view to frame the DSO I want to shoot tonight? I haven’t seen the sky in months, what’s going to be up there this weekend when it is supposed to clear out?

Any of these questions sound familiar? If so, join Jeff as he shares his favorite “go-to” mobile, laptop, and browser-based applications and software for amateur astronomy...

Read More

Stargazing Event at Donald County Park

CANCELLED DUE TO CLOUD COVER

Donald Park Astronomy Event

Join the Friends of Donald County Park and Madison Astronomical Society at the Pop’s Knoll picnic area to view the planets and stars. Telescopes will be provided, but bring your own if you have one. Bring your family and friends, flashlight, insect repellent, blanket or chairs and marshmallows for roasting. Firepits will be ready.

Read More

MAS August Monthly Meeting

Stellar spectroscopy and the formation of the chemical elements

Jim Lawler

Dr. Jim Lawler, UW Madison Dept of Physics, the Arthur and Aurelia Schawlow Professorship

I will talk about how we measure spontaneous decay rates between two energy levels of an atom or ion, how stars produce spectra, and links between basic spectroscopy (like my group’s activities) and astronomy. Nearly everything humanity knows, or may every learn, about the detailed physics and chemistry of the remote Universe is from spectroscopy. I will mention the importance of quantization and the future of the quantum internet if time allows.

Before retiring in May of this year, Jim Lawler was the Arthur and Aurelia Schawlow Professor of Physics at the UW Madison...

Read More

MAS July Monthly Meeting

The Magellanic Stream: A Case Study in Interacting Galaxies

Scott Lucchini

Two of the Milky Way’s nearest neighbors, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, have been dancing around each other for billions of years. This dance has led to a huge amount of gas getting thrown from their disks and out into what we know as the Magellanic Stream. In my work, I run high resolution simulations of these interactions to better constrain the history and future of the Magellanic System. Some of our recent results have shown that a warm circumgalactic medium of warm gas around the Magellanic Clouds may play a large role in the formation and current properties of the Stream and that the Stream may be up to five times closer than previously thought...

Read More