history tagged posts

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.

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History of the Madison Astronomical Society

The Madison Astronomical Society (MAS) has continuously operated as a club for nearly 90 years. But, like many amateur organizations, MAS has paid only scant attention to documenting its own history. Over the years founders have died, long time members have moved away or moved on, documents have been collected and then lost, and memories have faded.

Over the past two years MAS has finally taken on the task of learning and telling its own story. During that period, a dedicated group has sought out and interviewed many of MAS’s oldest members and those in the best position to speak to its history...

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MAS September Monthly Meeting

Copernicus: A Life on the Frontiers

MAS September Meeting with Dr. Michael Shank

The September MAS meeting will be a virtual meeting hosted with Zoom.

UW Madison emeritus professor of the history of science Dr. Michael Shank will present on “Copernicus: A Life on the Frontiers.”

Description: An unexpected invitation to write a general-audience biography of Copernicus has forced this historian of medieval science to wrestle anew with the founding figure of the Scientific Revolution. I expected the assignment to be quick and easy. Instead, it has driven me back to the sources and completely changed my picture of the man. Copernicus was far more buffeted by Baltic politics and indebted to his late-medieval background than I had ever expected...

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MAS June Monthly Meeting

MAS History Project – MAS Turns 90

UW Students' Observatory from the mid-70s

The Madison Astronomical Society is turning 90 next year. All this spring the History Committee has been delving into the archives, interviewing surviving members, pouring over newspaper microfiche, and turning over rocks. Come see some of the surprises we’ve discovered.

This photo was shot at the Oscar Mayer Observatory (in Fitchburg) sometime in the mid-1970s by one of the Explorer Post Scouts. This observatory used to be the UW “Students’ Observatory” and from 1880 to 1960 sat on Observatory Hill right beside the Washburn Observatory...

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MAS May Monthly Meeting

(Re)Inventing the Flat Earth” – Peter Sobol

Peter Sobol
Dr. Peter Sobol

A survey of the history of ideas about the shape of the Earth in Western Civilization with a focus on the nineteenth century, which saw both the rise of the Warfare hypothesis (which encouraged secularists to misrepresent medieval ideas) and the rise of the modern Flat Earth movement, concluding with a glance at the present state of that movement.

About the Speaker:

Peter Sobol has taught the history of science at Indiana University, Oklahoma University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. in addition to standard history of science he has taught courses on the history of pseudoscience and the occult, hence his abiding if morbid interest in the vagaries of human thought.

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