Category Featured Events

MAS April Monthly Meeting

Historic Burnham Refrctor
Historic Burnham Refractor

April 2019 will bring a special meeting for the Madison Astronomical Society. Instead of our usual gathering at Space Place, we will meet instead at Sterling Hall on the UW-Madison Campus, where our very own Jim Lattis will give us a tour of some of the astronomy department’s historic facilities.

WHAT: The meeting in Sterling Hall will include a tour of the rooftop astronomy facilities, including the vintage Spitz optical/mechanical planetarium and the rooftop telescopes, including the historic Burnham telescope. Weather permitting we will observe with the Burnham refractor.

WHEN: will convene at 7:15 pm on Friday, April 12. Please plan to arrive around 7:00 since we will want to assemble before we start to move around inside Sterling Hall as a group.

WHERE:...

Read More

MAS March Monthly Meeting

UW Collaboration on the Proposed NASA CAESAR Mission

Kyle Metzloff, Professor of Industrial Studies, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Professor Kyle Metzloff

How did a 375 lb. iron weight cast by students at UW-Madison and UW-Platteville help the CAESAR Mission get off the ground and become one of two finalists in a NASA proposal? If selected, CAESAR, which stands for Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return, would visit the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet and collect a small sample of its surface material. Led by Dr. Steve Squyres, principal investigator on NASA’s Mars exploration rovers, the device could grab at least a 100-gram sample from the nucleus of the comet and deliver it back to Earth in capsules to help demonstrate how the same materials contributed to early Earth.

The UW project entailed designing a shaped weight that had a similar radius at t...

Read More

MAS February Monthly Meeting

Horseshoe (Photo by John Rummel)
Horseshoe (Photo by John Rummel)

Landscape Astrophotography
Presented by John Rummel

Have you been impressed (and envious) of the beautiful night landscape/sky shots you’ve seen floating around the internet? Do you wish that you could capture a breathtaking Milky Way vista above your favorite camping spot or mountain view? Odds are pretty good that you CAN do this, and that the camera that you own right now is capable of getting these shots. This presentation will show you how it’s done.

This talk will explore the photographic techniques necessary to capture thrilling and inspirational shots of the night sky with impressive terrestrial landscapes. The presentation will proceed in three parts:

1) Locating and choosing opportunities to shoot such scenes,
2) Camera settings, techniq...

Read More

MAS January Monthly Meeting

Laurence Sromovsky ( UW Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC))
Dr. Larry Sromovsky
UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center

Killing the hurricane at the south pole of Saturn

Cassini observations show that Saturn’s polar regions contain giant cyclones and unusual cloud configurations, including dark eyes that bring to mind the eyes of earthly hurricanes. Both on Earth and on Saturn, these eyes are regions of reduced cloud cover resulting from descending motions. Cassini images of the south polar regions also showed that circular cloud bands at the edge of the eye cast very long shadows. This led to the conclusion that there were towering convective storms reaching into the stratosphere, producing eyewalls that were casting shadows, much like hurricanes on earth, but on a vastly larger scale...

Read More

Annual Telescope Clinic and Solstice Party!

Tabletop beginner telescope

Friday, December 14, 7pm
Space Place, 2300 S. Park St., Madison WI

MAS’s annual telescope clinic is a chance for people in the Madison area to get their questions answered about telescopes and binoculars. It may also help you with some ideas for the gift-giving season.

Do you have an old telescope that’s gathering dust because you don’t know how to use it?

Maybe it’s broken or missing a piece.

Maybe you tried it last year and just couldn’t get it to work.

Whatever the case, come on out and learn something. MAS members will be on hand to look your scope over with you, diagnose any issues, and teach you how to use it if necessary. If you’re not a scope owner yet, you may walk away with some ideas. We’ll have a few popular types of telescopes on hand to serve as models.

This is also our an...

Read More

MAS November Monthly Meeting

Kelly Tyrell, MAS guest speaker for the November 9, 2018 monthly meeting.

Kelly Tyrell, MAS guest speaker for the November 9, 2018 monthly meeting.

Topic: Has science lost the public trust?

Description: Some say astronomy is a “gateway science.” With compelling images, a long and storied history, and the power to spark curiosity, astronomy has often succeeded better than other sciences at capturing public attention. With news announcements like the first detection of high-energy neutrinos at IceCube and the audible “chirp” of gravitational waves from LIGO, the scientific community celebrates the opportunity to share with others the excitement of the field. Astronomy seems to have earned the public’s trust.

But we also live in an age where people dismiss information off-hand if it doesn’t fit their world view. Some despise expertise...

Read More

April MAS Meeting

Image of the historic Dearborn Telescope

On Friday, April 14, 2017, 7:00 pm at UW Space Place, the MAS general meeting will feature a talk by Craig Deller on the Conservation of the Historic Dearborn Telescope.

The Dearborn Telescope has been in the collection of the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum since 1930. Considered the largest in the world when it was built, the telescope has significant historical importance to both Chicago and astronomy. This presentation will examine the telescope’s history, condition examination, and original surface recovery treatment.

Craig Deller is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works and on the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Interior Surfaces Conservation Lab...

Read More

Moon Over Monona Terrace

Moon Over Monona Terrace Event

Join members of the Madison Astronomical Society (MAS) for the spring “Moon Over Monona Terrace” event on Friday, April 28, 2017 from 7:00-9:30pm (weather permitting)! We’ll have telescopes of all kinds set up on the rooftop and will be able to view the Moon, Saturn, Mars, galaxies, star clusters, and more! It is a family friendly event.

When? Friday, April 28 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM (weather permitting)

Where? Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center 1 John Nolen Dr, Monona, Wisconsin 53703

Read More